5 Self Portrait Tips to Look Less Awkward

Let’s unpack it together in this photography tutorial.

Take better self portraits with these 5 tips

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5 Tips to Take Better Self Portraits

How to take Not-Awkward Self Portraits (for Guys Especially)

Just setup the camera and set a timer and pose, right? Sometimes you want to take a self portrait but it can feel awkward or forced, so you need some self portrait tips to get it right.

Self portrait skills are handy when it’s just you and your camera, but you want to be in the photo or video shot.

Good thing Evan Ranft shares in this video tutorial his top 5 tips to take self portraits that look great and aren’t awkward at all.

Self Portrait Taking Tips for the Shy and Awkward!

Self Portrait Tips #1: Create an Action

It can look awkward if you are just posing for the camera. So instead, plan the photo with an action involved, such as walking away from the camera.

You can also try walking towards the camera, taking a photo with another camera, picking up a rock, basically anything that looks natural.

You definitely don’t need to stare directly at the camera, unless that’s the kind of shot you are going for.

Self portrait tip to do an action not an awkward pose


Self Portrait Tips #2: Interval Timer

The timer on your camera will help your self portrait go a lot smoother, especially if you set enough time to get into the shot. But can save a lot of time using the interval timer instead of setting one timer and resetting after each shot.

The interval timer can be set to take photos at whatever second interval you want, say 5 seconds. You can set this, click the shutter and then go in front of the camera doing the action you planned, or many actions.

Then you can have like 50 photos to go through later and pick out the best ones.

It feels a lot less awkward to try and get into the shot and hold one pose, so the interval timer allows you to move and feel more natural.

Use the interval timer to take more shots while posing


Self Portrait Tips #3: Dress for The Scene

The goal of a self portrait is for you to stand out in the scene. So when you choose what to wear for the photo, make sure you dress in a way that compliments the scene but also allows you to be the clear subject.

You want the viewers eye to be drawn to you but not look out of place in the scene. 

If you are outdoors, try wearing a different color than is in the scenery. Similarly, if you’re posing with a car or a tree or some object, try to dress with a pattern or opposite color. But just make sure your color and pattern isn’t clashing with the scene.

Evan shares here what not to do, as he wore too much of the same color of the car he was posing with:

Wear complimentary colors that make you stand out


Self Portrait Portrait Tips #4: Correct Camera Settings

Since you aren’t behind the camera for these photos, it’s important the camera settings are correctly set before you shoot.

The most important setting is turning on your AutoFocus, especially a mode that has face or eye tracking.

Because you will be moving around and changing poses, you want to make sure the camera is focusing on you as the subject and following your movements.

To help the camera AutoFocus perform better, you can set your aperture a little higher than normal to ensure the camera has enough depth of field to follow your movements.

Set autofocus and face detection for better self portrait tips


Self Portrait Portrait Tips #5: Editing Tricks

When you are editing the self portraits, you want to make sure you choose settings that highlights yourself as the subject. 

If you use Lightroom, you can do this by adding gradual or radial filters. These allow you to change settings over a specific area, such as the area you are and lifting the exposure. Or you can darken or lighten the areas around you for similar effects.

If you’d rather not deal with these filters, a quick vignette added to the image will darken the edges a little and draw the viewers eye more towards you.

Get some more Lightroom editing tips and tricks here!

Add filters to darken or brighten yourself in editing the self portraits


Self portraits don’t have to be awkwardly posed photos taken one at a time.

You can take incredibly beautiful self portraits with the right camera settings, timer, clothing and action plan. Then you can edit them to look even more appealing.

Looking  to improve your photography overall? Check out this comprehensive photography guide!

Which one of these self portrait tips will you use THIS MONTH?

Comment below!

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