Self Portraits - 7 Tips for Going Beyond the Basics

Self Portraits – 7 Tips for Going Beyond the Basics

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Image by John McNab

Image by John McNab

A lot of photographers have said that while they love to hold the camera and take beautiful photos, they aren’t as fond of the idea of being on the other side of the lens. On the other hand, there’s an enormous group of people who not only enjoy having their photo taken, they actually love to take self-portraits.

In fact, if you peruse Flickr you can find a great deal of self-portrait groups, including 365Days, a place where you can showcase – you guessed it – one self-portrait a day for a full year.

The problem is, many people consider a self-portrait to mean holding the camera firmly in your hand, stretching your arm out, and trying to get your face at a good angle in front of the lens. While that has its place from time to time, a self-portrait can be thought out just as much as a portrait you take of someone else.

Thus, here are seven tips for going beyond basics in self-portraits:

1. Use the timer, or better yet, get a remote.

Most cameras now come with a ten-second timer. While this isn’t a lot of time, it can be enough to manoeuvre yourself accordingly. Just be sure to either use a stand-in or to focus on something at the proper distance or you’ll be fuzzy! What beats a timer is a wireless remote that will allow you to position yourself and then take the picture when you’re ready. Timers are a lot of fun for things like jumping shots!

Image by craigmdennis

Image by craigmdennis


2. Change your focus.

While you might normally assume a good self-portrait must focus on your face to count, you can make an ordinary shot far more interesting if you place the primary focus elsewhere.

Image by laszlo-photo

Image by laszlo-photo


3. Try a silhouette.

A good silhouette tells a story and leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind as to what it is. A dark, featureless shape against a setting sun won’t interest anyone, but if viewers can see it’s a person they’ll be intrigued. It makes people wonder who that is, raises questions, and makes them want to know more.

Image by zachd1_618

Image by zachd1_618

4. Treat your shot like you would for someone else.

Pretend it’s not a self-portrait for a second. Look around your surroundings and picture what you’d do if you wanted to take a portrait of a friend. I took my children to the park one day as the sun was dipping low and the light was incredible. I nearly called them over to sit in the grass so I could lie down and take a shot of them from a low vantage point. Instead I decided to take a self-portrait – which is when tip number 1 comes back into play. My remote was very handy that day!

Image by sherina

Image by sherina

5. Get Inspired!

You can use all kind of fun things to inspire yourself beyond the stereotypical self-portrait. Listen to music and if a line in a song stands out, try to take a self-portrait that reflects it. Re-enact a moment from a movie. Browse Flickr or try one of the numerous inspiration groups that give daily or weekly self-portrait challenges. It can end up being serious or silly, but you might be amazed at what comes to mind when you set out with a purpose.

[SP5 image from

Image by It's Holly

Image by It's Holly

]

6. Keep your face out of it!

This is one of those arguments that, much like Mac vs. PC, gets people up in arms: Is it a real self-portrait if your face isn’t in the picture? I firmly believe that it can indeed be a self-portrait even if you’re simply showing your hand or your foot or what have you. If you don’t feel like having your face in front of the camera, show people something else!

Image by It's Holly

Image by It's Holly

7. Bring the emotion.

I know that I just told you that a self-portrait can be more than just your face, but remember too that the face – and especially the eyes – hold a great deal of emotion and that can make such an incredible impact on a self-portrait.

Image by Nerboo

Image by Nerboo

Now that you know a self-portrait can be more than just arms’ length photography, maybe you’ll find your next self-portrait taking shape in your mind. Do you have a good one that you’re proud of? Share it in the comments!

Read more at our previous Self Portrait Tips tutorial.


profile120Sherry Osborne has been unable to walk out her front door without at least one of her cameras for several years and is now building up her portfolio in an attempt to become a part-time pro. When she’s not taking pictures, she’s writing. She can be found at SherryOsborne.com.

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  • Tea

    Fantastic tips and I really enjoyed #2 =)
    I also liked a lot Nick Karvounis’s self portrait work
    here’s mine…with my Bear.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tiarra_lee/4016887412/

  • Shyfotogrfr

    I’m one of those who prefer to be behind the lens. So that’s what my self-portrait is about [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/shyfotogrfr/4055932731/[/img]

  • Thanks Tea!

  • Belinda

    I really don’t like having my picture taken but I thought I’d give it a try. Since I’m not at all photogenic I decided to add a little special effects to the shot.

    [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/35267136@N03/?saved=1[/img]

  • Belinda

    well…lets try that again.

    [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/35267136@N03/4056348453/[/img]

  • Belinda
  • Thanks!!! I need to do something with this. Do I have the courage??? We shall see. Check my site in a few days and we’ll find out. I can’t wait myself.

  • hipnz

    giackop – Just love it – so much energy! So much fun!!

  • foxgan

    This photo I took in 2007 year end.

    [img]http://photos.friendster.com/photos/65/69/3979656/1_811060590l.jpg[/img]

  • Felman

    great article….all posted tips here really helps…

  • Dan

    Hi all. I was thinking whether or not i can commit to the 365. I took this yesterday and am wondering whether or not it will become 1/365. Just a bit of fun on a day off.

    [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/43922728@N08/4054627099/[/img]

  • Dan
  • ok, so this is mine as using silhouette and my dog ;>
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/doribig/2404976135/in/set-72157600304048932/
    and this was done, when I was tired of reading a manual, so I take a reflection from pc:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/doribig/3874750430/in/set-72157600304048932/

  • eva

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kicsi_paprika/4033613578/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kicsi_paprika/4033614346/

    (though these are just with an iphone)

    some of the shots here are amazing! need to work on my self-portraits …

  • Eric – I do indeed have a livejournal (username sherina) but I don’t use it often. Maybe you’ve passed by my personal blog at http://andromeda.qc.ca ?

    Dan – If you’re not sure about 365 Days (it took three tries before I made it all the way through) you can also look up 52 weeks where it’s one self-portrait per week for a year. It’s a little easier and you can give more thought to your self-portraits when it’s only once per week instead of every day.

  • @Jeff Rosenbaugh – Just as Sherry suggested a little further up in the thread… I placed a secondary object in the field of view (I remeber it being a wooden ruler) at the same distance from the lens as the water drops. I manually focused on the secondary object. (wood grain in the case of the ruler). Since the water drops fell from a fixed source, their depth in the filed of view remained very constant.

    Then I made a few test shots to confirm that the water drop was in focus in each frame. The Sigma 105mm Macro lens allows me to make small tweaks to the focus without too much hassle. I remeber that using this technique, I needed fewer than 10 frames to get the focus right.

    Oh, and keep in mind, I used an f-stop of f/10. Yes the telephot lens has a shallow depth-of -field but the tiny aperture is much more “forgiving” if your focus is off a bit. If you need to use something more like f/2.8, the process may be a bit more frustrating.

    Good Luck,

    Laszlo

  • I am on my first year study and we had to do 2 pictures about Self portrait last week, this is what I came out with.
    Let me know what do you think about. I think that being natural is also really important to reveal your true self.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebastiengenet/4054689810/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebastiengenet/4052589783/


  • Hello everyone
    I want to share my selfportrait
    I was so excited when I had my new semi Pro Digital camera
    that I looked for pics everywhere
    being the mirror one of them
    Thanks for all the picture sharing everyone
    lot’s of ideas!
    Regards….[img]http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v987/77/111/655533453/n655533453_1671463_4563.jpg[/img]

  • This is my most recent attempt:

    Would love to know what you think about it? Leave me a comment on flickr.

  • Great tips, this gives me a lot more confidence to take self portraits as opposed to feeling self conscious, also the new digital camera’s that are out now which have a screen in front showing you what you pic will look like will be a great help here.

  • @Laszlo – Thx! I’ll have to work on that shot again. I appreciate the help

  • Sorry, the last post was missing the shot. Here it is. Would like to get some opinions. Leave me a comment on flickr if you like.

    [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/43520295@N08/4037225906/[/img]

  • There are very nice creative shots here and great inspirational photos… i want to share with you my self portrait.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hanysoliman/

  • Bit of side light action….with my desk lamp

    [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/iamcesur/4066538019/[/img]

  • Karen

    I find it humorous that, a pretty large number of us, love taking the pictures but HATE being the subject. I of course am a card carrying member to that group.

  • Hi there.
    Thank you so much for posting this. I love taking pictures of people, but would never give self-portraits a fleeting piece of poo. I read the one bit about taking pictures of yourself as you would others, and it somehow made sense to me. I whipped out the old tripod and took this shot, treating it very much as i would have if it were for someone else. Will take much more self-portraits from now on. Thanks again![img]http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/9349/p1130232b.jpg[/img]

  • Here is my self port that I did yesterday.[img]http://photos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs022.snc3/10945_651745240209_5812487_37816023_530868_n.jpg[/img]

  • When trying new lighting technics I often have to rely on myself as the model. I must say sometimes it can be a real learning experience to pose yourself. I wish I could take credit for this but it was actually shot by my friend Jon Haverstick

    [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/activityphoto/4074667480/[/img]

  • great info. i’m doing a 365, but i couldn’t even think of taking 365 photos of me. maybe i’ll have to start a new 365 and give that some thought after reading this.

  • [img]http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2566/4099070407_1afec36eb3.jpg[/img]

    Thanks for the tips.

  • Sam
  • Samir Ibrahim

    [eimg link=’http://www.flickr.com/photos/83492337@N00/4110461880/’ title=’Thinking’ url=’http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2756/4110461880_cf465c0240.jpg’]

  • Samir ibrahim
  • StunGunAshley

    I must be one of those weirdos that like being behind and in front of the lens. I’m always sad at the end of a vacation that I dont have more or any pictures of myself. This has inspired me to take matters into my own hands. Thank you!

  • mARK aNDREWS

    Great article – Self portraits is definately somethign I’m goign to have a play with. I tried to goto your site Sherry, but it all seems to be broken 🙁

    There are some fantastic self portraits here well done all.

    Here is one of my efforts, or lack of (which was kind of the point, I want it to look… well as it came out really, not all studio and professionally post processed)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mraandrews/3634185272/sizes/l/in/set-72157607104339736/

  • its_me_kaddee

    I kinda like this one of myself=)
    [eimg link=’http://www.flickr.com/photos/90546433@N00/2724743873/’ title=’the one with my point of view’ url=’http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3268/2724743873_fc362a6c74.jpg’]

  • What a fantastic update, can I set it up so I receive an email sent to me every time you publish a new article?

  • justme10

    Pretty sure that first pic was taken by Paul himself….

Some Older Comments

  • Ellis Bogucki August 25, 2011 07:41 am

    What a fantastic update, can I set it up so I receive an email sent to me every time you publish a new article?

  • its_me_kaddee April 22, 2010 07:29 am

    I kinda like this one of myself=)
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/90546433@N00/2724743873/' title='the one with my point of view' url='http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3268/2724743873_fc362a6c74.jpg']

  • mARK aNDREWS April 19, 2010 10:38 pm

    Great article - Self portraits is definately somethign I'm goign to have a play with. I tried to goto your site Sherry, but it all seems to be broken :(

    There are some fantastic self portraits here well done all.

    Here is one of my efforts, or lack of (which was kind of the point, I want it to look... well as it came out really, not all studio and professionally post processed)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mraandrews/3634185272/sizes/l/in/set-72157607104339736/

  • StunGunAshley April 16, 2010 09:47 am

    I must be one of those weirdos that like being behind and in front of the lens. I'm always sad at the end of a vacation that I dont have more or any pictures of myself. This has inspired me to take matters into my own hands. Thank you!

  • Samir ibrahim March 24, 2010 02:04 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/83492337@N00/4452298238/

  • Samir Ibrahim December 17, 2009 07:49 pm

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/83492337@N00/4110461880/' title='Thinking' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2756/4110461880_cf465c0240.jpg']

  • Sam December 4, 2009 10:36 am

    http://s79.photobucket.com/albums/j125/sam_lloyd_69/?action=view&current=me.jpg

  • matt November 15, 2009 03:10 pm

    [img]http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2566/4099070407_1afec36eb3.jpg[/img]

    Thanks for the tips.

  • Valerie November 5, 2009 12:41 pm

    great info. i'm doing a 365, but i couldn't even think of taking 365 photos of me. maybe i'll have to start a new 365 and give that some thought after reading this.

  • Wayne H November 4, 2009 05:38 pm

    When trying new lighting technics I often have to rely on myself as the model. I must say sometimes it can be a real learning experience to pose yourself. I wish I could take credit for this but it was actually shot by my friend Jon Haverstick

    [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/activityphoto/4074667480/[/img]

  • Jennifer November 4, 2009 01:14 am

    Here is my self port that I did yesterday.[img]http://photos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs022.snc3/10945_651745240209_5812487_37816023_530868_n.jpg[/img]

  • Gang qiu November 3, 2009 08:29 am

    Hi there.
    Thank you so much for posting this. I love taking pictures of people, but would never give self-portraits a fleeting piece of poo. I read the one bit about taking pictures of yourself as you would others, and it somehow made sense to me. I whipped out the old tripod and took this shot, treating it very much as i would have if it were for someone else. Will take much more self-portraits from now on. Thanks again![img]http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/9349/p1130232b.jpg[/img]

  • Karen November 3, 2009 04:04 am

    I find it humorous that, a pretty large number of us, love taking the pictures but HATE being the subject. I of course am a card carrying member to that group.

  • Cesur November 2, 2009 01:43 pm

    Bit of side light action....with my desk lamp

    [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/iamcesur/4066538019/[/img]

  • Hany Soliman November 1, 2009 07:53 am

    Sorry the link to the photo ...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hanysoliman/3878648969/

  • Hany Soliman November 1, 2009 07:51 am

    There are very nice creative shots here and great inspirational photos... i want to share with you my self portrait.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hanysoliman/

  • Greg November 1, 2009 04:52 am

    Sorry, the last post was missing the shot. Here it is. Would like to get some opinions. Leave me a comment on flickr if you like.

    [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/43520295@N08/4037225906/[/img]

  • Jeff Rosenbaugh November 1, 2009 02:19 am

    @Laszlo - Thx! I'll have to work on that shot again. I appreciate the help

  • eLLa November 1, 2009 02:18 am

    Great tips, this gives me a lot more confidence to take self portraits as opposed to feeling self conscious, also the new digital camera's that are out now which have a screen in front showing you what you pic will look like will be a great help here.

  • Greg October 31, 2009 10:53 pm

    This is my most recent attempt:

    Would love to know what you think about it? Leave me a comment on flickr.

  • Elisa October 31, 2009 12:41 pm

    Hello everyone
    I want to share my selfportrait
    I was so excited when I had my new semi Pro Digital camera
    that I looked for pics everywhere
    being the mirror one of them
    Thanks for all the picture sharing everyone
    lot's of ideas!
    Regards....[img]http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v987/77/111/655533453/n655533453_1671463_4563.jpg[/img]

  • Sebastien Genet October 31, 2009 05:50 am

    I am on my first year study and we had to do 2 pictures about Self portrait last week, this is what I came out with.
    Let me know what do you think about. I think that being natural is also really important to reveal your true self.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebastiengenet/4054689810/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebastiengenet/4052589783/


  • Laszlo Ilyes October 31, 2009 04:31 am

    @Jeff Rosenbaugh - Just as Sherry suggested a little further up in the thread... I placed a secondary object in the field of view (I remeber it being a wooden ruler) at the same distance from the lens as the water drops. I manually focused on the secondary object. (wood grain in the case of the ruler). Since the water drops fell from a fixed source, their depth in the filed of view remained very constant.

    Then I made a few test shots to confirm that the water drop was in focus in each frame. The Sigma 105mm Macro lens allows me to make small tweaks to the focus without too much hassle. I remeber that using this technique, I needed fewer than 10 frames to get the focus right.

    Oh, and keep in mind, I used an f-stop of f/10. Yes the telephot lens has a shallow depth-of -field but the tiny aperture is much more "forgiving" if your focus is off a bit. If you need to use something more like f/2.8, the process may be a bit more frustrating.

    Good Luck,

    Laszlo

  • Sherry October 30, 2009 11:45 pm

    Eric - I do indeed have a livejournal (username sherina) but I don't use it often. Maybe you've passed by my personal blog at http://andromeda.qc.ca ?

    Dan - If you're not sure about 365 Days (it took three tries before I made it all the way through) you can also look up 52 weeks where it's one self-portrait per week for a year. It's a little easier and you can give more thought to your self-portraits when it's only once per week instead of every day.

  • eva October 30, 2009 10:21 pm

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kicsi_paprika/4033613578/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kicsi_paprika/4033614346/

    (though these are just with an iphone)

    some of the shots here are amazing! need to work on my self-portraits ...

  • DoRI October 30, 2009 08:01 pm

    ok, so this is mine as using silhouette and my dog ;>
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/doribig/2404976135/in/set-72157600304048932/
    and this was done, when I was tired of reading a manual, so I take a reflection from pc:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/doribig/3874750430/in/set-72157600304048932/

  • Dan October 30, 2009 01:02 pm

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/43922728@N08/4054627099/

  • Dan October 30, 2009 01:01 pm

    Hi all. I was thinking whether or not i can commit to the 365. I took this yesterday and am wondering whether or not it will become 1/365. Just a bit of fun on a day off.

    [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/43922728@N08/4054627099/[/img]

  • Felman October 30, 2009 12:18 pm

    great article....all posted tips here really helps...

  • foxgan October 30, 2009 11:52 am

    This photo I took in 2007 year end.

    [img]http://photos.friendster.com/photos/65/69/3979656/1_811060590l.jpg[/img]

  • hipnz October 30, 2009 11:37 am

    giackop - Just love it - so much energy! So much fun!!

  • Bull Rhino October 30, 2009 11:36 am

    Thanks!!! I need to do something with this. Do I have the courage??? We shall see. Check my site in a few days and we'll find out. I can't wait myself.

  • Belinda October 30, 2009 09:51 am

    why can't I get that to work?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/35267136@N03/4056348453/

  • Belinda October 30, 2009 09:50 am

    well...lets try that again.

    [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/35267136@N03/4056348453/[/img]

  • Belinda October 30, 2009 09:47 am

    I really don't like having my picture taken but I thought I'd give it a try. Since I'm not at all photogenic I decided to add a little special effects to the shot.

    [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/35267136@N03/?saved=1[/img]

  • Nick Karvounis October 30, 2009 08:26 am

    Thanks Tea!

  • Shyfotogrfr October 30, 2009 07:33 am

    I'm one of those who prefer to be behind the lens. So that's what my self-portrait is about [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/shyfotogrfr/4055932731/[/img]

  • Tea October 30, 2009 07:17 am

    Fantastic tips and I really enjoyed #2 =)
    I also liked a lot Nick Karvounis's self portrait work
    here's mine...with my Bear.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tiarra_lee/4016887412/

  • Kirsty October 30, 2009 06:40 am

    Here's my latest self portrait - I have to say I love doing them because I can control the results :)[img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/kirsty2715/4021891334/[/img]

  • Rajev October 30, 2009 05:52 am

    I need the help of some technical experts for this.

    I have a Kodak C1013 Eazyshare, point and shoot camera. Whenever I strech out my arm to take a self potrait, the result is distorted. The face is elongated below the eyebrows to chin. If I double the distance by standing before the mirror at an arm's length and taking the snap, the result is a shade better, but the face (pic) seems more round in the pic, than the reflection of me that I see in the mirror. Can anyone explain why does this happen?

  • Eric Mesa October 30, 2009 04:42 am

    Use of a remote has been invaluable for my 365 Project ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/ericsbinaryworld/sets/72157616897325894/ ) - especially once I started to really get creative.

  • Larry "Darkman" Clark October 30, 2009 04:01 am

    Cool article, I like using hot lights sometimes so I can see what I will get when I click the shutter. Then again I use hot lights to get the look I like too,such as old film noir look and Hollywood glamour style.
    Great article thanks for sharing.
    Darkman...

    [img]http://www.darkmansdarkroom.com/images/dmdm/dmdm.jpg[/img]

  • Rafael Hoyos October 30, 2009 03:11 am

    me x 3

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/teroxx/3656960211/

  • Yvonne October 30, 2009 03:00 am

    To lenseffect....I LOVE the teapot photo. There are a lot of great photos here, but for some reason your teapot one struck me as funny and awesome! Would love to be able to get such a great shot and so very clear.

  • Karis October 30, 2009 02:01 am

    Double portrait ;)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kriimsilm/3978496898/

    Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/800)
    Aperture: f/4.5
    Focal Length: 33 mm
    ISO Speed: 100
    Exposure Bias: 0 EV
    Flash: Off, Did not fire

  • Nick Karvounis October 30, 2009 01:48 am

    Great images, self portraits are an important part of showing your emotional skills. [img]http://photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs017.snc3/12440_180515111457_516561457_3917298_2878259_n.jpg[/img]

  • lydia selk October 30, 2009 01:32 am

    I used self portraits as a way to get over all those negative voices in my head telling me I am no good. When I took my self portrait regularly, I felt better about myself.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lydiafairy/sets/72157604406269683/
    I have not done this in a while, I think I need to start up again, Thanks!

  • Jeff Rosenbaugh October 30, 2009 01:26 am

    @Laszlo Ilyes

    How did you create that level of focus when you yourself were not behind the camera to focus the lens? I've been trying to figure out how to do something similar to that and am struggling since I am not able to manually focus while looking at the subject

  • Laszlo Ilyes October 29, 2009 09:03 pm

    You've inspired me to click a few shots of myself again. Thanks for the suggestions Sherry. It's an interesting article, all bias aside. (That's me in the "Change Your Focus" section above).

    Regards,
    Laszlo

  • mjjgm October 29, 2009 05:38 pm

    Composite self-portrait of my morning routine: http://birmingham.zenfolio.com/p1035377548/h27cb37a7#h27cb37a7

  • Tomas Sobek October 29, 2009 07:02 am

    I started taking self-portrait mainly to play with off camera flash. Who else can you get free of charge and so patient? :)
    http://tomassobekphotography.co.nz/gallery2/v/People/SelfPortrait/

    [img]http://tomassobekphotography.co.nz/gallery2/d/1522-2/090916_0045b.jpg[/img]

  • Eric October 29, 2009 06:43 am

    Ariana-

    Thank you! Some of those were taken with my dad's xti and a tamron zoom with macro, others with my canon power zoom. And most of them are all in the same location.

    Actually, that comment was directed at the OP, Sherry. Sorry I didn't specify that. But I'm glad we connected!

  • Ariana Murphy October 29, 2009 05:10 am

    I don't know what a livejournal is, so I probably don't have one. I do have a blog - www.arianasart.blogspot.com. I also have an imagekind membership, so maybe you've seen me there: www.arianasart.com I also have a zazzle store at www.zazzle.com/arianamurphy*. I'm fairly new to serious amateur photography, so unless you live in the Niagara Region, maybe I just look like someone you know. I get that a lot.

    Your photos are incredible! Your butterflies etc. are stunningly clear. I'm embarrassed now about my butterfly shots. They are so obviously second-rate. I could learn a lot from studying your photos!

    Cheers!

    - Ariana

  • Eric October 29, 2009 04:50 am

    You look familiar- have I seen you before? Do you have a livejournal?

  • John Kim October 29, 2009 04:12 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/30035005@N05/2816727316/in/set-72157607029456151/

    here is a self portrait me and my wife took when we went to hawaii.

  • Ariana Murphy October 29, 2009 03:58 am

    That's a great article. I think I might try something new this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration, everyone!

  • lenseffect October 29, 2009 01:23 am

    great examples, i have some self portraits that I'm pretty proud :)

    here I use the light:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lenseffect/3903211555/in/set-72157622114926137/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lenseffect/3723194579/in/set-72157621488858756/

    the mirror:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lenseffect/3723703532/in/set-72157621488858756/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lenseffect/3729178134/in/set-72157621488858756/

    and the teapot:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lenseffect/3723893008/in/set-72157621488858756/

  • tim October 28, 2009 05:54 pm

    WOO! the first older image is Stanley Kubrick.

  • Shelvia October 28, 2009 02:36 pm

    What a great post! The image attached to the second tips is just gold. :)
    Nice work. Thank you for the tips!

  • Niall Simpson October 28, 2009 11:56 am

    Fantastic article!! More please :)

  • johnp October 28, 2009 09:43 am

    Thanks for those tips. Gotta say, looking at that self portrait by John McNab, that he is a dead ringer for a young Paul McCartney.

  • giackop October 28, 2009 09:16 am

    sorry here we are..

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/giackop/3477080823/

  • giackop October 28, 2009 09:15 am

    watch this.. a very funny saturday afternoon..

    [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/giackop/3477080823/[/img]

  • Kris October 28, 2009 07:46 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/klarosa33/3939393654/in/photostream/
    This or this are my two favorites. The first I used the self-timer and a tripod and the second I tried to portray a mix of emotions, so that different people can interpret how they see it. Thanks for looking!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/klarosa33/3793284378/in/photostream/

  • Tiffany October 28, 2009 07:19 am

    All great tips and ideas. I'm so tired of the mirror shots or the picture with your camera shots or the hold the camera and point at self then crop out your arm shots. Tripods also work great with the timer.

  • Njambi Ndiba October 28, 2009 05:49 am

    I have been working on self portraits. Here's mine

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gakige/4021081670/

  • LizKcer October 28, 2009 05:34 am

    Emotion....[img]http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2457/3901941634_76bd97087f_o.jpg[/img]

  • Sherry October 28, 2009 05:08 am

    Thanks for all the great feedback folks!

    Xiao - One way I resolved the focus issue before I bought my remote was to use a stand-in of some sort while I focused the shot. I've used everything from another person to a stuffed animal to a throw pillow. Once I get it focused properly, I can rush over, remove the stand-in and pop myself into the shot. You'll just have to make sure you put yourself in the exact right place.

    Jbird - That is seriously awesome!

    Jesse - I have the mind of a 12-year-old boy at times so now I'm laughing too. And hey, that would still be a self-portrait, you just might want to think about which people to share it with! ;)

  • sarah October 28, 2009 04:43 am

    @Xiao, there are a couple things you can try, the simplest of which is get a shutter remote. If you can't do that, then I know some people like to set up their tripod, and then stand where you plan to be when you take the picture, and autoocus on your tripod. Turn off autofocus, then mount your camera and make sure you stand in the right spot when you take the picture!

  • JbirdPhotography October 28, 2009 04:32 am

    I always laugh at this one...
    [img]http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2556/3839429803_d0cb5134db.jpg[/img]

    I agree, any part of you can be classified as a self-portrait!!
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2614/3904725027_7ef579075a_m.jpg

  • Xiao October 28, 2009 04:10 am

    the problem that i have with self portraits when using the timer function on camera (ie the 10 second one) is that the camera doesn't focus on my face. when i use manual focus, i am limited by my range of movement.

    know of any ways to solve this?

  • Rebecca Ames October 28, 2009 04:07 am

    my self portrait.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/becciames/4050631562/
    that was fun.

  • Kristam Moffett October 28, 2009 04:00 am

    [img]http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=81732&id=100000027007096[/img]

    gonna try some of these tips!

  • Stephanie October 28, 2009 03:50 am

    Oops, the link got cut off. Here's the whole thing:

    [img] http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/PBw0iPisjHQ3ztGqvkSRaw?authkey=Gv1sRgCO-ugKKNncvWAg&feat=directlink[/img]

  • Stephanie October 28, 2009 03:48 am

    This started out as an accident, but I liked the look of it and continued playing around until I got this shot:

    [img]http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/PBw0iPisjHQ3ztGqvkSRaw?authkey=Gv1sRgCO-ugKKNncvWAg&feat=directlink[/img]

  • Vijay Kumar October 28, 2009 03:19 am

    Also available at http://bvinatrance.blogspot.com/2009/10/self-portrait.html

  • Vijay Kumar October 28, 2009 03:08 am

    Corrected.
    Thanks

  • JohnS October 28, 2009 02:59 am

    Vijay, your photo is marked private. We can't view it.

  • Vijay Kumar October 28, 2009 02:15 am

    Aah... was working on it myself. I was inspired by the "change your focus" idea.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/deeptrance/4048569053/?addedcomment=1#comment72157622675287382

  • Joel October 28, 2009 02:04 am

    I am in need of some self-portraits and your post here is indeed timely. I was thinking of getting someone to help me out but after reading this post, I've decided to try some self-portraits first.

    Thanks for the great ideas !

  • Jeff Rosenbaugh October 28, 2009 01:47 am

    So, the example for tip 2 is stunning, and I've been trying to pull off something very similar, but I have been REALLY struggling to do so when I'm not behind the lens to manually focus things. Any tips on how to accomplish something like that?

    Specifically, I wear glasses and I thought it would be neat to do a self-potrait holding my glasses out in front of me and then focusing so that I come out sharp on the other side, with everything else obviously out of focus - but I struggle with the concept since I'm not actually behind the camera to look at things. Any help?

  • HolgaJen October 28, 2009 01:46 am

    Nice tips - I am currently working on a self portrait project, with a Holga camera and using song lyrics combined with past experiences as inspiration. I've tried to encourage other photographers who have a Holga to try some out for themselves and wrote an article on this specifically with tips for using that type of camera. Here is the link if anyone is interested.

    I still find that most photographers are dead set against the self portrait idea though!! What can we do to change people's minds I wonder?

    I also belong to a great Flickr group that has a lot of wonderful inspiration called the Female Self-Portrait Artists' Support Group. We've even produced two books that are available on Blurb!

    [img]http://farm1.static.flickr.com/205/463510250_308da79dc8_m.jpg[/img]

  • Rick Hanzlik October 28, 2009 01:40 am

    Great idea, not so easy to do sometimes.[img]http://gallery.specialty-art.com/displayimage.php?album=41&pos=7[/img]

  • Robin Ryan October 28, 2009 01:33 am

    I'm not big on photos of myself, but here's one I like that I set up in the studio:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/robinryan/3749190855/in/set-72157601769220969/

    Get in the mood of dress-up, act silly, wear sunglasses at night. Make yourself different.

    *love* the water-drop photo.

  • jerka October 28, 2009 01:29 am

    Talking about self-portrait, I just made this weekend and I'm quite proud of it :
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/art-e-fact/4047420249/

    Tell me what you think about it as I'd like so advice and critics on it.

    Thank you

  • Jesse Kaufman October 28, 2009 01:16 am

    lol sorry ... i had to snicker at "If you don’t feel like having your face in front of the camera, show people something else!" ... can't help it ... must be the middle schooler in me ;) ... great article, though ... gives me some ideas, especially since I don't like having my picture taken lol

  • Ilan October 28, 2009 01:14 am

    The tips are great, no doubt.
    But I chose to be a photographer so I won't have to be photographed :D
    Every time I try, I just can't approve the image. And I'm sure I'm not the only photographer with this issue.

    Lucky for me, I got a beautiful girlfriend - http://www.ilanbresler.com/2009/01/moment-of-joy.html

    Thanks again for the tips!

  • MeiTeng October 28, 2009 01:12 am

    Love the last shot!

    I am one of those who shudder at the thought of standing on the other side of the lens. I have yet to master self portrait. Thanks for sharing your tips.

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