If you want to actually BE IN some of the pictures you are taking, then you will find life much easier if you have either a wireless remote or interval timer. Both of these work by allowing you to press the shutter remotely, so you can actually be in front of the camera but still in control. They both work a little bit differently: a wireless remote is a small transceiver that you simply point at the camera. They are small and inexpensive, and allow you to take a picture as and when you would have pressed the shutter if you were behind the camera. An Interval Timer (also called an Intervalometer) is usually wired to your camera, and you manually set it to take a set amount of pictures over a set amount of time - for example, to take 50 photos, with one taken every 5 seconds. Once you have set it, you just leave it to "press the shutter" in the intervals you have set.
I have both a remote timer and an interval timer, and I much prefer the interval timer because I feel a lot less "forced" and I can interact naturally with my child without having to try and point the remote timer in the direction of the camera at the same time, and keep it out of view. That said, there are pros and cons for both:
Why Choose an Interval Timer
- You don't have to quickly try to hide the remote in your hand whilst taking the picture.
- They allow you to be more relaxed, so you can carry on with whatever you are doing without feeling "posed"
- Great for candid shots of you interacting with children etc
- You can set it it to take as many shots as you wish, so you can set it up and then just leave it.
Why choose a Wireless Remote:
- You won't end up with as many wasted shots as you will with a interval timer
- It allows you to take the image as and when you want it, instead of waiting for the interval timer to go off.
- They are a bit cheaper.
It's also worth noting that some cameras also have an interval timer feature built into the camera (mine does not unfortunately) so you might not even need to purchase one! I'm afraid I don't know exactly which models have and which don't, so I suggest checking your camera manual before you buy anything. (This does seem to be more common on Nikon than on Canon?)
Now I have the cheap and cheerful versions of each of these, but you can get official Canon versions (and indeed Nikons if that is your preference) but they can be more costly. Below are the two I have, and I have had no problems with either (you can get these in different versions that are compatible with different camera models - just search on Amazon for your camera model as mine may not be compatible with your camera)
Whichever one you choose, I hope you managed to actually get in some images this year!
P.S You can see some images and a pull back of the set up when using my timer remote here.