Guide to taking a Selfie with a DSLR


Self-portraits, more commonly known as ‘selfies’, are more popular than ever these days. So much so, that the Oxford added the word to its English Dictionary in 2013. The popularity of Selfies can be accredited to smartphones, which make it easier than ever to click one.

As with smartphones, DSLRs are also becoming more accessible to consumers. The quality and versatility of DSLR cannot be matched by a smartphone camera, no matter how good it is. So I thought of compiling a few tips that would help you take the perfect Selfie with your DSLR. In this case, it’s as easy said as done.

To keep things simple, we won’t use any accessories – no on-camera or external flashes, tripods, monopods or remote triggers. The aim is to keep the process similar to that when using a smartphone.

Let’s get started!


1) Recommended focal length :

  • 18mm or wider on a cropped(APS-C) sensor camera
  • 24mm or wider on a full-frame camera

2) Switch the Autofocus (AF) mode of your DSLR to fullauto. This will allow your camera to choose where in the frame to focus without you having to fiddle with it.

Switching to Live View mode and choosing face-detect AF mode is highly recommended

3) Depending on your familiarity with a DSLR choose either of the P,M, S or A (P, M, Tv, Av on Canon). Details of these modes can be found in your camera’s instruction manual.

‘Auto’ mode can also give good results in certain situations. So, an absolute beginner can start off with this mode.

4) With out-stretched arms, hold the camera with the lens facing you, with the index finger of your left hand on the shutter button.

For a pleasing composition, avoid placing yourself in the middle of the frame. Also, pay attention to the background. A clean clutter free background will yield better results.

If your camera has a rear LCD screen that flips out and turns 180®, make sure that it points towards you so that you can fine-tune your composition.

5) Half-press the shutter button to prompt the camera to focus.

To ensure that the camera focuses on our face only make sure that you are well-lit and that there are no distracting elements in the background.

6) Once the camera attains focus and you hear the confirmatory beep, say ‘cheese’ and fully-press the shutter button J. That’s it, you’re done!


Wasn’t that as easy as pouting in front of your smartphone? So go ahead, grab your DSLR and get working on your new Facebook ‘Profile Picture’.