I started taking self portraits about a year ago. It´s an opportunity for me to get dressed up and get creative. I love both and I'm always happy to combine them! It is definitely a bit more difficult to get the angles I have in mind to get the crop right, compared to taking portraits of other people.
Before I start taking photos I often have an idea in my head and in the end it turns out completely different. Going with the flow is what I do now. When I try to hold on to an idea and it doesn´t work out I only get frustrated. Taking self portraits is also a great time for me to spend time just with myself:)
I usually make sure I have a lot of time to get ready, set up the background, camera, light etc. and in the end to take photos as I need that headspace to get creative. If you want to try taking self portraits I recommend having some music playing that fits to the theme you are going for. Make sure nobody disturbs you. Once I'm all set up I start taking photos and here is where the magic happens. As I said, I don't plan any shots, the only thing I plan is the outfit and feel of the shoot. I normally start taking very simple portraits, no props and no crazy light. Often these photos don't get used as they are just to get into the flow. Then I get ideas of how I could place my hands or how could integrate certain things I have in my flat, for example a nice vase, cup, an old curtain or a picture frame. Do you like how the sun creates cool patterns shining through a vase next to window? Integrate that! If the sun doesn't shine use a torch instead;) Sometimes I also move out of the frame I had planned. For example if the sun is hitting a certain spot on the wall I just take my camera and move there for a while. Anywhere in your home is a possible backdrop. Try everything that comes to your mind, as silly as it seems.
Sometimes I get very discouraged during the shoot as it seems like no picture looks good. I know from experience though that this often change once I see the pictures bigger on the computer screen. It also helps to just put a preset on and see how it looks then and get inspiration for your final edit.
You think you don't look good enough for self portraits? That's what I thought about myself as well! Put your favorite clothes on, do your make up, hair, whatever makes you feel good. Even put perfume on! Get creative. Like your lips or hands? Show them! You could hide your face behind something and just show your favorite parts of you! Or you could take shots that are out of focus, double exposure, hide your face with flowers. There are endless possibilities. And let me tell you something: You are beautiful! Most of the pictures we see are 1. a selection of the best ones 2. taken from an angle that makes the subject look flattering and 3.often photoshopped. Taking self portraits is not necessarily about showing how pretty you are, it´s about creating art!
What if non of the pictures look nice in your opinion? Who cares? At least you took that time to spend only with yourself;)
So here is a little behind the scenes video where you can see my set up:) Further down are my favourite photos of that photo shoot, ready edited:)
For more of my photography please check out www.regenweibchen.com