Hello, how have you been? Hope you are brewing a nice cuppa to sip on as you read this blog!
Am I the only one who is shocked by how fast this year has gone? Like it is October already, my mind is already starting to plan Christmas!
Christmas planning - Too soon or about time? Let me know in the comments?
Self portraits vs the dreaded selfie:
So pour yourself a mug of coffee and let's get to the topic at hand!
Selfies can be great, they are often spontaneous, natural and easily done in the moment. They can capture a lot of personality however, they are also often done on mobile, low quality and unprofessional. They can have a place in your business visual strategy but I do not recommend relying on them for your primary image source of yourself.
On the other hand, portraits and by extension self portraits are often thought of as stiff, formal and awkward. While this can be the case, it shouldn't be and if you are getting a professional to do them and that is what you receive - I would ask for a reshoot.
A good portrait should strike a balance between professional and personal, relaxed and competent and above all else, reflect your brand identity and reflect your own personality.
Your face is the literal face of your business for a lot of us so it is important to get this right. So it can be worth the investment in getting a branding shoot done, however there will be times you need a picture or two and can't get a pro in on time or on budget. So you are left to do it yourself. But fear not, though tricky at first, with my tips below and some practice it really isn't that difficult (it can even be a bit of fun).
So how do you take a portrait when you need to be in front of and behind the camera at the same time? By using my top tips below and checking out my previous blogs on styling for a shoot also.
My top 3 tips for taking portraits of yourself -
Last blog, I discussed how to style an autumnal shoot that is still on brand for your business. But how do you take pictures of yourself when you need to be in front of and behind the camera?
It is super tricky but with these tips it doesn’t have to be a big ordeal!
Use a tripod
Use alternative shutter buttons
Just show your hands
Tip 1: Tripod! A non-negotiable tip!
A tripod is essential for this technique. You don’t need a fancy one but you do need one since you need something that can hold your camera in a steady fixed position when you are posing. If you are not sure what makes a tripod good - check out my blog here where I review the various characteristics to consider when buying a tripod!
Tip 2: Use alternative shutter buttons
There are 3 ways you can use the shutter button without using the shutter button. You don’t need to use all of them necessarily but I do recommend trying them and seeing which works better for you.
--> Countdown timer
Most cameras (and phone camera apps) have a timer. This is where you press the shutter button, run in front of the camera and then pose quickly and then the camera will snap the picture. Usually it is 2 seconds or 10 seconds but some can be customised or give more timing options.
--> Remote Shutter button
The downside of this is you need to get up and down between each shot and can end up red faced and frustrated. This is where the remote shutter button comes in. You can buy a small remote button/ clicker that can connect to your phone or camera so you can sit down, pose and press the button once you are in position.
A range of remote shutter buttons that canon currently offers!
--> Phone app
If you don’t have a remote clicker, you can often use your phone if you download the relevant camera app. This is handy as you can also adjust settings, exposure etc in the app while in position in the shot, the downside is the phone often has to be in the shot too. So it can be limiting in terms of composition. So depending on the shot and your set up I would recommend having all three options available and play around with them till you determine which is best for you and for the shot.
Tip 3: Just show your hands
If all this sounds too complicated or you don’t have the gear yet try taking pictures of your face, or you just don’t want to show your face. Try to at least show your hands. This can be especially effective for crafted based business. Show your hands creating and working with your medium.
Three branding pictures I tookl using just the artists hands performing their craft!
Final sips of coffee:
People trust people who show up. I would encourage you to take some self portraits and get your face out there. Your audience will love to see the genius behind the business and it will help build connections to your ideal client. I hope with these tricks, you will give it a try and see it doesn’t have to be too difficult to get self portraits that are more than just a cringey selfie.
A self portrait I took as I followed these tips and one from my last two blogs!