5 tips to take a bomb self-portrait right now
BY CHELSEA SCHMIDT
Sometimes there are days that you just really need some content and don’t always have a professional photographer at your disposal. It’s so important to show your face on your social media, especially if you are showing off a brand that you’ve created. You’re the face of it, show it off!
Whether you’re in a pinch or just want to learn how to take a good picture of yourself, I’ve got your back. I put together my top five tips to take a bomb self-portrait right now in your own living space.
1. Find the Best Light
You can typically find great light in front of a big, or even small, window. Turn off the overhead lights in your space and let the window light be your only source of lighting. Open the blinds, bring the curtains to the side, and let your shining face be the main attraction.
While natural light is normally the best light, it can also be a little harsh. Try stepping back from the window if it’s super bright or go to the opposite side of your home to find that softer glow. If the only natural light you’re getting is bright, direct light, I suggest finding ways to defuse it. This can be done by placing a white sheet over your window.
But what happens if it’s dark and dreary and you’re still looking for a good spot to set up? Try using a ring light or lamp. Ring lights are good because you can adjust the brightness. However, not everyone has a ring light on hand already. In this case, try using a good old fashion lamp. If it’s too bright, too warm, too cool, or any of those other pesky lighting issues, you can try the diffusing method here too. Just drape a sheet over your lamp or step back so it’s not right in your face. But remember, putting a sheet over your lamp is something to be very cautious about. Don’t leave it on too long and be mindful during your portrait process.
2. Do Your Hair and Makeup
Go ahead, throw on your favorite shade of lipstick! It’s important to show your best self whether that might be a quick brush through and some chapstick or full glam and a brand new hair style. Whatever style you go with, make sure it aligns with your brand.
If you are a casual person, an extravagant updo isn’t important. Let’s say that you sell luxury experiences though. You might want to do a little more than a quick brush through your hair because you are appealing to the clients that you want to book you. You want to try to show them a reflection of who you want to secure as a client.
3. Practice Using Your Self Timer
OK – you’ve found the best lighting, your makeup is done, and you just finished spraying your hair. Now how do you actually take a picture of yourself? Luckily phone cameras have the handiest tool – a self timer. Most phones have the ability to choose how long you’d like your timer to last. For example, you might be able to choose between 3 seconds and 10 seconds.
Nothing is more frustrating than getting all set up just to have your timer go off and you’re not even positioned right. For this reason, I recommend practice a few rounds with your self timer beforehand. That way you can ease frustration, know how long you really need to get in place, and to feel more comfortable in front of the camera.
If you don’t already have one, you can find handy remotes that connect to your phone. That way you can just click a button when you’re ready to take a picture. If you plan on taking a lot of portraits at home, this is a small tool that could really save you time and energy!
4. Practice Your Poses
This is the part that everyone dreads – how to pose. Your arm is weird, you weren’t smiling enough, the angle wasn’t right, your shoulders are hunched, yada yada yada. Trust me, we’ve all been there and it can be the worst. But don’t worry, I’m here to make this easy for you!
Go to your favorite photographer’s website or Instagram page. Look at the poses the use for their clients. Are their shoulders turned in? Are they touching their hair? Are they holding anything in their hands? Save a few that you feel drawn to and practice these poses a few times to get comfortable in front of the camera.
You can also take to apps like Pinterest and pull headshot ideas. Create a board just for pose inspiration. That way if you start taking pictures and don’t like the way they’re turning out, you have a plethora of other poses waiting at your disposal.
5. Download the Free Lightroom App
So you’ve taken a million pictures and now you have to choose the right one. Easier said than done, right? When you feel like you’ve found “the one” but it’s not quite there, you might just need a little editing to get you to the finish line.
Free apps for your phone like Lightroom have easy editing functions to make your pictures stand out. Try adjusting the lighting, contrast, and saturation. Remember not to go overboard! You want your pictures to stay looking as natural as possible. If you are feeling a little frustrated with this process (trust me, I get it), there are tons of editorial videos on YouTube that can walk you through.
Pose, Snap, Celebrate!
If you use these five easy self-portrait tips, you’ll be overflowing with content for your website and social media feeds. Who doesn’t love the sound of that? Take your bomb self-portraits and get to writing those posts! You’ve got this.