09/06/2009

Doing a Self Portrait


There could be many good reasons for wanting to produce a self portrait. Excepting of course passport photos, as they will need to be done by a qualified operator. But you may want one for your web site profile or blog mini-pic or simply to pass on to your best girl or boy friend.
It is essential, before I go any further, in order to have any sort of successful photograph of yourself, you really need to purchase or borrow a tripod. There is no use in simply relying on hand-holding or placing your camera on the table top or the back of the lounge chair.

With your camera firmly attached to a tripod, you can get into all manner of situations and it will always be there, right in front of you, ready for action and hands free!
A great thing with digital photography, is that you can do it when no one else is about. Meaning, that you can get into all sorts of silly, interesting or outrageous poses and there is nobody around to laugh at you or put you off. What’s great too, is if you don’t get it right the first time, you can simply delete it and try again. However, I really should try many different poses, angles and points of view before you called it a day. Even the best of photographers never get it right the first time.
It is very important that you choose your background and props wisely and if you are shooting indoors, try not to use on-camera flash, but set up in a well lit room or by the light of an open window or doorway. On-camera flash can produce very harsh shadows behind you and also can give your facial features a washed out appearance.
Again, make your photos interesting. Show yourself doing something you enjoy, like building that model boat or adding something to your scrap book, or just lying back in the tub.
Many cameras operate differently and you will have to fiddle about with the settings until you get them right. If you are using your camera on auto, set it to portrait mode, or at least and try that first.
You will probably need to set the camera on timer, to allow yourself plenty of time (about 12 seconds) to get into position for your shots.
Taking your own photograph is also good therapy and a good self portrait will also make you like yourself better, but you have to work at it. Fill the scene with you and with whatever it is you want to display, but make sure your backgrounds are clear of any bright areas or distractive elements and with you being the focal point, make sure too that your face and in particular your eyes are sharp and in clear focus. Above all else, have fun doing it.