How To Take The Ultimate Selfie

Time magazine just named Makati City, Philippines as The Selfie Capital of the world. And as a proud Filipino I have done my shares of selfie in the interweb.

Selfie Capital PH

Selfies from friend’s in facebook

There are tons of selfies in the internet taken using a smartphone, but those do not compare to the greate selfies I have seen was on Flickr, where people take the time to light or setup their shots and use “real cameras” to take their selfies, just to name one that I always follow is Dustin Diaz’s flickr.

There are a lot of ways to do a selfie using your dslr, so to each his own, this is a quick tutorial on how I do my selfies. [editor note: Laya’s Selphies are some of the best I’ve ever seen so you may wanna hit the jump see what he has to offer]1. To start off you need to use a tripod. (or lay your camera down somewhere stable)


2. I think the hardest part in doing selfies is the focusing, because you are doing this alone (which I normally do), I place a lightstand which is my easy to manage, always available stand-in. I place the light stand where I will be standing and adjust the height of the lightstand as tall as my eyes. I prefocus on the silver part of the lightstand and switch my camera to manual focus. so It does not re-focus. Mark the floor or use an already existing mark to know where the light stand is even after you move it away.

Focus on the silver part of the tripod

3. If you have a wireless trigger, you just move to where the lightstand (stand-in) was, then move it somewhere or fold it so it won’t be seen in the camera then click the trigger.

Move to place

4. If you don’t have a trigger, set your camera to timer mode (15-20sec), and do the same technique. Another option is to use the built in intervalometer (Nikon) or Magic Lanteren Intervalometer (Canon)

Remove tripod

5. After that, it’s just a matter of adjusting your light.

Final Setup

Some Examples of selfies:

Sample 1 – For the love of hotpockets

For the love of hotpockets

For the love of hotpockets

Hotpockets Setup

Hotpockets Setup

Sample 2 – Reading on top of our roof

Reading on top of our roof

Reading on top of our roof

Setup shot roof

setup shot for Reading on top of our roof

Sample 3 -Huwaatt??!



Setup shot for huwat

Setup shot for huwat

Sample 4 – HighSpeed Selfie

HighSpeed Selfie

HighSpeed Selfie

Setup Shot for highspeed for highspeed selfie

Setup Shot for highspeed for highspeed selfie

Sample 5 – Masked


Setup Shot

Setup Shot

I hope we are not going to regret this, but… Please share your selphies in the comments below :)

  • Robert Miler

    the only time I do a “selfie” is when I want to test a new set up and can’t find a model or don’t want to use Rosie, my styrofoam head. I found that if you use live view, and facial recognition auto focus, w/ a remote trigger, you have it made.

  • Jason Cordes

    As Robert said before me, my selfies are when I’m testing or trying something new out. Here’s a recent one I did that I ended up liking how it turned out…

    Instead of a basic remote trigger, I’ve also started using the wireless on my 6d, connecting it via my iphone and setting up the focus that way.

  • Brian Stalter


  • Jayson Carey

    None of those are selfies; they are self-portraits. A selfie is taken while holding the camera yourself. Don’t degrade your work by using a lesser word.

  • AlisonM

    I’ll have to agree with Jayson – I’ve been taking self portraits for years but never take selfies…..

  • Daniel

    I’ve been thinking about doing a second self-portrait (or as people nowadays call selfies). But when it comes to me, I thought about my film school education and how to apply it in the shot. I’m sure many may not agree with how I did it and the flaws of it, but I’m pleased with the first one. Just got to figure out what to do for the next one.

  • Luca Rossi

    this is my selfie done some time ago…

    • Hasnat

      Not bad, can you explain the light setup? I dont have any manual light. Just a DSLR and 50mm lens. How to produce this quality using that gear ???

  • OsFa Urbex

    Did this one a time back… Just a single flash DIY snoot…

  • Guest

    Experiment I tried out.

    • John

      Ack. I did a double post. Sorry about that.

  • John

    An experiment I was trying out. (now to see if it uploads)

  • Honorarius

    As many pointed out, these are not ‘selfies’…