July 09, 2012

How to Take Great Self Portraits

Clicking self portraits can be of great fun and at the same moment it can be challenging as well ! What makes this form of photography really of a challenge is – the need for right focus, timing, position and expressions altogether. Learning how to click great self portraits can be advantageous especially when there is no one around to snap your photos.

There are basically two ways in which a self portrait can be taken : one is taken while looking at the mirror, holding the camera; while the other one is simply taken by facing the camera towards your face, usually without using any mirror.

Tips for Self portraits taken in the mirror

If you are comfortable having your camera seen as a part of your picture then get ready to start snapping yourself with these step by step tips…

self portrait shot example1. Look for natural lights – Take your position and maintain a suitable distance from the mirror in such a way that your image in the mirror is well exposed to natural lights. If you are taking your shots in a room, then make sure that the windows and doors are open to let sufficient natural light come inside.

2. Expressions – Self portraits look great in natural pose rather than custom made poses. Be true to yourself and try to maintain your genuine smile and sense of humor before clicking the shoot button !

3. Setting the Focus – It’s always better to take your shots in auto-mode while capturing self portraits. So you don’t have to worry every time about setting the correct values of f-stop and aperture again and again. Just focus on your expressions and leave the rest on the auto mode of your camera.

4. Turning off the flash – When your photo is already well exposed with natural lights then what is the use of that artificial annoying light. Turn it off OR else end up correcting those over exposed photos in Photoshop.

5. Take multiple photos – Set your camera to take a series of snaps in one shot. This makes sense, discarding the ones’ you don’t like and keeping the good ones’ at the same time rather then repeating the whole process over and over again, getting disappointed with individual photos.

5. Capturing the photo – Get ready ! Position your camera in such a way that it does not block your face and expressions. Hold it firmly facing your photo in the mirror (while not loosing your expressions at the same time) and click the shoot button !

Tips for Self Portraits without using any mirror

It is the trickiest part to do. Why ? Because you don’t even get a chance to see how your photo looks like before actually capturing the picture. Secondly, you need to be careful about the right angle, position and true expressions altogether. Frankly, I usually click myself using this very technique and I always get wonderful results.

my own self portrait

On the left side, you can see my own self portrait. This is the photo I have posted in the about section of this blog while describing myself and my blog.

The fundamentals have remained the same – the need for proper natural lights, expressions, auto focus, turning off the flash and taking multiple photos !

There are just two basic tips for this form of photography, and these are :

Tip 1: Properly holding the camera – Hold your camera facing yourself in such a way that your arms do not block its view. Secondly, position the camera straight at the level of your face, gripping it firmly !

Tip 2: Looking into the camera – You can either choose to look straight into the camera with your genuine smile OR you can pose a little bit sideways or downwards (like I did) ! Try with different poses and angles until your satisfaction. Good results can be obtained only through regular practice. Don’t give up, try again and again; you will achieve amazing results for sure !

Best of Luck Smile Do you also love to take your self portraits like me ? Why don’t share your tips and experiences with us here ?