Self-portraits have been a trend since the time when man first saw the reflection of his own image. Similar to Narcissus, it is often the case that we do not have to look beyond the tip of our own nose to think about something worth studying. Let me teach you some simple steps on how to make a good picture of yourself. So let’s get started!
8 Tips On How to Take a Self-Portrait
The location makes up the background of the image, so you must choose it carefully. What kind of background do you like? Do you like something full of lights, busy, or something plain? The choice of background is also determined by the theme of the photo. When choosing a location for the background, you should remember to avoid confusing backgrounds, visual patterns that can have a confusing image in the background, and colors that clash with your clothes.
Lighting is one of the things that most determines how a photo comes out. Never shoot into direct sunlight, as it can completely cover a person’s features and make the background appear excessively bright. Just in case the lighting is very dim, make sure you bring enough light to make the person in the picture visible. Soft light, such as candlelight or the light in the early morning, gives the picture a dreamy tone. Direct light in the form of a roughly focused high beam of studio light or sunlight gives the picture a more dramatic feel.
The composition affects the overall look of your photo. Choose the type of effect you want to achieve with the person taking the photo. Determine the frame and angle, as this affects how sharp and crisp your image will be. The photo composition also depends on what kind of story you want to tell through your picture. For example, if your focus is the expression and emotion of the subject (you), you should take a close-up. If you are a tall person, vertical snapshots will make your body and face look even taller.
4. Shoot from the Shoulder
Whether you use a smartphone or an SLR camera, you don’t want to show the device in the picture. Instead, hold it away from you at shoulder height, turn your body towards it and pull your opposite shoulder towards the camera. Then cut the other arm holding the camera out of the picture.
5. Tilt Your Head
People usually look great when they are not looking directly into the camera. It’s better to turn your head a little bit or have it at a slight angle, so tilt your head a little and lift your eyes up towards the camera.
6. Don’t Center Yourself
This is a little photographic secret that most photographers use. Start by visually dividing the frame into thirds: Instead of being in the middle of the portrait, sit away from the center so that you fall into either the first third or two-thirds of the frame. This makes the snapshot look more interesting.
7. Think Outside the Box
You don’t always have to have your face in the frame to take a self-portrait. If you want a picture of yourself lying on the beach, fold your legs together like ‘a la Heidi’ did. This pose flattens your stomach and prevents your legs from appearing colored. You could shoot only half of your face, or shoot the back of your face looking into the distance. It all depends on the mood you’re going for.
8. Capture You
And last but not least, capture your personality! A self-portrait should be a truly personal expression, not just a representation of something you have encountered somewhere. Think about what you want to be and how you want to express it. Use scenery, props, lighting and pose to express your personality. And above all: have fun taking pictures!