How to Take Gorgeous Self Portraits
By: Jennine Jacob

How-to-take-good-self-portraits
Follow on Bloglovin
Pinterest

When it comes to Fashion Blogs, there is no more personal way to create original content that the ol’ “What are you wearing” post.

Image by Dustin Fenstermacher

Even if the main focus of your blog may not be personal style, WAYW photos help personalize your blog and connect with your readers. From experience, taking photos of myself was tricky at first, and through a lot of trial and error, I’m a lot happier nowadays with my wardrobe pics than in the early days of my blog. Here are some tips to help you achieve the quality photos you want for your blog.

The Camera

With fashion blogs, pictures are a vital part of the content. Just think of a fashion magazine with little to no photos. Yeah. Cameras actually do make a difference, your camera phone is not going to produce the same quality results as a DSLR. Luckily, digital cameras are relatively easy to get your hands on, new or used. When I first started, I just had a small digital camera I got for Christmas (which was all I needed at the time) but as I took photos daily, I came to realize what I needed in a camera, small enough to fit in a clutch, video, could photograph in low light, and could be propped (flat sides).

Portrait in the Mirror via The Coveted

Because I’m a label whore, I went with the Canon Powershot mostly because it had good reviews, and the price was right (less than $250). Then as I was taking pictures every day, of everything, pushing the limits of the little point and shoot,  it became apparent that perhaps I needed a DSLR,  so I purchased the Canon Digital Rebel XT, it’s a great small SLR, many students have this camera, and I was able to get one on sale for around $500. They are both great cameras, and I use them for different purposes, for instance, a self portrait in the city may not be so discreet with a SLR on a tripod. The little point and shoot is great, but it doesn’t really catch the depth and detail as the SLR.

Self timer vs. Remote

For the first year and a half of my blog, I set up the camera, did the timer, then ran to my position, posed, waited for the photo, then ran back to the camera, check it, get pissed because my shoes didn’t make it in the frame, set the camera again…

The self timer is ok, if you are going to do one picture or maybe two. Maybe you don’t need more. However If you have perfectionist leanings, then get a remote. It’s made my life so much easier, and my photos have gotten so much better, not just because I’m using a better camera, but because I’m not frustrated from running back and forth. Remotes are about $20, and the batteries have a long run. So it’s worth the small investment.

Image by Dustin Fenstermacher

Shooting

When I first started taking photos of myself, I found it very difficult to relax in front of the camera, which ended up with a lot of stiff looking portraits. I still have a hard time in front of the camera, and though I’ve heard people practice a ‘picture face’ you know like Paris Hilton, or Blue Steel, but I’ve never been able to do that. Here are some of the methods I try to relax:

  • Tell a story with the photo, add a prop to help. A chair, an umbrella, glasses, a tea cup works just fine
  • Listen to music and dance to it
  • Singing ( that makes everyone sooo happy)
  • Place a mirror behind the camera and focus on the ‘dressing up’ part
  • Think of something that makes me happy

While head to toe shots are the most popular, that doesn’t mean it’s the only composition. Try experimenting with detail shots, ones that give us a better feeling of the overall vibe of the outfit.  Like the picture below, I may not know what Audrey’s outfit really looks like, but I tell you, I really want a pair of plaid stockings.

Image by Dustin Fenstermacher

Editing

Sometimes a photo is perfect as-is, but in my experience, that’s rarely the case. Cropping, color correction, resizing, are all important in producing a great photo. If you have Photoshop, great use it, play around, that’s how you learn, well that’s how I learned.

If you don’t have Photoshop, I’ve been hearing GIMP is an open source alternative. The cost is how much you would like to donate.

Picknick is another great free photo editing tool, like PunkyStyle uses (below) it’s fully integrated with Flickr, but if you go to the site itself,  you can edit your photos and save them to your Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa, or save it on your hardrive, or email it. Now, that’s handy.

What are some tips you’ve learned in self portraits?

More tips on self portraits:

Related Forum posts:

Comments

Trackbacks for this post

What do you think?