12 Tips for Taking Better Self Portraits
Tips & Tutorials

12 Tips for Taking Better Self Portraits

It has become so important to be active on social media these days. You need to share about your life, your thoughts and so much more. One of the most important aspects of these social media sites is their visual appeal. People love to share their photographs with others. From here, started the trend of ‘selfies’.

These pictures are self-portraits taken from point-and-shoot or smartphone cameras from a very close distance, normally an arm’s length. If you wish to be popular on social media, get more likes and comments, and also make sure that you keep up with the trends, simply learn a few basics about self-portraits. These pictures, when clicked in the right way, can become your virtual identity and help you express yourself better.

Have a look at these 12 tips that would help you take Better Self Portraits

1. Decide the mood of the portraits

Self-Portrait -Thinking
Photo by: Piroshki Photography

Most photographers do not feel comfortable with self-portraits. This is so because the self-portraits are often quite unplanned. You have not planned for this portrait, just like you plan for other photos. So sit quietly and decide what kind of a portrait you want. Decide the background, environment, and more. This would help you in getting better and more thoughtful pictures

2. Take many pictures

Self-Portrait - expressions
Photo by: Zombie Smile

You can either try to use the continuous shot mode of the camera and switch between different poses to get the right one or simply keep clicking a picture every now and then. This would help you in making sure that you get a good one. Though sorting out would be a tasking job, you still get better results this way. The best fact about these kinds of pictures is that you get ample opportunity to stay natural.

3. Use the ‘stretched out hand’ method

The best way to get better self-portraits is to go to the typical ‘selfie’ way. Simply use a camera stretched out at an arm’s length or less and you would be able to get great pictures. Most of the people use a mirror to get the right selfies. Now, you know why celebrities are obsessed with such pictures in their social media networks. If you are standing in front of the mirror, remember not to switch the flash on. However, in the mirrorless self-portraits, you can easily take awesome pictures. If your hands are visible in the pictures, don’t worry. It makes the pictures appear more natural.

4. Use a flat surface if not Tripod

Self Portrait- camera positioning
If you are not comfortable using a Tripod which you should use the best way to ensure a good camera angle and a ‘less awkward’ self-portrait is to find a flat surface where you can rest your camera. Normally, a table would be your best friend in this case. Rest your camera and compose your picture before you place yourself in the frame. This would help in clicking straight photographs that would certainly provide you more perspective in the picture. If you have a tripod, nothing better than it.

5. Use a gorilla pod

Self-Portrait - Gorillapod
Photo by: Joby

Sometimes, self-portraits need to be more creative. You would be seeing many pictures on social media that are being taken with unusual angles. If you also wish to be more creative with your pictures, then you can use the gorilla pod. As the name suggests, it is a very mobile accessory that comes with tough, but flexible legs. You can keep your gorilla pod virtually anywhere. Use it to balance your camera on a wire or on a rock. If the surface is not flat and the tripod cannot be balanced properly, these pods would be of great help. It can position itself at various angles, giving your pictures a brand new look.

6. Use a timer or a camera remote

A timer in your camera or a camera remote would be the best way in which you would be able to get good self-portraits. You need to compose a frame, just like in normal portraits, and imagine yourself in a certain position. Now, simply give yourself a few seconds to settle down in the frame. The timer works well with all kinds of cameras and in all kinds of self-portraits. Don’t forget to use this handy feature or it would be best to buy a camera remote it will offer you more freedom to shoot while you think you are ready, also it is quite cheap you can get it from Amazon for around 18-20 $.

7. There is no need to show your face

Self-Portrait - Adventure
Photo by: Michael Shainblum

Most of the people believe that they need to show their chin rolls by looking down on the camera. However, this is untrue. A self-portrait is something that you have clicked with you as the subject. Don’t just focus on the face. You can click pictures of your hands, your legs, or your torso. Anything goes. Just be creative and come out of the ‘picture-your-face’ loop.

8. Use more creative lights

Self-Portrait - Light
Photo by: DVLX

There is no need for a proper flash unit for taking a self-portrait. Use more creative lights. You would get a lot of chances to play with lights and shadows in self-portraits. Use candlelight, a small tea light, floating candles, and even the light of your cellphone to click a creative picture.

9. Play with silhouettes

Don’t just focus on your body. Even the silhouettes of your stature created with creative usage of lights can make your portraits look perfect. Usually, lights placed on one side are great for this purpose.

10. Make use of props

Self Portrait- Prop Use
Photo by: Miss Laurelle

Try to use props. A small soft toy, book, spectacles, or anything similar can provide new depth and meaning to your image. You can even use pets as props. They are generally perfect for self-portraits.

11. Use a normal lens

Don’t experiment too much with the type of lens. There are a variety of lenses to choose from however a normal 50mm lens would be enough for taking good quality portrait pictures. If you are using a smartphone camera or a point and shoot camera, you don’t need to worry much about that.

12. Shoot in RAW format

Self-Portrait - Shoot-raw
Photo by: London Street Photo

This helps you in processing your pictures in a more professional way and adds more chances of beautiful effects, tight crops, and great saturation effects. Don’t be too afraid to experiment here. Here are few cameras listed that support raw format.

While taking selfies, you must focus on giving meaning to your pictures. Remember, a random picture of your palm of your hand might look great to you, but it would not have a significant impact on the others. Therefore, try to make pictures more meaningful. This is the only genre in photography where you can be crazy, meaningful, and fun at the same time. Therefore, try to be more creative, while clicking and post-processing, both. Have fun clicking!

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