There are several reasons that can lead us to want to make a self-portrait. You realize that you have photos from all over the world but you never go out, you need a model, you want to put into practice the photography tips you read on the blog or in our Portraits book , you don’t want to waste your beauty or your grace or you want immortalize an important moment in your life and you have no one to portray you … Surely something similar has happened to you and if not … time to time, sooner or later you will find yourself in one of the above situations.
That is why I am writing this article today with tips and tricks, to make this task easier for you, which is not as simple as it seems, but not impossible.
In principle you have two ways of self-portraying yourself, a “here I catch you here I kill you” or something more cursed. The first option is when we stand in front of a mirror and shoot camera in hand (please, in that case run away from the bathroom mirrors and do not use flash), or when we stretch the arm which Inspector Gadget. This last option is useful for example if you are only traveling and want to portray yourself with a monument in the background (try not to leave your arm or cut it later from your computer).
Surely you have already experienced these two methods, now if you want a self-portrait in conditions, read on.
TIPS FOR GETTING MAGNIFICENT SELF-PORTRAITS
1. Arm yourself with patience. I have already told you that it is not a simple task. You will have to dedicate time and patience. Try again and again, shoot many times until you find the expected result and this time it is not from the comfort that comes from being behind the viewfinder, this time you will have to go and look at the result from your position again and again …
2. Plan. You may find it strange, but a self-portrait is not just any photograph, a portrait has to convey your personality or an emotion. Find the right place and think about the costumes or dare you are going to use. You can also rehearse gestures and postures in front of a mirror. With the models we usually have it easy, move like this or “asao” but as we don’t see each other … then we can take surprises .
3. Take care of the lighting. I remind you how to get stunning photographs with natural light , although you can also use the fill flash if necessary. Light will determine a large part of what you want to convey with your self-portrait, soft light, hard light, natural or artificial. Give it the importance it deserves.
4. Use a tripod. It is the best option to hold the camera, although failing that you can place it on a firm surface, such as a table or a wall. If you do not have but want to get one, Mario tells you the tripod that your SLR camera would like to have .
5. Use a remote trigger or timer. The remote trigger is not essential, however it is of great help, especially if you are at a considerable distance and as much as you run as Usain Bolt you do not have time to hit the button and return to your position. For about nine euros you can get one and I assure you that the result is worth it. Cable ones are even cheaper, but it will also limit your distance.
6. Frame well. Ok, this, along with the next point, are the most difficult to carry out, so I will extend a little more in them, because it is very easy to say but doing it is another song. It will be very likely that you shoot and when you go to check the result you will find that you do not go out in the photo! Or else only your arm appears or a blurred image of someone trying to place … Do not worry, this is very normal that happen. To avoid this you can use several tricks:
- If you are lucky enough to have a rotating screen … you can skip these tricks because you will have it easy easy to turn the screen towards you, if not, keep reading .
- Put marks on the wall or floor to know where you have to place yourself.
- It uses a very wide framing and later trims with a computer program. A wide angle will help you in this case.
- Framing close-ups is somewhat more complicated, since any minimal mistake will make you disappear leaving a sadly empty scenario. If your camera has an LCD screen you can place a mirror behind and see the result reflected. If you are like me and you do not have that luck, shake a doll or any other object and put it in the place where you will have to place yourself later (eye … do not forget to remove it later! ).
7. Focus well. Ains, how easy it is to say this and how complicated it is to do it, right? If you have already tried, you will know what I am talking about, if not, you are lucky enough to have some tricks before taking many clicks:
- The easiest is to use a small aperture, or what is the same, a large depth of field (a high f number). This ensures that there are more elements of the photo focused.
- Another option is to activate all the focus points automatically and wait for some to focus on us. Although it is a bit risky and it will cost you more than one trip to check.
To refine a little more and especially to get impressive portraits, of those that we have already spoken to you in other posts, and in which for example you blur the background or only focus your eyes, there are also other tricks that work very well:
- Focus manually on a doll or similar, the same that has served you for framing can be worth it .
- Focus backwards. The distance between two points is the same from the point you measure it, right? Then leave the tripod in place, put where your brand is, focus and put the camera back in its place. You can now register and shoot!
- If you have a wall behind, put a mark in the place where you are going to put. Place a thread on the target that reaches just the tip to the mark. Now make a manual approach to that mark, put yourself in front of it and tense the thread by putting the tip just in front of your eye. If it is somewhat loose, remove the tripod until the thread is tensioned. I tell you the eye because in the portraits it is the part that should be focused, but if you want to experience and focus for example your nose, then you know … the thread at the tip of your nose .
8. Shoot in burst. If your camera allows you to shoot in burst mode, it will be easier for some to come out decent. Mine, for example, does not allow me to shoot in a burst if I use the remote control, although with the timer.
9. Let your imagination fly. Have fun, dress up, make faces, experiment! The session will be more enjoyable and you will endure more time, which means more practice, more learning.
10. Take care of the composition and other aspects. Last but not least, I remind you that you should also take into account aspects such as composition, background or harmony of colors. If you want to review the rules or advice on composition, read this article .
I hope these tips have helped you and you are already thinking about the place where you plan to self-portray and what you want to convey.
Remember that you are the model that can have more patience with you and that may be available whenever you want . I encourage you to get down to work and practice! Oh, I forgot, if you liked the article please share it, so it will reach more people. Thank you!