Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tips For Taking Self Portraits

I consider myself to be pretty good at taking self portraits. I take self portraits for pretty much every project I get the chance to do so for. Self portraits are my favorite because I don't have to worry about posing people or finding people when I need them and I always know exactly what I want, so I'm just the best subject I have. Since I do them so often, I've figured out that there are many ways to make it easier and tips that can be really helpful.

  • Use a camera with a flip screen
It's so much easier to see what the picture looks like and be able to compose it when you can actually flip the screen to see it while you're in front of the camera, kind of like when you take a selfie with the front camera. If you don't have a camera or access to one with a flip screen, you can put a mirror behind the camera so you can see the screen in the reflection. 

For this photo, I set the camera on a chair in front of me and flipped the screen toward me. I used the timer and would give myself a few seconds to set myself in front of the camera and I looked in the flip screen to place myself in the shot.

  • Use a tripod 
Using a tripod is much easier than having to set the camera on top of a chair or stacked boxes (which I do a lot) because it's easier to move and get the angle and height you want. If you don't have a tripod, I would suggest using a friend if you can. You can just set up the shot and settings how you want and ask your friend to to hold the camera in the right spot and press the shutter release. If you don't have friends or a tripod, then I guess you're stuck using chairs and boxes. 

For this photo, I set up the shot with a friend in my place and set all the settings on the camera before handing it over to my friend and asking her to keep it in place and press the shutter release once I was in the place I had set the shot around

  • Use the timer 
You can just set the timer on the camera so after you press the shutter release you'll have time to get into position. It's even better if you have a little remote shutter release so you can press it from far away instead of having to run to and from the camera to get into the shot. 

I came up with the idea for this photo while taking a shower, so I actually ran out and grabbed the camera and set it up on the counter pointed toward the shower. I set the timer to give me enough time to hop back in the shower and get into position behind the sliding glass. 

  • Put someone or something in your place to focus the camera on
If I don't have someone to put in my place while I focus the lens, I usually put something in my place depending on what I'm planning for my position to be. If it's close up, then I can sometimes put my hand out far enough to focus where I plan to be, but if it's farther I tend to find something that can stand on its own like a chair. Pretty much anything works.

In order to take this photo, I put the chair I am sitting in, in the spot of where I wanted the photo to focus. I focused on different parts of the chair and used the timer to get into position so that different photos had different main focal points and chose the one where I liked the focal point best. 

  • Plan it out
It's much easier to take the photo if you already know what you want it to look like. If you know where you want to be in the shot, you can set it up accordingly. At the same time though, I would suggest you play around with it and try different things if you get any new ideas. You never know what you'll end up liking the best. 

I had the idea for this photo for weeks before I finally did it. I had originally wanted to do it with someone else as the subject but figured it would be easier to do on my own rather than finding someone to take time out of their day to pose for me. I knew exactly what I wanted, and although I tried a few different angles and positions for this photo, I ended up with a photo similar to what I originally visualized. 

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