I'm interested in doing some self-portraits on my 5x7 camera but I'm trying to brainstorm ways to focus it. The lens I have mounted right now is an old petzval projection lens without any stops, or even a slot for them, so I'll have to make due with it wide open. I'd thought about focusing on somebody else then switching places with them but if I have another person around I may as well just have them focus the camera! What methods have you folks who've done this before used?

Also, any suggestions on how to make the exposure, especially since there is no shutter? My two ideas are to use another person (again presuming I have or want one around) and to take the shot in a darkened room using a footswitch to turn on the lights for the duration of the exposure.