Where to Begin with Self Portraits

As a photographer, I am MUCH more comfortable behind the camera – and even then I’m nervy.

However, us photographers don’t always have the models at hand to help us capture the imagery ideals that we come up with.

That’s where the self portraits come in.

Self portraits and selfies, are not the same thing.

Okay, let’s just clarify that.

Self portraits, however fancy or simple you feel like going, are art, and are just as worthy as any other form of portraiture.

I always hated modelling for my classmates when I studied photography, and I still get nervous, but I love being able to put my ideas into action – something I cannot always do if I don’t have a model.

So, it was time to start self portraits.

Moon Child

Start small, and start safe – it’s easier to build up slowly than throw yourself into the deep end, become entirely overwhelmed and never do it again.

My first set of self portraits were done in my room, by myself, in the dark, at 1am.

Pretty safe.

I don’t love them, but I LOVED being creative and pushing myself to do something I hadn’t done before.

It’s still a work in progress but I’m starting to think up ideas and places I could take some portraits and putting them into action.

For inspiration, follow self portraiture photography accounts and check out Pinterest.

Pinterest is my no1 go to for inspiration – it’s full of art, as well tips and tricks to practice to capture your perfect shot.

Don’t underestimate it.

Have fun with your shots!

What you need:

1) your phone or camera

2) a little bit of lighting (a torch, fairy lights or your bedside lamp)

3) a tripod or someplace to balance your phone/camera (where it won’t get broken!)

4) an idea

5) YOU!

It’s okay if your first attempt doesn’t turn out the way you want it too.

Starting self portraits is always scary!

Same goes for your second, third, and 25th attempts.

As I always say: if you get one photograph out of a shoot that you like (even if you look 500) then you had a successful photoshoot!

And if you didn’t, it was a learning curve and experience that work towards future successful shoots!

So either way, pretty darn successful.

Apps to edit your shots!

1) Lightroom for phone (it’s free)

2) PicsArt – free and premium version

3) Snapseed

4) VSCO

5) Whitagram

6) Gimp 2.0 (laptop version)

7) Photoshop

I personally used the first three & Gimp, as I’ve found they’re the ones I get the most benefit from. Play with different apps until you find one (or a couple) you’re comfortable with.

Lightroom is ideal for working with the exposure and colours of a photo – you don’t get quite as many editing options if you buy the premium version, but it does the trick!

PicsArt is great for adding images and layers, as well as editing skin – I sometimes blend out my acne or dark circles, and smooth certain parts of my skin if I think it needs it. (However remember not to get caught up on that, as we DO NOT NEED to be editing our skin so it looks like glass x)

I use Snapseed for editing exposure, adding filters, expanding images and also has a basic portrait mode if you want to smooth out skin, highlight the face or eyes. (Again, remember you don’t need to change your skin texture to be classed as attractive or pretty or handsome).

Gimp is the free app that works much like photoshop, I use it on my laptop because I can’t afford to subscribe to Adobe yet, as much as I want too.

Have you ever tried self portraits?

If you have, send me them, I’d love to see your work!

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