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How To Figure Out Your Good Side - 7 Steps To Taking Self Portraits


Do you think you have a good side?
I know I do. It very well could be my imagination, but I am sure one eye is larger, and I like how my hair falls on one side of my head, but I don't like the other side as much...so which side do you like better?


It's all well and good to get a pro to take your headshot for your blog/web site, but isn't it more fun to be in control of the camera yourself? I love being the photographer, even for myself.

So here's what you need to do...PRACTICE. Take a bazillion photos from different angles, in attractive light, put on some make up too...if you feel good you will ultimately look good. And of course, there's always PicMonkey or Photoshop to make your teeth a little whiter etc.

A very easy way to take a pic of yourself is to use your smartphone. It usually fits in one hand, and you can flip the viewer around so you can see yourself while you take the photo. Here's some handy tips for phone selfie photos:

1. Lighting should be good, don't use your flash. Late afternoon, or early evening light is usually the most flattering. If you have lighter eyes you can turn your head so the light is hitting the side of your eye, making it look bluer or greener. Evening light is also very flattering on all skin tones...so you won't need to worry if you have a blemish.

2. Proportion, remember I mentioned one eye is larger than the other...you want to place what is larger in the background of the photo...so if my left eye is bigger I will take the photo with my right eye toward the camera... Keep in mind that depth of field is important, if it's closer it will appear larger.

3. Focus can be a challenge with a selfie. You don't want to jiggle the camera as you press the shutter. It's a great idea to have something to rest your arm or hand on while you're taking the pic. And remember to keep that arm out of the shot, so no one will know it's a self portrait.

4. Mood. Do you want to look alluringly at the camera, or pretend you're laughing, or maybe look into the distance, etc...? If you're taking this shot to use on your blog, you may want to convey a playful quality, or maybe more business-like. So think about what point of view your reader may take when they first meet you.

5. Size does matter. Look, we're not all stick figures, or athletes, or flat tummied moms of three...so if you're worried you look a bit plump in a photo don't worry! Did you know you can angle the camera from above to make your cheek bones more defined? Generally I try to stay away from pointing out a double chin from below...it's just not my favorite feature of myself! And guess what? PicMonkey has a little feature where you can "skinny" yourself a bit, or shave off a pound or two. Remember to focus on your best features...eyes, hair, smile, skin etc.

6. What should I wear? Well, if you're taking a close up then try to have more of an open-around-the-neck top that allows the viewer to focus on you. Unless you're using clothing, scarf, jewelry to help convey your image. Major patterns usually don't process well on blog, so it may look busier than you want. Simple, clean, elegant, neutral/bright can all work well in the selfie.

7. Backgrounds are in the picture too. A tidy background is a plus, or something that goes with your style...barn wood, bricks, trees, grass, a messy room, whatever goes with your style will work...just take several pics in different places until you find the one that works.

If you're going to use your camera (not your phone), I suggest using the timer on the camera. This will give you a chance to try out all sorts of poses, smiles and funny faces. Placing your camera on a flat surface helps too...plus you don't want to balance your expensive camera on a pile of books only to drop it...that would be sad.

For the fellas 

Photography Classes Online

Have you tried Craftsy yet? It's an awesome place and you should definitely go there! They feature many options for classes, so Photography is just one section, and there's a ton to choose from. Go at your own pace and choose the class that suits your needs best.


Kirk Tuck: Studio Portrait Lighting - Let photographer Kirk Tuck show you the equipment, setup and lighting techniques you’ll need to create alluring, professional-quality studio portraits.

Portraits With an On-Camera Speedlight - Use light to bring your portraits to life! Harness available light and learn advanced on-camera flash techniques with Neil van Niekerk.

Off-Camera Flash Photography with Neil van Niekerk - Put your subjects in their best light no matter what the setting by taking your speedlight off-camera and creating fantastic portraits with Neil van Niekerk’s expert flash techniques.


 

And of course, I highly recommend you try Shoot Fly Shoot for a great video course teaching you how to use your DSLR camera manually. I wrote a review of their Photography 101 class, and 102 is coming up in a week or two! Very affordable and great quality!

So have fun and enjoy taking a ton of pics of yourself...you're worth it and you're beautiful!

Disclaimer: some of the links in this post do have affiliate codes. Feel free to click through the links or type in the URL yourself. I only review products and services I really believe in and have tried myself. Thank you for supporting The Blog Guidebook!

Thank you to http://www.milliande-printables.com/ for the silhouette image.

4 comments:

  1. Ha! I thought it was only me........I favor my left side because I feel one eye is larger! Crazy! Great advice here, thanks for sharing!

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  2. I'm working on getting a new camera so this was so helpful. Thinkin' I'll check out the online classes. Thanks for the info. Jan

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  3. That's a lot to remember. I'm too old to care which side is the best. I 'm just glad if any side looks presentable and try to stick to just posting my grandkids. All their sides are cute!

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  4. You always have such great blog posts. I need to tell my photographer my good side. I've had some bad pictures taken!

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