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Self Portraits

Clicking a self-portrait doesn’t mean to simply switch the camera on, turn it around so that the lens faces you, stretch your arm out and get the perfect shot concentrating on your face. A lot of thought and planning can actually go into this affair, just as you think and adjust the camera so carefully before a picture you take of someone else.

Flickr is a great place to obtain and showcase your photography ideas and more so when it comes to clicking self-portraits. There are communities out here, like Funny Self Portrait and Abstract Self Portrait in which you can showcase one self-portrait a day for an entire year.

Want to get those shots perfect and suave? Here is how.


1. Let the automatic clickers count the time down!

Cameras that we use today all come with a 10 second timer which can be started once you click the button. This involves keeping a spot for yourself in the picture just as you adjust and focus the background, and then you must rush and position yourself within the time available! Use a stand-in, or focus yourself properly and then click the button. For a stand-in, use a stuffed toy, or any other object, or just make-do with none at all. An even more assisting provision now is wireless remote control which can be used to click the picture once you go and stand in your place. It overtakes the timer but the latter is any day better for taking fun shots like say jumping or shots of something crossing a spot within a very small a fraction of time. If you don’t have a remote shutter, decide where you will stand and set the tripod. Stand in that position and auto-focus on the tripod. Once you do that, turn off the autofocus and place your camera and stand in the spot. Click.

2. Time for a focus shift

It is not necessary to have only your face as the center of the picture. Shift the primary focus to some other object and have your face as a secondary object, instead. It makes the shot even more appealing in the sense that it camouflages your face, whereas in a self-portrait, the first thing you try to search for is your face!

3. Don’t want to show your face?

Who said that a self-portrait means your face is indispensable? Any part of your body like your hand, foot and head can be the feature of the picture, too. Turn your back towards the camera, as if you are looking at something, or use your creativity in another way – like photographing your shadow.


4. Emotion and expression

Bring the intensity of expression in your picture by taking pictures of your eyes, or maybe just the countenance from the forehead to your chin. They will show a lot of emotion and portray the exact mood you are in. You will end up getting an unbelievable self-portrait with an unforgettable expression on your face.


5. Object turned into a shadow!

Block the light source and all you will get is a dark outline of the person you are photographing. Now work this trick on yourself.

– Place the camera facing the light source and once you fix a position for yourself and focus.

– Stand between the camera and the light, letting the light partially illuminate the space around you.

– This is when you procure a silhouette of yourself -an exemplary profile shot. Have a dark shape without lineaments and keep your viewers wondering who it might be.


6. Embrace those infusions.

When you work with a purpose you can get somewhere remarkable. Pick a song, and a favourite line from it. Like say when you listen to Coldplay sing ‘Was a long and dark December, and the rooftops I remember there was snow’. Think of placing yourself in the middle of a snowfall, then stand in front of a thatched roof such that there is only the whiteness and you. Or pose yourself recalling a scene from a funny movie and capture the expression on your face. This will make your picture lively. Search photography blogs, or other networks such as Picasa and Flickr and get inspired!

7. Focus on someone else instead!

Forget that the heart of the picture is going to be you. Imagine you were photographing a friend, or your child. Survey the place around and try to pick the right spot to position yourself. For instance, take your folks to a park close to your house during an ideal time -which would be when the sun is just about to dip low. Then, imagine you are clicking their picture at a very natural spot. Now, you must place yourself there once they move out of their own accord, and click a self-portrait. It is as simple as that.

8. Okay to act up!

Wear sun-glasses in the night, make funny expressions or even spoof a popular poster or painting and make your shot funny and memorable!
Now, isn’t a self-portrait much more than just arm-length photography? Now you know exactly what to do. So go get started!

~Zahid javali