I often post for myself and hoist the camera on a tripod for practice but also to train myself for when I actually do take portraits. I came across this article in
Photojojo - How to Look Good in Pictures. I can't say that I always follow all of these tips but they are pretty good general rules of thumb. For example, I agree not to wear anything too crazy although sometimes it can make for a very cool photograph if you're wearing something unusual. Definitely stretch your neck because you don't want turkey neck - but then again, you don't want to look unnatural or like you're taking a mugshot. Meditate for a moment - no. In my opinion, the photographer should be making you feel comfortable and relaxed. If you count to three or whatever like they suggest, as a subject you are even more aware of the camera and therefore, if you're not accustomed to having your photo taken, even more nervous. But, read the article because over all, some pretty great points. Actually, sign up for Photojojo - you'll be glad you did!
Here are some of my latest attempts. It has been challenging for me to shoot self portraits with the d300 because with the d50 I used a remote control - the one that I have is not compatible with the d300 and I find it much more difficult to take my own picture, focus etc. without it. I'm getting better at it though. To be sure, not my best work, but you know, practice makes perfect, you are your own worst critic, blah blah blah... I hate cliches but sometimes they work so well that you cannot avoid them!
PS--I saw the Arthur Miller play, All My Sons, tonight. If you are in New York, you must check out this limited run. It was very intense but the story was so interesting and raw and the acting - wow.