Tips and Tricks

Self portrait: part 2

If you missed part 1 here is the link to Selfpotrait part1

Taking a photograph of yourself can be awkward, scary and intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be if you could learn some tips to overcome those nerves. It can be a fun process, to learn how to portray yourself over time in photos.

It might seem, a little silly, and or vain to want to take photographs of yourself, but it will also be a great way to document you in your surroundings, travels from your own point of view.

Did you know

“Considering the average lifespan is 27,375 days, an average millennial is expected to take 25,700 selfies during their lifetime. That’s close to one selfie daily”

That is a crazy amount of photographs, right, so why not learn to take great photographs.

Why you should take more photographs of yourself. 

  • Selfies build confidence, so go get in front of that camera and enjoy your moment.
  • You will thank me one day when you look back at your life. Especially because then you’d have the memory captured forever.
  • You learn how to pose, as you photograph yourself more often. It becomes easier and also in the process learn how to direct.


I assume if you are serious about this topic that you will be shooting with a Camera


It doesn’t have to be expensive, as long as its sturdy and can carry the weight of your camera, without falling over. If you haven’t got one, it’s not a train smash I often find rocks, tree stumps, benches to put my camera on as an alternative. I had a cheapie from game for less than R800, bit now I have a sturdier Manfrotto one.

Cable release/ timer

This will prevent you from running back and forth to the camera, to take the next picture, so definitely something to get, to help this project run smoothly. Get one that’s the longest. Mine is 5m its quiet handy when you want to do full lengths. its long enough for you to go back

Things you want to add to help get stronger portraits.

Set your camera on a timer, so that it can take multiple shots. Take a few and then check the screen and try again. My timer can take 10 shots with10second intervals between the other, So i can just strike the next pose. So have look at your camera’s options.

Object to focus on

If you haven’t got someone with you to be there to stand in while you focus then you need a teddy anything you can use to focus on before you jump in. If you on location, use things like benches, trees. etc


Natural light is beautiful so stand close to windows or doors. The best time to photograph outside is early morning or late afternoon, golden hour. Where the light is soft and flattering. You don’t want harsh/ bright light, so avoid shooting midday, else find some shade to photograph in. This will give you softer light to work with.

There are two ways to shoot using the window light indoors.

You can stand in front of the window with your back facing the window, so the window is behind you, this is backlit. so the Camera is facing the window or

You can put the camera where the window is, and get nice soft light coming in from the windows.

Shade is also a great option if the sun is too harsh.

Dress the part

This is important to help you step into character almost like a stage persona, so you want to dress up and, look good, to pull off a really good look, It will also help get into character.

Use props to express yourself. Use everyday elements, things that you like to add to the photographs, this will help you share more with the viewer, it will help tell your story.

Portray emotion

A self-portrait is a personal expression, so decide what you want to covey. Don’t be afraid to show emotion, be sad, happy or angry.  Facial expressions, add personality to the photographs, so its okay go over the top. The more emotion that you show, the better. If you going for an angry or happy look, then think of moments that made you really happy or angry and channel those emotions.

Be vulnerable, raw, messy, what is more, real than this? I believe in being real, and it can get slightly embarrassing to show how you look when you wake up in the morning, but this shows guts and that you are willing to dig deep and share with the viewer.

Enjoy it

Have a blast. Love what you do. I for one forget that not all photographs have to be perfect so it’s okay to relax and just take photographs just for the sake of capturing the memory. Photography ought to be enjoyed and should mean something special to you.



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