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My 5 top tips for DIY branding self portraits!

Hands up, who hates being in their business photos? Yeah me too. But having a plan in place can remove a lot of the obstacles to getting your face out there! Here are my top 5 tips for taking self portraits suitable as head shots for your business.

Even my assistant doesn't want to show his face!

If you read my last blog, you know I am obsessed with this season so it is certainly no surprise that portraits at this time of year are my jam!

The warm red and yellow of the leaves, the soft low and diffuse light and just the general cosiness of the wardrobe leaves me feeling all soft and gooey inside.

But it is also not without its challenges. The reduction in light reduces the window for shooting, the more changeable nature of this weather and the drop in temperatures can very quickly go from a cute and cosy aesthetic to hypothermic, drowned wet aesthetics. But I have 5 tips for better autumnal portraits.

If you are out shooting portraits of yourself, your friends or want to have them taken of yourself, I would consider these 5 tips to embrace the hygge!

My top tips for embracing hygge in your portrait photography:

  1. Dress in warm tones - yellows, oranges and reds!

  2. Embrace wool and plaid autumnal textures!

  3. Use hats, scarves and gloves as well cute boots to dress for the season and the photo!

  4. Get close with someone and cuddly or interact with fallen autumn leaves!

  5. Use the natural autumnal landscape aka the park or if stuck inside, wrap yourself in cosy blankets and hug a pillow!

Here is a shot I took of myself as I absorbed all the autumnal vibes I could!

So as I start all my planned shoots, I brainstorm around the theme - in this case hygge. I throw down everything that comes into my brain. From that I pull out the items, ideas and inspiration that I want to take further.

Step 1: Brainstorm. Like the last time for my product photogrpahy, I sit down and brainstorm what Ia ssociate with the team, ideas for clothes, props, colours, textures and words.

Step 2: I choose my outfit. I had a few good options to choose from as my whole style inspiration is fall naturally.. This involved pulling out all viable options such as gloves, cardigans, scarves etc. So I had a range of textures and colours to mix and match with. I pulled all the blankets and my favourite yellow oversized cardigan that I basiclly u live in autmn and winer.

Step 3: I plan the location and poses. I think about where I can sit in my house that will still have good lighting, have an appropriate background etc. It was unfortunately raining and dull so I couldn’t head to the park for this shoot. So I ended up at my desk. This meant I did have to tidy uip so that is a plus!

Pay attention to clutter. It may be fine in real life but ina photo it can so Distracting. So all the laptops, bottles, spoons etc must go!

Step 4: I set up my camera settings using a timer, tripod etc. I used my assistant as a focus point while I played with the composition. For self portraits, it can be hard to play with composition when you need to be both in front of and behind the camera simultaneously. So I will often use an assistant to help. Mine is particularly cute but really you can use anything as your focal point. Just make sure that the “assistant” is the same height as your head and in particular pinpoint your eye level on the “assistant”.

A before and after coffe shot :P From this I knew I needed to adjust my camera higher so I wouldn't cut off my head. I also use this to fix my focus point on the eyes and check exposure settings.

Step 5: Take a picture! Once I am happy with my framing, exposure and the set up, I hop into the shot and snap a few pictures. It can be very tricky to take pictures of your self on camera but there are a tricks you can use to do it. There are a few phone apps that can be of great help. The canon or using a remote shutter button or using the timer fucntion on the camera.

Some things of note

You need to choose colours that work together with both the theme but also each other! I have repeated the yellow throughout the image (an analogous colour theme). Again with textures,if you have a plaid blanket, avoid plaid clothing or vice versa. Attention to detail is key, don't have anything in frame and/or in focus that is not adding to the narrative of the shot. For example check your hair before shooting in case you have a weird bump :/ Even the pens complemented the colour scheme and was chosen with intention! The lighting is from a big window and I used a warm WB setting.

So do you think I am ready to laucnh my imaginary pen business? (If you don't get the pen reference - go back to this blog here!)

Final sips of coffee

Do you think you will take some autumnal portraits this season? If you do I would love to see the results so please tag me on instagram. If you want help with photogrpahy for your business, sign up to my newsletter which I email twice a week with tips, tricks and tools to boost your business visuals.

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