Self portraits are something really hard, at least for me. When you do a self portraits there are so many things to take into account. When you do a normal portrait, there are many things to pay attention to, light, exposure, focus, pose, expression, but when you do a self portrait all this things are combined with the actual posing, positioning yourself without being able to see what the cameras sees right now, the focus and also posing without getting any direction.
Self portraits in my case are a lot of trial and error. When doing self portraits you have to have a clear vision on what to achieve. I think this is important in all the shoots, but for self portraits its much more important. There are a lot of things to set up before start posing, first set up the environment, and put all the props, check the light and the exposure, set flashes, the tripod. Then think where you should be, where the shadows come, if you are in focus or not, so many things. When everything is ready, grab the remote shutter and set a timer, its not nice to have a shutter in your hand in self portraits. Then pose really fast trying to have the best pose in 10 seconds and then, move again and check the results. Usually this procedure needs to be repeated 10 times in order to get a decent photo.
The good thing of self portraits is that you don’t need to find a model, its a great way of exploring different techniques without getting the help of others.
Here are some tips when making self portraits:
- Find something to make the focus on: you won’t be there when focusing, so its important to have something that you can use to make the focus. In portraits is important to have the eyes focus all the times.
- Use manual focus: Manual focus is the best in my opinion, set the focus where you think it should go and forget about it.
- Use a tripod: For self portraits tripods are really handy, they just stand there in a fix position and you can leave the camera and pose, and then check, and then pose again… and repeat that process until you get a good result.
- Use a timer: Not only a remote shutter is good, but a timer, its not nice to have a remote in your hand when posing in a picture, but if you give yourself 10 seconds to press the shutter and put the remote somewhere and pose, its much better.
- Try something new: Self portraits are a great way to try something new, to find different angles and to capture yourself.
- Get inspiration from somewhere
- Dress up and act your part, remember you are the model and the photographer!
Some links to explore: