One of our favorite things to do when Nick and I travel is to set up self-timed shots together. I know that sounds super cheesy, but as photographers it’s a great way to remember us in that moment, no matter where we are…the more scenery that I can include in the frame, the better.
I want to capture the emotion, the time of day, and what the world looked like around us in that exact moment in time.
I’ve randomly had several people in the past few weeks ask how Nick and I set up our self-timed shots. I thought it’d be helpful to share exactly how we set everything up (it’s nothing fancy!), to capture a few portraits together. So, here it goes!
- Make sure you have a stable place to set your camera: A flat rock, bench, backpack on a bench, or the obvious choice…a tripod. Tripods are great to bring along on your travels, but it doesn’t work for us 100% of the time. When we want to go for a hike, explore new city streets, or stop at little shops along the way, a big tripod isn’t exactly ideal. Plus, I don’t like holding it. haha. So, that’s when you have to improvise…and, that brings us back to setting your camera on someplace stable! Here is the tripod that we use: It’s a carbon fiber tripod by Manfrotto. The carbon fiber is nice because it’s much lighter (making it easier to carry through the airport and on the plane).
- Focus on your subject: Have one person stand off in the distance (usually me in this case) where you want to position your picture; have the other person (Nick), focus the camera on my face. We typically make sure the little red square is right on my face.
- Take a test shot: Make sure it’s framed exactly how you want…or you’ll be running back and forth a lot. :)
- Set the timer: Ensure your timer is set to 20 seconds or longer, and press the shutter. Once the timer starts, I try not to move too much. If you move forward or backward, the focus will be off and you’ll have to take it again.
- Run! Run as fast as you can to the other person and pose before the timer goes off! This will feel a little silly, but it’s worth it! On our camera, we know when the picture is about to take because of a flashing red light that alerts us.
And, of course, here are a few of my favorite self-timed shots. I thought I’d start with my favorite one ever: The very moment that Nick proposed to me! We were on a beach in Portugal just taking some of our normal shots, until he proposed for one of them :)
The camera is sitting on the trunk of the car – it was nice and flat!
We rode bikes this day and positioned the camera on one of the baskets tied to the front. It wobbled slightly and I freaked out! We only grabbed a couple shots here, haha!You can tell that we’re on a little bit of a hill in this picture. We just set the camera on the ground :)The tripod came in handy for this one. There’s no way we were about to rest the camera on anything covered in snow!The camera was sitting on another big rock, not too far from us. We faced the sun so it would light our faces.
Almost made this one!! See Nick’s right hand?! Not quite ready!
There were a few people around us taking pictures here and we felt so awkward setting up this shot (Nick had to run across a few big rocks)! I’m sure they probably thought we were weirdos running across the rocks and then doing a lovey-dovey-pose, but I didn’t care! hahaha.Honeymoon self-timed shot :)You can tell Nick just made this one before the timer – his right hand looks goofy! We call it the “claw.” hahaha!A tripod for this one worked well, because we angled the tripod head down. It made for something a little different than our normal poses!One of our first self-timed shots together in Bermuda :) We set the camera on a beach chair.
We took our own engagement pictures in Marietta Square…without a tripod, haha. We set the camera up on various “props” through the square: The brick wall, a bench, stairs, etc.