Learn Today, How to take good pictures of Yourself: As you have probably discovered taking a good picture of yourself can be tricky.
Here are a few things to consider if you want to take above average photos of yourself:
7 Tips on How to Take Good Pictures of Yourself
- Use soft light. Try wherever possible to have natural soft light falling on your face from an angle. Professionals use umbrellas to bounce light back from a flash. This softens it and makes it look more natural. If you intend using flash try bouncing it off a wall. Better still have natural light coming through a window.
- Show your good side. Do you have a good and a bad side? If so use your good side. Don’t be shy to ask your familiar friends what they think is your good side. We often see things differently and this picture is to show you off not for you to view … right?
- Take the photo from an angle. This will make it look more natural; as if someone else took it. In a natural situation the best photos are taken when the subject is not posing and that is easier done from the side. Try to emulate this.
- Shoot the image from above or below. Similar reasons to 3 above. Shooting from higher or lower than the subject creates a less formal look. You can also do this by pretending to look at someone above and behind the camera.
- Smile naturally. This is not always easy but if you are trying to create a mood then imagine you are in that mood. The more you can feel the mood the more natural it will look.
- Make use of distance. Real close-ups can be very effective. If you have nice eyes – use them.
- Crop the picture for interest. Sometime cropping the picture so that not all of your head is in it can have a dramatic effect, especially when the background is blurred.
But you can do even better ….
Photographic Tools to Help You Take Good Pictures of Yourself
The success of your self portrait photography will be further enhanced by your equipment; the most important of which is probably what type of camera you are using and what accessories you have to make the job easier.
If you are using your phone or a “point-and-shoot” and have no tripod, self timer or remote shutter control then you are pretty much limited to the length of your arm and trial and error in terms of composing the image.
Mirrors are sometimes used but you might then have the flash bouncing back at you. The camera itself is often included in the final photo which is not such a good look either.
Using a Tripod
A tripod is essential to all good photography. You may think that it is a bit of a cumbersome and unwieldy to cart one around but these days they are made from very light but strong material. At worst get yourself a pocket tripod – see the photo of mine below. They are ok for self portraits.
The use of a tripod makes taking a good picture of yourself much easier but you will need either a shutter delay on your camera or a remote shutter release. Chances are you will have both options.
The delayed shutter allows you to set everything up, press the shutter and then you need to get into position before it shoots. This can be fun and it also can be frustrating!
A remote control shutter allow you to set the camera up, get into position and press the remote shutter release – much easier than running into position with limited time.
The biggest advantage of a tripod is that it will eliminate any camera shake. You want a nice clear, focused photo of your self and a tripod will certainly help as will a shutter release mechanism.
Take a look at the image above and you will see a standard tripod that has extendable and adjustable legs. This particular tripod can extend to about 8 or 9 feet. It is one of the older aluminium type (in this case a Velbon) that I have had for years and I still find it easy enough to handle. If you are looking to buy a new one I recommend the Manfrotto range.
If the price is beyond your reach then search for a good quality (sturdy) second hand model on eBay or similar. The there is my pocket sized tripod (pictured right) with a “point-and-shoot” camera mounted. I got this little tripod at the airport and find it very useful because of its size and flexibility; the legs can be twisted into almost any shape and angle. Great for balancing a camera on weird shapes like rocks.
The image of me in my “About Me” page looks natural (or at least I think it does) and you probably wouldn’t know it was a self portrait, yet that is exactly what it is.
If you want to learn more about taking great portraits, of yourself or others, how to get the correct lighting, under any circumstances, and how to compose the photo for maximum effect you might well be interested in Jarrod Polin’s FroKnowsPhotos program. It is packed with information on everything photo related and comes to you by way of really well presented videos. Why not check it out?
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