Picture it, Dallas Texas 2016 a woman all dressed up for her birthday dinner. She looked amazing, her hair and makeup were perfect and her brand new dress fit like a glove. All she wanted that night was to have amazing photos taken of her in her beautiful birthday ensemble. What she got instead was a friend taking hasty photos, who didn’t care about her poses or the lighting or angles and a camera roll full of useless birthday pictures. Epic fail. Now that woman (me, obviously) has learned to master the art of a good self-portrait. Below I’ll go over some things that have helped me and maybe they’ll help you.
The first key to taking good self-portraits is to know yourself. Meaning your angles, what your good side is, what colors you look good in, and things like that. Study yourself in the mirror doing different poses and practice smiling. Trust me, it sounds ridiculous but it works.
Next, get familiar with your phone. Your smartphone is a gold mine for taking great photos. When I started this content creator journey, I just knew that I needed all of the fancy and expensive camera equipment and lighting to get a great shot. After some research and getting deep into my iPhone features and different apps, I saw that everything I needed to get started I already had it in my hand. Take a photo of yourself and then go to the edit button on the top right corner. There you can find the different color filters, crop your photo and play around with the exposure and depth of your photos. It’s so much you can do right in the camera app of the 900.00 dollar phone in your hand.
Editing Apps- Even with the built-in editing on your smartphone, there are tons of free editing apps you can download to take your self-portraits to the next level. I currently use the Lightroom App, they have paid and free features and you get a ton of options to edit your photo with filters, sizing and organization of photos you upload. Lightroom also has options called presets that you can use to give your photos a set color scheme. Next, I use Snapseed, this is an app by Google and is fantastic for photoshop like additions to your photos. I use a smoothing tool to give photos a clean and crisp appearance (not a velvet face appearance) but if you like that, then Snapseed can do that too. ColorStory is another app where you can apply cool filters to take your photos in a more dramatic direction. Most of the best features on Colorstory require a subscription, so keep that in mind.
Lastly, let’s talk about equipment. Currently, I use a small tripod that came with a Bluetooth remote and the self-timer on my phone. That’s it, my equipment costs a total of $35.00 or so. I’ll link the tripod information below. Again, utilizing the that functions that your phone is already equipped with will save you time and money. Worried about looking crazy when you take a selfie? The self-timer is your golden ticket to getting your pose and angles just the way you want them. Set the time for either 3 or 10 seconds and practice, practice, practice.
Putting your phone on the tripod frees you up from having to hold the camera and trying to find the angles, lighting, and the right pose. Having a tripod also makes it easier to get full body photos, and take photos in different environments.
It’s my personal belief that most people hate selfies or photos of themselves because they don’t know how to work their angles and the selfies they do have are all up close and in bad lighting. It doesn’t have to be this way, pals. I’m here to tell you that you can achieve a great self portrait for minimal cost and a little practice.
Let me know which apps or tools you use to nail your selfies. Leave a comment below and don’t forget to subscribe.