6 Steps to Great Self Portraits

6 Steps to Great Self Portraits

If you consider yourself a “mom with a camera,” then you’ve probably grown quite comfortable with being BEHIND the camera. However, that also means that there are very few photos of you with your kids.

This year, we want to change that. In fact, Daily Mom challenges you to get IN FRONT of the camera with your kids on a more consistent basis (weekly, monthly, etc). Today, we’ll give you the basics of getting started in self-portraiture and how to incorporate these steps with your children.

Step 1: Get Over Yourself

Self portraits aren’t embarrassing and they aren’t vain. Self portraits are an art form. We believe that the art of self portraiture teaches far more about photography than shooting random objects. It is challenging, but that’s exactly why every self-respecting photographer should get decent at working the camera from the front. Once you stop thinking of self-portraiture as something frivolous, you’ll find yourself taking more and more photos.  
 
And once you do that, taking photos with your kids will be something that you and your family look forward to. 

Step 2: Get the Right Equipment

If you want to make your life easier, you’ll need a remote and a tripod. You can certainly take a self portrait without either of those items (using a table as a tripod and using your camera’s self timer), but buying a remote and a tripod will save you a ton of frustration.

Step 3: Master Your Focus

Focus can be the most difficult aspect of taking a self portrait. This is where having a remote can help a lot.

However, if you don’t have a remote, you’ll need to use something or someone as a placeholder to focus on. If you have children who are willing to sit still, they can be your placeholder. Otherwise, choose a placeholder that’s approximately your height and is light enough (a chair, a tripod, a tall plant) to move out of the way within 10 seconds. 

Step 4: Find the Right Pose!

The scariest aspect of self-portraits is the fear that you will look bad/weird/silly. And it is understandable, since you can’t really see yourself in the viewfinder, you have no idea what you’ll look like. So, it’s useful to remember a few key rules about poses and angles in general. Here’s an example of some of the more flattering full body poses for women:
 

Step 5: Involve Your Family

One of the more useful and rewarding aspects of having the skill of self-portraiture is being able to take your own family photos. Once you’ve practiced some selfies, you will be happy to find out that you no longer have to be missing from the annual Christmas card. It will become so easy that you will do all your own shoots: anniversaries, maternity, family portraits, holiday cards, girls’ nights out.
 
 
And the best part is that you can do it any time you want and any way you want: no scheduling conflicts, no style clashes, no waiting for photos.

Step 6: GET CREATIVE!

You will be amazed at how much more creative you can get when you’re the photographer AND the model. You can bring YOUR vision to life without anything to get in your way. There are so many creative ways to explore self-portraiture and you’ll have a blast creating works of art with or without your kids in tow. 
 
 

In conclusion, self portraiture has nothing to do with how attractive you THINK you are. Photographers don’t turn down people who they consider unattractive and your children certainly don’t see all the flaws you see in yourself. Don’t make it about your looks, make it about the art of capturing a moment. Taken a step further, make it about being IN the moment. 

Want more posing tips? Check out: 
How to Look Great in Photos

Photo credits: Ashley Sisk and The Art of Making a Baby

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Ashley Sisk

Ashley lives in North Carolina with her husband, two children and Kitty Paw. She's a work-from-home mom with a natural light photography business and a passion for sharing everything she knows. Since leaving the corporate world, she now spends her time chasing her preschooler, nursing her new baby, writing and finding ways to enjoy life. You can find her on Facebook, Google + or on her website.

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