When we planned our trip to Paris, I already knew I wanted to take portraits at the Trocadero. It has hands down, THE best view of the Eiffel Tower! When we came to Paris the time before this, we took portraits here but did it MUCH differently. I had originally bought this shutter remote from Amazon just for these portraits but somewhere in all our sightseeing, it had fallen out of my camera bag. So, instead of being able to just click the button on the remote, I ended up having to use the 10 second self timer and run back and forth (in heels) between takes. Let’s just say, I don’t recommend that method! It can be frustrating and it can take forever to get one in focus (even with a shutter remote!) Your patience runs out and after a few takes, you end up just throwing in the towel. This time around, we upped our game and it paid off BIG time!
The biggest difference was our camera. The first trip, I brought along my Canon 5D Mark III. Then, after that trip, Canon rolled out their 5D Mark IV model. We bought it for our business and it changed our lives. (Hah!) So what makes this camera different from the other one for self portraits? Three words: Built in WiFi. That’s right! The Canon 5D Mark IV has built in WiFi which is one of my favorite upgrades Canon made with this model! (Plus the higher ISO capabilities and touch screen focus!). We took advantage of this little perk SO many times during our trip!
The first thing we did was enable our camera’s WiFi and choose the function to send images to smartphone. Once the Wifi was enabled, it gave us the Camera’s WiFi password. Next, I opened up the settings on my phone and went to WiFi. The cameras WiFi showed up in the available networks as EOS Canon 5D Mark IV so I clicked that network and entered in the password that was on the back of the camera. That’s it! Now my phone was connected to the WiFi on my Camera!
The downside of being connected to the camera’s Wifi is that it’s a major phone battery drain. I knew this ahead of time so to make sure we didn’t lose all our phone battery taking portraits, we prepared mine and Michael’s phone to be used as the remote and I brought along a charging phone case. (I was already using that while out sightseeing). We ended up almost completely draining both of our phones while taking our portraits but it was SO worth it!!
To go along with the built in WiFi, Canon has an app called Camera Connect. (Ignore the reviews! This is a fantastic little app!!) Not only can you use it as a remote shutter, but it lets you change your camera settings, tap focus, view the images you take, and even save them to your phone. The process of setting up the built in WiFi and connecting to this app for the first time does take a few minutes to set up and can be a little confusing. Here’s a great YouTube video showing exactly how I went through these steps!
The last step is setting up your portrait! We always bring our tripod on vacations because I’m just a little obsessed with photos! Once the camera was setup on the tripod, I figured out how I wanted the image to be composed and then directed Michael to stand in the right place. I turned on the two second timer (to give us time to hide the phone) and then connected the phone to the camera’s WiFi (because it’s such a battery sucker, remember?). Then we went to town taking portraits!!
This is Michael patiently standing in place while I figured out how I wanted to compose the image. Notice he’s holding his phone! We started out using his phone as the remote shutter. He was ready to go!
Once I figured it out, I went and stood next to him, (fixed my hair 20 times) and Michael tapped focus using the phone app, clicked the shutter button, and during the two second timer, hid the phone in his pocket!
And since the Camera Connect app lets you view the images on your camera via your phone, we instantly whipped it out to see what we got! This was SO much nicer than having to run back and forth to the camera to check the image! We never had to move and it saved sooo much time (and energy!)!
Then we took one of my FAVORITE pictures of all time! Our pregnancy announcement photo!!!
By using the built in WiFi and Canon app, we were able to get more creative shots! In this one, Michael was holding the phone behind us. This photo made me nervous because we looked away from our camera for a few seconds! Even though the only people here at sunrise were other photographers and their clients, I couldn’t help but feel nervous!
This shot was a little tricky!! We had to setup the tripod sideways on the steps! That took a little while to get straight and to get the entire tower in the shot while leaving space for us on the side. Then, we pretended like we were walking up the stairs! And just like all the others, Michael tapped focus, clicked the shutter and hid the phone during the two second timer!
I’m SO glad I figured out this setup because it allowed us to get beautiful portraits of the two of us on our trip! After we took photos at the Trocadero, we made our way to the Louvre and took a few more!
For this one, we didn’t take our tripod with us since we were touring the inside of the Louvre this day. Instead, we dragged over one of the lawn chairs that were on the other side of the trees, and put our camera on top of my camera backpack! Michael is still hiding the phone behind my back.
This one was taken at the Palais Royale! It’s right across the street from The Louvre. I’m so glad I learned how to take our own self portraits! I’ve been using this same exact setup (tripod, built in Wifi, phone app and two second timer) to take all of my own maternity photos! Since I couldn’t hold/hide the phone, I just dropped it on the *carpeted* floor during the two second timer. Hah!! You can actually see my phone tossed in the crib. Hah!This was taken three days before James was born!
I hope this was helpful! Or at least interesting. 🙂 Now that you know all my secrets to taking self portraits, head over to my blog post about how to take better vacation photos and learn how we travel with and take vacation photos with our “fancy camera!” Thanks for reading!!
Hi there! I'm Joanna Krueger and my husband Michael and I are a wedding photography team in Houston, TX. We hope you enjoy viewing our latest work and getting a peek into our lives!
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