It’s no secret digital creators rely on PHOTOGRAPHY. When it comes to taking photos of ourselves, most of us either hire a professional, ask a friend or family member to lend a helping hand. But relying on someone else isn’t always possible so instead you can do it yourself like I do. Yup, I’m my own DIY photo-shoot studio with my camera and trip-pod always in tow. After years of practice and a lot of bloopers, I think I’ve finally mastered the selfie technique – at least good enough for digital content on my own blog. Read my how-to’s, pros + cons, cringe moments and why I still prefer to take my own self portraits to this day.
Professional vs Amateur
But first, let’s be real. I am not a professional photographer but rather just your average Joe who before blogging, only took photos with my Iphone. Over the years, my passion for creating digital content has led me to learn how to use a DSLR which I now use interchangeably with my phone camera. I have utmost respect and admiration for the community of professional photographers who’s services are much appreciated and needed by those who hire them. For me, I choose to take my own photos primarily for convenience and my desire for self-learning and appreciating the art-form.
Taking Self Portraits Pros + Cons
FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING – This is the number one pro for me. With a constantly busy schedule, it’s often hard to coordinate dates and times that work for both myself and a photographer. It’s way easier for me to plan and fit my sessions in when it works for me and me only. This includes impromptu sessions on my way home from the office or on my way to an event. I always prefer taking outdoor shots and the weather can be unpredictable. When it does cooperate, I like to be flexible and ready to capture at a moments notice.
TONS OF SHOTS AT YOUR FINGER TIPS TO REVIEW. Who doesn’t like having lots of options to choose from? Because I use a blue tooth remote or interval shooting mode (more about that later), I always get a ton of shots to select when shooting my own photos. And even better, I can instantly review them, mark my favourites and filter out the shots I’d rather not see again.
BE IN CONTROL, EDIT YOUR OWN PHOTOS. Not only may some photographers limit the time or number of photos per session, you may not be able to access their raw/unedited photos. Being your own photographer lets you edit your own photos the way you want especially when you want control over creating your own esthetic.
NO LONGER IMPOSE ON OTHERS. Remember those times when you felt like you were imposing on someone else’s time? Or when you begged your spouse or friend “I promise, just a few more shots, pretty please?”.
BUDGET FRIENDLY. As with a lot of other services these days, sometimes we just can’t justify or afford hiring a professional to do the work. But don’t let being on a budget stop you from capturing special moments or from creating content. And let’s not forget the real satisfaction and reward from learning to do and master something on your own. Sweat equity is an investment of your time, but will be totally worth it and save you loads of dough.
YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN. The pressure’s on, DIY means a lot of work done alone by yourself without any helping hands or friendly guidance from others.
TRIAL & ERROR. It takes practice, more practice, and more practice after that. From blurry shots, photo bombers to hecklers and curious on-lookers, self-photography can be a lot of effort, time consuming, and just down right uncomfortably awkward.
How To, Tips & Tricks
- Camera – use your phone camera or DSLR. I interchange using my Iphone 11 Pro and my Sony A6400.
- Blue tooth enabled remote or interval shooting mode. Most DSLR’s have an interval shooting mode feature and you can select the timing and how many shots your camera will snap per interval. Alternatively, there are a ton of blue tooth remotes available on Amazon. I like using a rechargeable remote small enough in size to disguise and hide in photos.
- Tripod – any tri-pod will do but I recommend a lightweight & portable one since you will be carrying it plus other equipment by yourself. And don’t forget the adapter mount if you are using your phone camera.
- Pick a date, time and location – check the forecast and mark your calendar. Select a quiet location with minimal wander-by traffic.
- Check and charge your equipment – there’s nothing worse than arriving on location ready to shoot to find out your blue tooth or camera batteries are dead
- Pack ahead – organize and pack everything the day before in a comfortable carrying bag (shoulder tote, or rolling case).
- Be organized and know where everything is so you can be quick and ready to go.
- Park nearby your location so you don’t need to walk and carry things too far.
- Guarantee you’ll be in the shot – don’t waste any time or shots by making sure you’ll be in each picture frame. Find a target on the ground to stand on by looking through your camera’s view finder. This will guarantee you’ll be in the shot when you move into position.
- Click a few and check. Adjust your positions and poses until you like what you see and when you do, continue shooting!
- Smile and Pose. Remember to change up your pose with each click.
- Be patient and don’t give up. I promise, practice makes perfect and it really does work!