How to Photograph a Self Portrait
What triggered the idea for a self portrait was this beautiful blossoming tree in my boyfriend's backyard. I thought, "This would make the PERFECT backdrop for a dreamy, feminine photograph." I was leaving town in a couple days and this tree only blooms like this once a year for a short period of time, so I had to act fast. Unfortunately I didn't have access to a model, so I decided, "Why not take a self portrait!?"
The other problem I encountered was working in the harsh sunlight. As you can see in the photo above the light was quite constrast-y, not the most flattering for a portrait.
How I went about setting up this shot was finding a nice shaded area under the tree by positioning my boyfriend under it until I found the right light and framing with the blossoms. (He's so awesome for helping me!)
I adjusted my camera settings until I had the right exposure and aperture, then switched places with him. I had it set on aperture priority so he wouldn't have to fiddle with the settings because the sunlight brightness would change with every shot. I also chose a wide aperture to achieve that soft, dreamy focus. (These were all shot at F1.8)
I've handed my camera over to Pat several times before to take a photo of me because it is a lot easier and quicker than setting up a tripod. I've showed him how to use the single point focus and he knows it should always be on my eye to ensure the photo is sharp.
I moved around in a couple different poses until we captured a few photos I was happy with. I am quite picky when it comes to selecting photos I like of myself, so I totally understand how others can be critical of themselves when they are in front of the camera!
For advice how to feel confident in front of the camera, read my blog post 4 Tips to Feeling & Looking Your Best in Photos.
Lastly I adjusted the curves and increased vibrancy in Lightroom, there was no need for a lot of retouching as these photos were just for me.
I hope you found tis quick tutorial helpful! And I want to encourage anyone reading this to experiment taking a self portrait. I believe it is important we share photos of ourselves as entrepreneurs so we put a face to our name and work. That way we can share a little about ourselves allowing past and future clients to get to know us better.
If you are the one behind the camera and want to improve your photography, download my FREE Elevate Your Photos Checklist below!