The self-timer is a staple feature in digital cameras, including the latest DSLR and mirrorless models, allowing photographers to delay the shutter for perfect timing. Let's explore how you can utilize this function for sharper photos and self-inclusion in group shots.

What is a Camera's Self-Timer?

A camera's self-timer delays the photo capture, giving you time to join the frame or stabilize the camera for a blur-free shot. With typical settings of 2 to 10 seconds, you can choose the best delay for your scene.

Using the Self-Timer Across Photography Styles

Whether capturing a group photo without missing anyone or ensuring a steady shot for night skies, the self-timer is your go-to tool.

Perfect Group Shots

Set your camera on a tripod, select the self-timer, and join in. No more missing photographers in family photos or group memories!

Steady Long Exposures

For nightscapes or flowing water, use the self-timer to eliminate the shake from pressing the shutter, resulting in crisp long-exposure images.

Precise Macro Photography

With macro shots, details matter. The self-timer helps avoid vibrations for that perfectly focused close-up.

Customizing Self-Timer Settings

Modern cameras offer flexibility in self-timer settings, allowing you to control the delay and even choose multiple shots after the timer runs out.

Adjusting Self-Timer Delay

Access your camera's menu to select the self-timer mode. From there, you can set how long the camera waits to take the picture, ensuring you're ready for the shot.

Multiple Shots After Delay

Some cameras let you take several photos in succession once the timer completes. This is great for ensuring you get the perfect shot, even if you blink in the first one.

As someone who's frequently behind the lens, I appreciate the self-timer for its ability to let me step in front of the camera and be part of the story.


The self-timer might seem simple, but it's an incredibly effective tool for enhancing your photography. From personal experience, mastering the self-timer can open up new photographic opportunities, whether you're a solo shooter or capturing moments with others.