When I first started taking photos of me, I wouldn’t consider myself as a self-portraitist. I was only a 15 years-old teenager who was taking photos of herself. Suddently, many of my friends on facebook encourage me of doing more and more. I had to be creative – I had to go out of my comfort zone most of the time to take the shot I wanted. I will agree with you: taking a self-portrait is not easy, it is mostly intimidating. It takes practice to acheive great results! Meanwhile, I will share with you 5 easy tips you can be inspired by, so you can reach your goal of having a cool portrait of you…. taken by you!
1.Expect the unexpected!
The moment you will take the photo of yourself … believe me, it will be awkward. The true fact is, if you don’t find it enough awkward is either you are too much used to do it or you don’t push enough yourself on going out of your comfort zone. You can do this by experimenting new locations, by trying new accessories and by opening your mind to expend your creativity!
As an example, look at the photograph above this text. I took this image few days ago. It was -22 celcius degrees outside and I was so cold! You cannot see it in this picture, but behind of my camera there were houses. And what do you think people do, when they notice something unusual? Yes, you’ve guess it : the people was staring at me and they were probably saying in their head: ” This girl is totally crazy to go outside at this temperature. She’s so weird, she’s posing at the middle of the golf course( yeah.. I know)!”. But do you know what I said to myself? It was totally unexpected for me, to go outside. I’ve really wanted to go out and shoot this. When your idea is so clear, you just want to go straight and do it. Fear is ennemy. I was a little embarassed at that moment … but guess what? I was popular at that moment… you should always embrace moments like this!
2. Express your emotions
When you expresss your emotions, you let the viewer to feel it too. This means that when a photo shares happiness, the viewer should feel the happiness also. By developping new ideas forms, a better connection will be created with the viewer. I put so much importance about the emotions in my photographs because I want to develop a relationship with the people who looks at my images. The photo takes suddently more life and way more vitality – give it a shot! An easy trick that I give to my clients is to imagine that you are an actor. Imagine a tragic scene if you want something sad. Think about someone you love, to have a warm feel. Think about anything concerning emotions!
Take a moment to think. Think about themes you’d like to do and colors you’d like to see. Now it’s time to play with photoshop, tools, texture and anything you want! I’ll give you a tip to help you find inspiration:
1. Find a partner
2. Ask your partner one word
3. Create an image inspired by the word you were told
Think about colors, prop, wardrobe, location and the theme to create a successful image. Anything coming up in your mind is good, so use it!
I didn’t mention anything about it yet, but I assume that you are comfortable enough with your camera. Be ready to take out your camera and tripod (or a solid place where you can put your camera). You can experience many variety of angles in different forms. Many of my self-portrait are taken by holding the camera with the arms length… you should try it! This is when you hold the camera out as far as you can and try to snap a photo of yourself without looking into the viewfinder (I often find a mirror to help myself).
Beware, sometimes the image becomes awkward because the arm appears suddently in the photo. You can arrange it , sometime, by cropping the image or by using the stamp tool in photoshop. Remember, one of the best things about taking self portraits is that you can look at what you have and take more if you want to. Check the angle and lighting and find the most flattering position. I like to stand near of a window when I take photos (without flash). Using the natural light from the window have a nice effect on the skin. Use the self-timer in your advantage too.
5. Share your passions
As I always say, a self-portrait is about a portrait of you and about expressing what you enjoy to do. For me, playing piano is something I was born to do. In this picture, I could experiment myself taking a photograph of me doing what I love and sharing it with the world. You can do it too ! Find something you love. If you want to show that you love photography , try to use a camera in your picture and be creative. There is nothing more fun than mixing your passions.
Here you go: 5 tips to become a pro self-portraitist! If you did enjoy my post, please comment below to let me know you’d want more of post like this. Follow me on facebook to see more of my photographs! If you haven’t seen it yet, have a look at my old post on why self-portraiture is gold for photography.
Hugs and love,