Ever been in a situation where you want to take a full-body picture of yourself but had nobody to do it for you? Perhaps you live by yourself or maybe you’re travelling alone and want to include yourself in the photos of the landscape. Whatever the situation, it can be very frustrating if you don’t have any help nearby.
In this article, we will look at a few methods you can use to take photos of yourself, even from 10m away! We’ll also look at some tips to help you capture the best photos of yourself.
And although the below relates to ways in which you can take a full-body photo of yourself with a mobile phone, some of it can also be applied to taking passport photos of yourself with a smartphone. And yes, that’s allowed.
Now, back to this. First, let’s look at…
What you may need need
To take great full-body photos of yourself, you’ll need a few smartphone camera accessories to help with the job. These aren’t absolutely mandatory, but they definitely make the job a whole lot easier.
You’ll need the following accessories:
- A tripod
- A smartphone mount
- A remote trigger
How to do it
There are a few ways in which you can take a full-body photo using your phone. They are all quite similar with just a few minor tweaks here and there.
Which method will work for you depends on what you have access to in terms of accessories.
Method 1: Camera timer with no tripod
This method is the cheapest way to take a full-body picture of yourself with a smartphone but it’s not the safest, at least not for your phone.
With this method, you need to support your phone with everyday household items or whatever is available in the environment you’re in. This might also mean stacking things on top of each other if you need the phone camera to be at eye-level.
While doing this, you need to adjust your phone so that it’s facing where you’re going to be positioned and that it won’t fall over. This can be a very time consuming and frustrating exercise.
Once the phone is set up on whatever support structure you’ve constructed or found, you need to set the timer in the camera app and get yourself in position to take the photo.
The timer is usually found in the settings of the camera app or it may appear as a clock icon in the main screen of the camera app user interface.
Method 2: Camera timer with a tripod
The second method is very similar to the previous one but with one key difference-- the use of a tripod!
Instead of stacking up various items to support your smartphone, all you have to do is simply set up a tripod and you’re almost good to go. Once you have secured your phone in a smartphone mount and attached it to the tripod, you can start taking full body shots of yourself.
And as before, just set the timer in the camera app, get into position, and you’re done.
Method 3: Tripod with a remote trigger
This method taking full-body photos of yourself is the best and most convenient, in my opinion.
Just like with the second method, you’ll need to set up a tripod for your smartphone. After it’s all set, you can go put yourself in position. No need to set the timer in the camera app and rush to get positioned.
Instead, once you’re ready in position, you can just click a remote camera shutter trigger and that will activate the camera to take a picture. You might still want to put a timer in the camera app, albeit a short one, just so you can have a bit of time to hide the trigger and get into your final pose.
What’s so great about this method is that you can take more than one picture once the camera is set up and you’re in position. You don’t have to physically get up and set a new timer just to take another picture. With a click of a Bluetooth trigger, you can take pictures over and over until you feel the need to stop or reposition the phone.
To help you take the best full-body pictures of yourself, here are a few tips you can apply:
1. Rotate the phone
This goes without saying but I feel like I should just go ahead and say it anyway. The rotation of the phone determines how much of your body will fit in the frame.
For example, if you’re standing up to take a full-body photo, it’s best to hold your phone vertically in order to fit in the frame from head to toe. And if you’re lying down, then a horizontal orientation will do the job.
Of course, that’s not to say you can’t do it the other way around. You can take a standing photo in landscape mode (holding the phone horizontally). However, you may need to position the camera further back in order to fit everything in the frame.
2. Use the rear camera
The best camera on any smartphone is usually the primary rear camera. So, if you want the best quality full body snaps of yourself, don’t use the front-facing selfie camera.
Sure, you won’t be able to see yourself as you take the photo but do you really have to? Perhaps you do. How else will you know if you’re chopping off the top of your head or not? Well, there is a way you can work around that.
3. Use stand-ins and markers
So, if you use the rear camera to take photos of yourself but you can’t see yourself, how do you know if you’re positioned correctly in the frame? Good question. To position yourself correctly in the frame you might need to use markers.
For example, before setting up the camera, decide on where you’d like to stand when taking the photo, and then put some sort of mark or small object where your feet will be. As you set up the camera, you can frame up your shot using the markers as a guide.
Another thing you can do is have an object stand in your place, ideally where your head will be. In the past, I have used mops and brooms to help me adjust my composition before jumping in to replace the mop in the shot.
Alternatively, you can take a very wide shot that covers a larger area than you occupy in the frame and then crop it later. The downside is that you’ll lose some resolution after cropping the photo. But if you’re using a smartphone camera with a high number of megapixels, then this shouldn’t be much of an issue.
4. Make sure the tripod won’t fall over
Because they have three legs, tripods are the steadiest of the various smartphone camera support systems you can find. That being said, however, you still need to make sure that your phone doesn’t fall and get damaged.
The first way you can do so is by making sure the surface you set your tripod on is level so that the tripod won’t wobble. If the surface is uneven or you’re in rugged terrain, you can extend the legs in such a way that compensates for the uneven surface. For example, one leg can be longer or shorter than the others to create balance.
Tripods also have different types of feet. Rubber feet prevent the tripod from slipping and spiked feet can keep it anchored in place on rugged surfaces.
Some tripods have a hook at the bottom of their centre column. This allows you to attach some weights (e.g. sandbags) to the tripod to increase its steadiness. This is especially useful when you’re shooting outside in windy conditions with the tripod fully extended to maximum height.
5. Invest in a tripod
If you think buying a tripod for a smartphone is unnecessary, you’re not alone. In fact, I was also one of those people who thought tripods were only for big cameras. However, tripods are super useful.
Using a tripod not only helps to keep your phone steady, but it also opens up opportunities to take creative shots with your smartphone and do photo manipulation that you’d otherwise not be able to without one.
Some people think tripods are big and clunky but that’s not the case. Tripods come in all shapes and sizes, and some are small and lightweight enough to carry with you on a hike without being weighed down.
Not sold on the idea yet? Check out these eight reasons why you should invest in a tripod for your smartphone.
6. Make the photos look good
It’s one thing to be able to take full-body mobile photos of yourself but it’s another to take ones that actually look good.
To that end, you need to pay attention to things such as lighting and composition. Even if you use a smartphone with the most megapixels and the best picture quality, your photos will not look great at all if parts of the frame are chopped off or the lighting is inadequate.
If you’re new to mobile photography and would like to learn how to take great shots with your mobile phone, you can download my free ebook that teaches you ways in which you can improve the quality of your mobile photos. These include composition, lighting, editing, and others.
You can download your FREE copy of the ebook here.
- 6 Mobile Camera Accessories That You Absolutely Shouldn’t Go Without
- Your Subject Matters- How To Make The Subject of Your Mobile Photos Look Good
- How To Take Passport Photos With Your Smartphone [UPDATED]
- 8 Reasons Why Your Phone Takes Blurry Photos (and how to fix them)
- What To Look For When Buying A Camera Phone For Mobile Photography