You can’t hire a photographer. I feel you. Your husband/boyfriend is not a photographer and shows very little interest in making some good photos of you. Because, it takes time, and effort, and I get him, too. But no worries, with these tips you can easily make self-portraits for your social media – by yourself.
No time to waste, so let’s get to it right away.
Here are a few tips on how to take better self-portraits
1. First things first. Prep and plan.
I rarely do my self-portraits the day I need them. Instead, I think of what I need and when I ran out of the ones I already have, I plan a photoshoot. I get clear on what I need, what I want to show, how I want to look like, and what story I want to tell.
I put it in my notebooks, and I schedule it a week or days in advance. So when the day comes, I know what I will be doing, what needs to be done before, like cleaning or getting props ready, etc. I also have some outfits in my mind and I prepare them the day before, or at least I make sure they are not at the end of the laundry pile.
When you plan like this, you will make the process less painful. When you don’t get what you were hoping for and you lost hours, it can be… stressful. When I started planning and preparing in advance, I saved myself time, nerves and improved the quality.
Important: empty your camera card the day before, and charge your batteries/phone.
2. Next, lightning.
Lightning is the first thing you want to pay attention to. Because photography is all about lightning. You might have heard this one before, but the more you hear it, the better you will learn. If you use any kind of bulb light, you are drastically decreasing your image quality. Unless you know what and why you are doing it, of course.
So, the first rule – make it a daily light for better self-portraits. No matter if it’s indoors or outdoors, you want your images to be taken with natural light only, except if you know how to use studio lights. There are exceptions, buy hey, we’re only starting here. So, stay cool and listen next.
Position yourself next to a window and look what kind of a light you got there. If it’s a south window and the sun is bright in the middle of the day, you will have to move away from the window, unless you want to play with light and shadows. If it’s a window on the north, any time of the day will be good.
Best time to shoot would be anytime before noon, and after 3pm – approximately. It depends on the season and the part of the world you are.
To simplify, you want to avoid the hard sunlight in the middle of the day. It brings too bright contrast of light and shadows, and it will make your face look hard. And we want it soft. For this occasion at least. That is, of course, unless you know what you’re doing and why.
3. Use a tripod
Instead of taking your phone or the camera in your hand and making a ‘selfie’ type of image, it would look a million times better if you put it on a tripod. Anything else would be good if you don’t have one, but if you plan on managing social media for your business and showing up more in the future, I highly recommend getting one.
Until that time, you can put your camera/phone on a table, shelf, stash of books, chair on top of a table, chair on top of a chair… you get it. Do yourself a favor and use a tripod and make your self-portraits SO much better. Out-of-hand selfies are so… last decade.
Set the camera/phone to the timer, or use a remote controller. I use both.
You can look beautiful just as your heart is
4. Strike a pose
This is the fun part, so let’s not make quantum physics out of it. You do you. If you don’t know how to pose, find inspiration on my Pinterest account. Click here to see an entire gallery with self-portrait photo inspiration. Some are of yours truly, some are of others.
Since you know what is the image for and what story are you telling, you will know what poses will be preferable. To be more clear – you in your sexy pj’s in-between bed sheets is not a good image choice to talk about what you sell. Unless you sell the PJs. You get it, don’t you?
5. Relax and make it fun
It seriously doesn’t have to be serious. I mean, nothing in life should be taken seriously. Unless maybe health. Where am I going with this? Okay, back to making you look gorgeous in front of your audience.
The thing is, you probably love your job. Your new business. You love creating. You want to help people, you want to make them happy. So take it easy. Have fun today. Relax. You’re not competing with anyone. Put on some high vibe music that won’t distract but act as a supporting background. Remember to breathe and drink some water.
6. Finally, shoot.
Make sure your camera/phone is set to remote. Check your focus settings. I usually put my to manual, then set focus having something put to where I will be posing (like a rolled yoga mat), and then shoot, take a look, repeat.
If you’re not satisfied with the light, see what you can make to improve or change it. Try a few poses and see how you like them. See if your outfit works, or maybe you need to change something to better fit the surroundings. Check your hair or if anything is protruding out of your head, neck, sleeves, or anywhere in the frame.
Keep shooting, improving, adjusting until you are satisfied. Change your outfit, change your hair, add some make-up if you use any, then repeat.
And that’s it. I hope these tips will help you how to make better self-portraits for your business and social media. It is so important to show your face in front of your audience on regular basis and grow connections that way.
I hope you liked this article. If so, make sure you leave a comment to let me know, or to ask any questions. I’m here to help.
Find me on my Instagram @marina.cosic and tag if these tips were helpful and so I can cheer you on. If there is anything else you need help with, let me know.
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