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How to Take Flattering Self Portraits

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This is day 1 of my 30 Day Photography Challenge, and I thought I’d start with an easy one for everyone, which doesn’t require too much effort – it’s a self portrait. The good thing about self portraits is that you have full control over how the photo is taken and you don’t end up looking like too much of a fool.

Be honest, we’re all a bit self conscience about having our photo taken.

I’m going to be keeping these photos short, sweet, and to the point, so lets get started.

First things first, you need a location.

Location for Self Portraits

Where do you want your photo to be taken, and what do you want it to say about you? Has something happened in your life recently, that you feel like you could represent in a photo? Perhaps you’ve just had a baby, so you could be in the baby’s room. Or a new job? Maybe you just want to use some mirrors, so you could set yourself up in the bathroom. Perhaps you’re a private person and don’t want a particularly revealing photo at all.

Think about how you can give a little bit of information about yourself in your photos, and then use it.

This photo was taken today, and after moving into my new flat just 3 days ago. The new flat is right on the beach, with views of 2 piers in Brighton, England, and even some cliffs in the distance. An obvious location.Self Portrait 30 2012 04 30 at 16 25 54 5 How to Take Flattering Self Portraits

Find your Best Angle

Yeah, I went there. It seems like some sort of a joke, but it’s best to find which side looks best, after all, faces aren’t as symmetric as they appear.

I don’t just mean that you should find your best side though, you should also pay attention to the height your photo has been taken. Pointing upwards doesn’t do my double chin any favours, and it’s not a good look for most people, so shoot head on, or facing down slighting.

Not too dramatically downwards though, MySpace was a long time ago.

Where to put the Camera

Tripod or handheld, that’s the main question.

If you’re using a tripod, then this makes for much more consistant results, although it can take much longer as you keep going back to the camera to check the results, and wait for the self timer to do it’s thing.

If you want to speed up the process, then I would suggest tethering the camera to a TV, and using a remote. That way, you can continue to see how you look, while you’re taking photos. Use a remote for easy reach too.photo 1 How to Take Flattering Self Portraits

If you opt for shooting handheld, remember that it’s harder to get the result that you want, and the camera is going to be much closer than it would be with a tripod.

Use a Mirror

Lets face it, we can all find a smile we’re happy with when we’re looking into a mirror, but end up looking like some wonky faced, double chinned freak when it comes to smiling for a photo. Stare at a mirror while you’re taking a photo, or better still, point the camera into the mirror at your face, so you can’t even tell there’s a mirror there (clean it first).

Where to Look

Consider eye-lines and what they do for your photos. Where do you want people to look, at you, or somewhere else? If you look straight into the camera, you create eye contact with the viewer, but if you look away, they will follow your eyes and look in the same direction.

Emotion

I’ve talked about revealing a part of yourself with your location, but what about with your emotions? You could be super happy with a new partner, scared in a house of horrors, excited at an amusement park, drunk on a night out…

Emotion is powerful, so there’s no need to go too overboard. This isn’t drama school.

Lighting

Lastly, we have lighting.

Do you want to use a flash, or purely natural light? What are your reasons for each?

I personally used a flash with a beauty dish, because I wanted to use my rolled up sleeves to add contrasting texture to the rest of the photo.

Natural lighting conveys a completely different mood though, it’s much more relaxed and easy to look at, so again, you can express a different emotion. Self Portrait 30 2012 04 30 at 16 51 55 35 How to Take Flattering Self Portraits

Ok, so that’s Day 1 of my 30 Day Photography Challenge out of the way, tomorrow I will be focusing on a photo using the rule of thirds. Stay tuned by subscribing to updates by clicking Like below. Cheersssssssssss

Your Photos

Rick Neff (looking kind of badass).303422 3634741277400 1540242879 3179723 2094518161 n 1 How to Take Flattering Self Portraits

Patrick Connolly.403568 3478860502994 1615712867 2692395 199132766 n 1 How to Take Flattering Self Portraits

Elaiafiredust.self by elaiafiredust d4y60bx 1 How to Take Flattering Self PortraitsHow to Take Flattering Self Portraits1 How to Take Flattering Self Portraits

 

Lightroom Presets by SLR Lounge

I do 98% of my processing with this package, here's why:

    • Over 300 presets to instantly transform your photos          • Simple video tutorials to make amazing adjustments easy • Get that 'professionally processed look' in seconds

Enter 'expertphotog' at the checkout to save 10%!

CLAIM MY DISCOUNT NOW!
$89

 

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