A lesson in self portrait photography

There’s a clear winner here!

Have you ever noticed that some photos of people look great, and others are incredibly ordinary?  A while back I noticed a trend in portrait photos where the photographer shot from above, and I couldn’t help but love the results.  So, a couple of years ago when I got a call saying “Quick, we need a photo of you for SIA today!”, I decided to get the tripod set up and use the timer to snap a pic of myself.  How hard could it be, right?  So … out into the backyard we went, my tripod-mounted camera and I, and I set the timer, plonked myself in a chair and smiled.  I must have taken a dozen photos like the one on the left and I hated them all.  Then I remembered the photos I liked online and decided to shoot from above.  It was tricky, and I fell into the garden at one point LOL … but I preferred the look.  I was able to send this photo same day (ok, so I photoshopped it a little … I had the flu!), and was actually pleased to see it on the SIA website the next day.

So, if you are going to tackle some self portraits with your dslr, there are a couple of things to bear in mind.  Try even lighting rather than dappled light.  Shooting on an overcast day gives amazing results!  After you take a few photos, have a look at them … what’s in the background?  I had taken a dozen before I realised there was a dead potplant in the garden behind me.  Remove anything from the background, or move the camera to capture the best background possible.  Put your camera up on your tripod as high as you can and get down low.  Even better … get together with a friend and take each other’s photo!


2 thoughts on “A lesson in self portrait photography

  1. Hmmm, maybe with these tips I could actually take a photo of me that I might like? We’ll see. I don’t believe I’m ugly in real life but I am incredibly unphotogenic!

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