How to Take Incredible Self Portraits with Your Camera
Follow these Steps to Take Amazing Self Portraits
Want to take amazing landscape photos with yourself in them but need some tips or inspiration? You can easily apply these steps to taking self portraits!
Sarah shows her process with a specific photoshoot in this tutorial. Let’s take a look at her start to finish step-by-step process for taking self portraits, from vision to the final edited image. And follow along for the best self portrait tips!
How to take AMAZING self portraits with your camera
Out in the field with Sarah Lyndsay
Self portraits can be more than just your standard phone camera selfie, but taking photos of yourself by yourself involves some planning.
Sarah Lyndsay is a landscape photographer from Alberta, Canada who takes her yellow dress and her camera anywhere, any season. She takes her own portrait photos wherever she travels, and they look incredible! Follow these steps to take amazing self portraits like Sarah.
Self Portrait Step #1: Have a Vision for Your Photo
Sarah’s vision always includes her yellow dress and a location with a great landscape. In this tutorial she is shooting on a location in Canada, in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
Your vision should include:
Selecting a Location
The location for a landscape photoshoot is important to think about when shooting a self portrait, but you can choose any backdrop. In your vision, think about where you will be positioned in the photo; how close or far from the camera, the elements around you, where the light might hit you in that location are all important factors that will affect your self portrait.
The yellow dress against the deep and vivid greens and blues of this location are what inspired Sarah’s vision for her photos.
Thinking About Lighting
For outdoor shoots, you usually have to wait for the correct lighting to hit. Sarah likes to wait for the sun to go down a bit further in order to get more shadow and deeper colors. Whatever vision you have for your self portrait, make sure that you choose your location and also the time of day that will work best for your shot.
Self Portrait Step #2: Set up Your Gear
While you may be waiting for the perfect lighting or background settings, set up your gear so you have everything ready to take the shot when the time comes.
Whatever gear you are using to take your self portrait shot should be set up first, which will probably include at least a tripod and camera. Make sure to weight the tripod if it it windy so that your camera doesn’t move when taking photos.
Self Portrait Step #3: Get Your Camera Ready
Next you should work on framing up your desired composition for the photo on camera, making sure to note what in the background of the shot may need to be edited out, covered, or changed in editing. Using the screen on the camera, you can adjust the direction of what the camera will capture until it is exactly as you have envisioned.
Sarah chooses to take self portrait photos with camera setting of F11 which is a good aperture setting for capturing landscapes with a foreground object.
Generally settings between F11 and F16 are good for landscapes, where more depth is needed.
Self Portrait Step #4: Take the Photo!
The setting is ready – lighting, location, camera – so go for it! Set a timer and get out there into the shot. You can try different poses, locations, directions you are facing – whatever you want.
Once you take as many photos with yourself in them as you desire, try taking some photos with just the landscape. Long exposure (which means setting a slower shutter speed that takes a long time to take the photo, thus creating the effect of movement like clouds, water, etc) photos of just the landscape will give you the ability to play around with elements such as clouds, water, and sky features and combine those into the portrait shot in editing.
Taking a lot of photos will help you later in the editing process.
Self Portrait Step #5: Edit Your Photos
Finally, the editing process. If you need some editing tips for your self portrait, you can check out this video for editing landscape photos, and there are many other editing tutorials that will help you if you get stuck!
She does photoshop out the path in the landscape and replace it with some extra foliage.
The long exposure shots that she took without her in them are edited together with her portrait images to create the beautiful scenery in the final photo. You can apply those tricks to your editing process as well!
Taking Self Portraits is as simple as following these steps!
Sarah’s final photo is stunning, with the beautiful landscape, colors, clouds and of course her signature yellow dress!
Who ever said you need your own photographer to take amazing portraits?
Thanks for taking us along and showing us your process Sarah!
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