• Kristin Sinclair

How to get in the frame

Tips and tricks for self-portraits

Let me start this by saying I've never posted something that features ME in so many photos! I'm much more comfortable on the other side of the camera. However, every time I've pushed myself to get in front of the camera I've loved the moments I've been able to capture.

We mamas wear so many hats - housekeeper, nurse, cook, teacher... the list goes on. Chances are we are also the family photographers. We want to capture our families - the gap-toothed smiles, the tiny baby feet, the funny expressions our children make. Yet so often we are missing from these memories, or at least the proof that we were there. We're the ones behind the camera.

You are a crucial part of your family's story and I fully believe you need to be present in family photos. Sure, professional photos are great (I've got mine booked for the summer), but your children need to see you exist in your every day moments. In your jeans. With your messy hair (speaking for myself). These everyday moments are the ones they look back on and tell stories about... "remember the time...?"

So you need to get in front of the camera. Easier said than done, right?

1. Grab a tripod if you've got one. In a pinch a stable, safe location will do. In the photos below I didn't have my tripod so I rested my camera on some books on my dining room table (obviously I didn't have it pointed high enough, but I kinda like not seeing my face!)

2. If you've got a DSLR, check to see if it has an interval shooting mode. I've found this to be the easiest way to get natural photos. I typically set it to take one photo every 2-3 seconds, usually for about 2 minutes at a time. This way you have time to relax in front of the camera, and if you're involving kids it gives you some time to interact with them (my favourite photos if you haven't figured it out already are ones where we're just having fun!)

3. If you are comfortable changing your aperture, use a higher f-stop than you typically would - I love shooting wide open around 1.8/2, but for self-portraits I usually close down to at least 3.5/4 (if you aren't shooting in manual yet don't worry about this - but I will hopefully convert you to the benefits of manual in the future!) This way you get everyone in focus.

Don't expect perfection. When I take self-portraits I fully expect to delete a HUGE portion of them. If I end up with 3 or 4 keepers I consider that successful!

What's the takeaway from all this? Get in front of the camera. These photos are for you. These photos are for your kids. You exist. You matter.