So many photographers have two reactions when trying to take an image that includes them: (1) Set a timer (2) Remote trigger. While I’ve used both and I think there is a time and a place for each, I’ve found what I think is a better solution. Interval Timer Shooting is often thought of for use with time-lapse photography, but I use it for self-portraits. The disadvantage of shooting with a set timer is you have one shot. I’m sure we’ve all either seen someone or been the one, that had to run back to the camera and check the image, then run back and take another, because someone blinked or a kid wasn’t looking. If you use a remote trigger, well then you are holding the trigger in your hand, awkward.
Interval Timer Shooting provides a couple benefits. Because you can program your camera to shoot multiple exposures, it allows you to hopefully get a good shot in a series of shots, without the need for checking your image after every shot. This past weekend I was asked to shoot my extended family picture. Usually this can be a painful process and we all are grumpy by the time we get anything organized. The first shot below, took a total of about 15 seconds to shoot 18 exposures and then verify that 1 of the exposures had everyone looking/smiling. End result, a good family picture, and no grumpy family! (well at least not from the picture taking process)
Interval timer shooting is also good with kids. After the first image, the click of the shutter often grabs the kids curiosity and they look, just as the next exposure is captured. It also provides you as the photographer an opportunity to interact and have a dynamic photo shooting experience. The series below is from my Christmas picture last year. I set my interval to take a picture every 2 seconds and take something like a total of 99 images, which was about 3 1/2 minutes of shooting. It allowed us to interact with each other and provided for a lot of funny pictures!
So next time you need to take any pictures including yourself, think about using the Interval Timer Shooting. *NOTE* Canon shooters, I’m sorry but I don’t know what Canon calls this or where in your menu it would be. If anybody knows, just leave a comment below.