Creative Tips for How to Take a Self Portrait in a Small Space

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Hi, I'm Neyssa

This year I made it a goal to get in the frame more often. Although I have another photographer take my photos once a year, I wanted more. I am at home with the kids during the day, and I wanted proof. Selfishly, I want them to look back and see that I was there too. And maybe, when they are teenagers and don’t want anything to do with me, I want to be able to look back and see that they did love me!

Yesterday, I had one of those days when my youngest was needing extra snuggles. If I tried to do anything besides hold her, she would cry. While I was trying to brush my hair, Hudson kept fussing at my feet. I picked her up and snuggled her close. I could not help but notice the soft light on her face. I knew that I had to take a self portrait with my baby girl. 

When you take a self portrait, you do not need a huge space or even a huge window. I have a tiny bathroom with a little frosted window. It barely fits one person, but I love the soft light that little window provides. The image below is a pull back of my bathroom. 

With a tight space I had to get creative. My tripod was not going to fit between me and the sink without me standing in the bathtub. Since the light drops off before the tub, that wasn’t going to work. Instead, I opened up my medicine cabinet and placed my camera on the bottom shelf. In the image below, I used my daughter (bribed with Skittles) to stand where I stood holding Hudson. and the medicine cabinet open to show where the camera was. The second photo I took with my phone to show how the camera was positioned. I used the camera strap to hold the lens up a little higher to get it at the right level. (To keep it real, I didn’t even pick up my bathroom for the pullback photos!)

I had forgotten to grab my camera’s remote and didn’t want to disturb the moment too much by messing around, so I decided to use the self-timer. With a 10-second self timer, there is more time to just love and snuggle in closely. It allows for us both to “forget” about the camera a little bit. Plus, in a small space, a self-timer works well as you don’t have to run back and forth. I was able to capture this first image. It is my favorite from my series of self portraits. It captures her in my arms with the two things she always has in her arms – her baby doll and her elephant lovie. It also shows her with a paci she found under her crib and insists on using. This photograph tells a story about Hudson at age 2, and I am a part of that story.

After I had captured the above image, I decided to grab my camera remote (I have this one*). I love that I can keep hitting the shutter without touching the camera and risking losing my focal point. I would click the button on the remote and then snuggle in my girl. I was even able to capture her looking at the camera because she’s watching the red light that goes on when you use a remote. 

Now it’s your turn. Grab out your camera and give it a try. Get in front of the lens. You may be surprised how much you love images of you with your kids. 

If you want to learn more about how I take self portraits, consider taking my workshop, Storyteller: A Photography Workshop. Not only does the class cover the aspects of telling your families stories, but includes videos on how to take and edit self portraits. 

I would love to see what you come up with. Did you try a self portrait in a small space? Share it on Instagram, tag @neyssa_lee_photography and use the hashtag #storieswithneyssa. 



*This post contains an affiliate link where I make a small commission. It does not affect your price and I only recommend products I have purchased and love.