It’s one of the hardest things to gear myself up to do. I always feel too self-aware, too silly, too self-involved. But taking self-portraits is the single best way to improve your portraiture.
Here’s the secret: you are your own worst critic. Plus, you can’t lose. At the end, I bet you’ll feel more confident with everything: directing your subject, seeing the best light, playing with angles, and editing your photos. And then, really, print out that favorite photo, give it to your partner or your kid, they will love it more than you know.
Here is how I like to run a self-portrait session:
- Give yourself a 30 minutes to an hour of time without any distractions.
- Pick out an outfit that makes you feel pretty and cool.
- Keep the makeup simple.
- Put on some music that makes you smile or, better yet, want to dance around.
- Pick a simple background and something to sit on.
- Set up the tripod and frame the shot.
- If you are using lights, turn them on and play with shadows.
- If you are using a window, play with angles of your body to observe the shadows.
- Change your aperture (that f-stop number), notice the effects you like, the things that don’t work.
- Change up poses.
- Upload the photos and immediately delete mis-shots, photos with eyes closed, out of focus, the less you see of those the better.
- Edit! Try some interesting effects, transform some shots to black and white, note that you are rad.
- Show them to someone, they are good photos, you are beautiful, be proud of your work!
Though sharing self-portraits on the blog scares me, here goes:
So get that tripod out and pour a glass of something to loosen those inhibitions and have fun!