Self portrait (or #selfie) is one of the most popular yet considered to be one of the most difficult photos to take...mainly because you won’t have anyone to assist you and tell you whether you’re taking a good shot or not. Despite being a tough act to pull, a lot people still engage in this form of photography regardless of the results. Because that is the fun of it. You might get something great or you might get the top of someone's head. You never know. So if you’re thinking of doing the same thing, here are some tips you should consider to get that one-of-a-kind #selfie you’ve always wanted.
The One Armed Approach
So you have your iPhone or point and shoot camera with you and you are ready to take a few selfie shots of just yourself or you and a couple of friends. Here is the best way to go about getting the shot. A few basics you want to remember for the "one armers" out there.
- Fully extend your arm. When you use two arms you take away space from a friend or significant other to get in close. Goes without saying to hold on to your camera or phone tightly.
- Raise your arm slightly higher than eye level. This is a flattering angle for pretty much everyone and avoids the dreaded "double chin"
- Relax your shoulder. If you don't it will look like your shoulder is crammed up against your cheek. Trust me...not flattering.
- Shoot horizontally 95% of the time. Only special circumstances require a vertical selfie...you will know when that time comes.
- For iPhone users - Use the "+" volume button as your shutter button.
- For folks who have a point and shoot camera. It is a bonus if you are left handed because that is what hand you will have to take the selfie with.
The Tripod and Timer – For the Fancypants
When doing a self-portrait, make sure you have a tripod and a timer with you. The tripod will allow you to position your camera at an angle that will enable you to get the picture you want. It will also help keep the camera steady and prevent you from holding on to it all the time making it easier for you to pose the way you want to.
The timer on the other hand gives you a small window to prepare yourself before the camera takes your picture. All you have to do is to determine how much time you need to get ready for your shot and then configure the timer’s setting to activate the camera after the time you set. The beauty about this device is that you get to keep your poise and avoid the hassle of scampering to the spot you have to be in before the photo is taken.
Other #selfie Tips:
Toy Around With Your Camera’s Focus
Doing a self-portrait doesn’t necessarily mean having to stick with the norm of having a clear subject and background. If you want something that’s one of a kind, consider playing around with your camera’s focus. Depending on the setting you choose, you can either highlight yourself or you can have your background stand out instead of you. This act of emphasizing and de-emphasizing either you or your backdrop can help add a unique twist to an otherwise ordinary portrait.
Be Creative With Your Lighting
Yes, lighting is a crucial element to a good portrait shot but just like your camera’s focus, you don’t necessarily have to stick with what everybody else is doing. To give your photograph a more artistic look, play around with your lighting. One of the things you can try is to take a photograph with and without your camera’s flash. You can also opt to use other lighting equipment such as a flashlight to help you focus on a particular element of your body or you can opt to use the light coming from a lamppost to give you the illusion of having a spotlight directed upon you.
Always Have A Nice Backdrop
Even though the focus is on you, having a nice background shouldn’t be overlooked. A background that’s unique can play a big role in adding life to your self-portrait. If the portrait you’re taking is a period piece, having a backdrop that captures that particular time will give off the impression that the photo was indeed taken during that period. It will also make it easier for you to immerse yourself and act out the character you’re pretending to be.
Don’t Be Afraid To Show Some Emotion
That is pretty much what it is all about. It’s okay to show some emotion when doing a self-portrait. Gone are the days when the only option you had was to flash a smile. These days, self-portraits depict people showing different emotions. The reason behind this is that it makes the portrait more compelling. You get to have the people viewing the finished product think and hopefully, react to your piece. These are the photos that people will react to on Facebook and Instagram.