Thursday, September 24, 2020

Taking Great Photos of Yourself For Instagram Tips and Tricks.

I am sorry in advance that this post contains an excessive amount of images of my face. Over the years I have stepped up my photography and my content gain, but it was a long process of trying things out and finding what works for me. Pintrest is your best friend when it comes to finding new and fun ways of taking photos.
  

My first tip is NEVER limit yourself. There have been many occasions when I have thought a concept would look amazing and once the photos have been taken, they look awful. But there will always be the chance the photos look amazing. I mean spending the morning clipping flowers in my garden and shoving them in my hair only to be covered in bugs and standing in front of a camera naked wasn't something I thought would look good but it came out amazing. Compare that to the images of me in a full face of makeup smiling that just didn't work out. Try new things because you could end up with some really nice shots.

These photos don't have to be super out there, taking simple and natural photos in your own home and comfortable surroundings can be really easy to get with very little equipment. For me I use a professional camera but that is because I own one, I do still take a lot of photos on my phone. I have a tripod that when stood up to the full capacity is around six ft. This is great because I don't have to then prop it on something else to get full length images. My camera doesn't have WIFI so I have a bluetooth remote that I got from Amazon for £6 which allows me to pose and take multiple images without having to run back to the camer or use self timer. 




Where to get ideas:

Ideas either come very naturally or I do a lot of research. If you're looking to have natural shots that capture you in your normal surroundings or can't get out to get outfit shots then prop your camera/phone and tripod up in your home and go towards somewhere comfortable. The sofa, bed or kitchen are great places to pose. These are always the cosiest shots and ones where you will feel more comfortable because well you are. These kinds of shots are great to incorporate props too so you don't feel too awkward, holding a drink or a book can look normal but don't look out of place either. Try moving the camera and tripod to different places to see what angles and expressions you want and what fits best. 

If I am wanting something more elaborate then I search places like Pinterest and other Instagram feeds, you don't have to see other peoples work and copy it: a lot of the time it will spark an idea to build on. Sites like this will also have easy tutorials to follow if you really don't know what to do. 

The best equipment:

I have mentioned this before but wanted things to be easy for people to refer back to. 

Tripod, Camera/Phone, Remote or link your camera to your phone. 

Locations:

Use the places you go every single day, don't feel like you need to travel for these images. Your home can be a great place to start and practice getting images of yourself. Your garden is a lovely place when expressing the seasons. 

If you want a simple background but you can't find one, stick a white bed sheet up and this will give a white wall effect.


Costumes and Props:

Having props in an image not only adds details and dimensions but will immediately make you feel more comfortable. If you are unsure of how to pose these will help: playing with them and looking at them will allow you to play around with them.

Mugs & Cups, Flowers, Phone, Food, Bags, Pillows.

By Costumes, I mean trying to get what you're wearing to match the theme of the image. For example, a lot of my home content will involve me in jumpers, cardigans and not huge floaty dresses I would wear in outdoor content. This is because it makes it more natural and realistic for me as if someone has taken a candid photo of me, an effortless shot. I wear these things at home anyway. 

If I am taking an image to showcase jewellery for example I will probably dress up more to flatter the product. If I have a colourful prop like a bunch of flowers I will almost always wear white as to not have clashing colours or patterns. Keep the focus on the flowers and my face. 



Attaching props to your camera:

This is a trick I recently discovered on Pinterest. Attaching props to your camera or phone using an elastic band can create the most amazing effects. This doesn't have to just be done with flowers either. Fairy Lights, Bed Sheets, Lace, Rope, Basically anything you can think of. It is a great effect which can shift the focus (i will talk about this further down).

They also don't have to be perfect, these flowers left a few gaps which I then had to fix in photoshop. It was an easy fix. 


Posing:

Posing can be awkward, especially if you don't have a prop. The biggest tip here is to take on another persona, become a really cocky person. Let yourself loose and just take as many poses as you can think of, get comfortable and just think of yourself as this amazing model. The confidence and comfort will come across. If I was in a family photograph I wouldn't pose the way I do with a camera and tripod at home. If you have an idea of what the image will be used for, a certain topic or blog, try and convey that. 

But as I have said before, having a prop really helps to get you into character or get you settled. Even if the prop isn't in shot. 

Play with something, If I don't have a prop I will play with my hands, my sleeves, my jewellery, my hair etc... It helps to have your hands doing something as it will take the ease off if you are uncomfortable.

Play around with the direction you are looking. Looking straight at the camera can be really lovely and work for an amazing shot but looking away or to a corner, when laughing for an example, gives a nice candid effect. Just play around with it and have fun. Try not to feel too conscious, it can be a lot of fun.



Focus:

Shift the focus.

If you want to switch things up a little then use your focus and play around with it. This will add dimensions to your images and make it more adventurous and fun. This works great with product photography too.

I find that a lot of the time if I am trying to take an image like this my camera will play up and focus on the item I want unfocused. So move the item, a drink for example, out of the shot pose like normal and then when the camera is counting down move the item into shot and it should stay blurred. This just means you aren't fighting with your camera/phone. 

This can be done with any prop, anything really. I love using this with doorways, Having the camera peering through door with the frame lightly in shot but out of focus and the subject is in focus. Gives a really nice feeling of looking through the doorway, peeping almost. 



Fun:

I think I have said this a million times in this post, but have fun. It is the best way to get a really truly beautiful image of yourself. Having fun means you enjoy your time but you get a wonderfully happy photo. It will bring out a new confidence and often having fun means you get a lot more creative with your photos. 

The flower eyes image below was just me messing about having fun with the camera and it ended up becoming of my favourite ever photos. Something I did for fun that I was expecting to just delete.

If you don't take everything really seriously then your photos will really show your personality, set you apart from the rest and it means you have some nice images of yourself. 



Angles:

Funnily enough, a photo of yourself doesn't have to have your face in it. I love experimenting with angles, taking images of the back of my head, turning to the side or side view. This just mixes things up a little. There isn't too much to say about this but it is a lovely way to include yourself in your feed without showing your face too much. Also if you aren't wearing makeup...

 



Hope this helps in some way, if you have any questions please ask.

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