Monday

5 tips for taking photos of yourself

Back in June, I shared my tips on taking great blog photos. A few people have contacted me to tell me that they've helped them, which is awesome, and some of those have said that they would love some advice on self portraits too. 
As ever, please remember that I have never had any form of photography education. I'm totally self-taught, so I'm not perfect and I might be doing things the wrong way! This is just what works for me. I recommend experimenting so you can find out what works for you. 

The previous tips apply, especially those on lighting, background and focus, so read those first, if you haven't already. These are additional tips to help you specifically with self portraits. 

1. Use a remote and tripod
Don't panic! I know this might sound like you need to go out and buy fancy equipment but it's not like that at all. On Amazon, tripods are around £20 and remotes about £5. I promise they will change your life! No more balancing your camera on stacks of books and trying to pose just in time with the beeps. Not to mention that you don't need to touch your camera, so you can take photos at a very slow shutter speed without blur if necessary. 

2. Positioning
This can be one of the hardest things about self portraits. How do you know when you're in the best place? If your camera, like mine, doesn't have a flip screen, there can be a lot of running back and forth to find the optimum position. So you run to the camera and, excellent! You're in the perfect position! Only now you've forgotten precisely where you were standing. I solve this by placing something on the floor to mark where my toes are. For my bed shoots, I aim the camera at the centre of the bed and use the reflection in the frame behind the camera to assess my position after every photo. Consider popping a mirror behind the camera so you can see your position without moving out of it. 

I also always find it better to leave a little extra space around me so I can crop as necessary, rather than have a frame that is too tight. 

3. Posing 
Posing can be so awkward. I think most people revert back to the hand-on-hip pose of yesteryear. I know I do! (Proof here, here and here). Then there's the fashion blogger poses. My advice? Don't try them unless you can pull them off. You'll just look like a tool! 
Experiment, experiment, experiment. Find what works for you. I know I like to do the one-hand-on-hip-one-on-my-skirt pose. It's clichéd, but I find it comfortable. If you're comfortable, and you feel good, it will show and you'll look more confident.

Having said that, I also like to do something different every now and then. One of my favourite things to do is put music on and dance, taking photos with my remote throughout. You'll find some great, natural poses that you would never thought of. Just be careful not to sing along- Singing faces are never pretty! 

4. Some extra advice on lighting
With lighting, find diffused light, rather than direct sunlight. Harsh light will create dark shadows and highlight imperfections. Diffused light (for example, on a cloudy day, or through a sheer curtain) is much more soft and flattering. Experiment with different positions in relation to the light- Looking straight into the light can make your face seem two-dimensional. Then again, positioning yourself side-on can highlight strong features, such as noses, and make them seem larger than they are. Obviously, everyone's face is different so find what works for you. 

5. Editing
Post-processing can be a hot topic when it comes to self-portraits. How much is too much? Is it acceptable to edit out a spot? How about a muffin top? Reshaping a nose? My policy on post-processing is simple: If it's a temporary blemish, it's fine to edit. This means I will sometimes edit out spots or red marks, dark circles and annoying flyaway hair. However, I always want to look like myself. I never edit my facial features, size/ shape or skin tone. I'm sure those people who have met me in real life will attest to the fact that I do actually look like my photos. Above is a photo of me totally make up- and edit-free. I look a little different, but only in the sense that I'm not wearing make up. There's no huge scars or raging acne that I've hidden from you. 

I hope this helped some of you. As I've said over and over and over again, the main thing is to experiment. What works for me might not work for you. Give it a go and let me know how you find it! 

45 comments :

  1. This was so helpful! Thanks Becky!
    Lots of love,
    Georgia: For the Love of Thrift / UK Blog
    xx

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  2. A Very nice post. Very helpful. Full of good points.
    Thank you!

    Sallamari
    mangosforflamingos.blogspot.com

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  3. Love this! my bf cant take flattering photos for toffee, i need to invest in a tripod! the first dress is really cute too! xo

    robyncarladanielle.com

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    1. Definitely invest in that tripod!

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  4. Really helpful - especially for a fledgling blogger like me! I'm a new subscriber and I love your posts, thanks!

    theinelegantwench.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much, Rachel! I'm glad you found it useful :)

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  5. That's really useful - especially for a fledgling blogger like myself! Thanks Becky, i'm a new subscriber and loving it!

    Rachel
    theinelegantwench.blogspot.com

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  6. Thanks so much for this post! It's really helpful. I hate taking photos of myself for my blog, I just find it so hard. I use a DSLR for my blog photos but always end up resorting to my iphone for self portraits as I find it easier. Definitely think investing in a tripod and remote is going to be the way forward.

    Hannah x
    hannahhepton.com

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    1. A tripod and remote makes everything so easy. I promise you won't regret it!

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  7. This is perfect! :)
    Thank you Becky :)

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  8. this is a really great post! And the tips are so useful! :)

    xoxo Grace

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  9. This is so great, I literally just got a new DSLR today. Going to check out your other photography post now!

    Hayley
    Water Painted Dreams
    xxx

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  10. This is so helpful. Investing in a tripod was the best thing I have ever done because it allowed me to actually go outside. Without a tripod, you're a tad limited as to where you can go.

    I use photoshop to erase blemishes,too. Never freckles, and never making myself slimmer. I hate when people do that, it's like, why are you even blogging then?

    http://www.katielikeme.com

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    1. Haha I know! What's the point if you're just going to make yourself look different?

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  11. This is a such a great post. I will definitely be back to go over these tips again. I definitely need to buy myself a little tripod for my point and shoot. I don't take many self portraits, but when I do it's typically the 'outstretched arm in front of face' type of thing...which isn't very flattering. Thank you so much for the tips and your self portraits are so pretty! I love your makeup!

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    1. Haha I do that too- The good old fashioned Myspace photo!

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  12. So handy! I desperately need to invest in a tripod. Siiiiigh. I'm hopeless at taking self portraits though- I always grin so broadly you can see my back teeth. It's a curse! xx

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    1. Just think of The Osman- Show us those bedroom eyes!

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  13. Great post Becky - thanks for the advice! Will be looking into a tripod and remote :)

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  14. These are great tips!

    Though I am curious as to what the "blogger poses" are? Hehe.

    Sophie :)

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    1. Haha Stu did a great post on them- http://www.notsolonelylondoners.com/2012/05/13/how-to-post-like-a-fashion-blogger/

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  15. This is so helpful! My brother is rubbish at taking photos and can never be bothered waiting for me to pose like an awkward little weirdo haha!
    You always look so gorgeous in your photos too :D

    Emma Rose xx
    wearmorecolour.blogspot.co.uk

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  16. great tips :D always love your portrait photos!

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  17. After following you on Twitter, I finally got round to checking out your blog! I love it! Really, it's amazing! This post is really helpful - especially as my selfies are pretty horrendous! xx

    http://colourmein-sc.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Haha thank you so much! I'm so glad you like it!

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  18. Oh your post has some great advice, especially since I'm new to blogging so I will for sure use a lot of the tips you gave. :) Thanks for sharing! :)

    Nina
    http://curvymod.blogspot.com/

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    1. I'm so glad you found it helpful!

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  19. This is such a great post, thanks! I think we all feel a bit daft trying out poses at first so it's nice that you are so honest. And your photos look so dreamy while still being natural.

    Kimberley x

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    1. Haha I nearly always feel daft!

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  20. Thank you for blogging about this! These pictures are gorgeous. I just started teaching myself photography too and I find it really fun. Haha, I'm not a natural poser so I do find posing awkward especially when someone else is behind the camera :P

    Olivia xxx
    Beauty from the Fjord
    Current giveaway: Beautecobox (beauty box)

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    1. Haha it is awkward but it can be a lot of fun too!

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  21. some fab tips, i really need to get myself a tripod back again after breaking it instead of trying to balance my camera on a wall or books etc!

    The Little Things

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  22. Yeah i'm pretty sure i'm the worst at taking photos... I should definitely listen to your tips!x

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    1. You need one of those weird little cling-on tripods!

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  23. That picture of you wearing the polka dots is literally so stunning Becky. Thanks for the advice, so helpful! xx

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I read all comments and appreciate every single one, even if I can't always reply. If you have a question or need a reply, feel free to tweet me @BeckyBedbug- I always reply to tweets!

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