This Daily Dose of Pretty is a bit of a departure from previous posts but I think it’s important. Self portraits: to do or not to do? I say DO! And not for completely narcissistic reasons (although no one can deny that taking self portraits has an aspect of narcissism to it). We all want to look good in photos right? I mean, these are the moments you will look back on years from now and it’s only natural to want to feel good about how you look.
Serena Severtson is a fantastic photographer I met a few weeks ago at A Lovely Workshop (and also writes the adorable Life Love Blog) and has mastered the art of self portraits. Not only that, she also shares all her secrets in a post about how to master them yourself (and no outstretched arms, cheesy, unnatural smiles or posing necessary).
Visit her blog to read the full guide on everything you might want to know on mastering the art of the selfie, but the biggest tip is to have a tripod and a wireless remote (although you could very well use the timer that most cameras, even point-and-shoots, have these days – it will just take a lot longer). Just make sure you discreetly hide the remote in your hand.
Digital cameras make it so easy to play around and try out different poses to see what works best. Getting in front of a camera can be intimidating, especially when being shot by a photographer, so I love the idea of getting comfortable being photographed by shooting some self portraits first and determining how you look best on camera. Just move around and try anything you can think of that might look good – oftentimes something that feels awkward actually looks beautiful in photos.
I love this behind-the-scenes look at one of her self portrait sessions. Not that glamorous right? But the proof is in the pudding – her pictures come out beautifully natural. (PS – I don’t actually know that all of these photos here are taken this way, but they very well could be, so let’s just pretend.) :)
I will admit that I use this tripod-and-remote technique for my recipe and DIY posts in which I want my hands to be shown (for example here, here and here) – I have the remote on the floor and I push the trigger with my big monkey toe…whatever works, right? :) So if you wanted to take a picture with both your hands in the frame, just punch the button with your foot and make sure your feet aren’t in the frame.
I often think about my future children and what they will see in photos of myself – or if there will even be a lot of photos to look at. As a child, I remember looking at photos of my mom throughout different stages of her life and gobbling up every beautiful image of her I could find, though there weren’t that many. Sure, the important moments are captured like school photos, prom, my dad and her when they were dating, their wedding, but I wish I could see what she looked like on a normal day, a fun outing with her friends, or even just some simple pictures of her looking pretty for no particular reason. I love that today’s children will have more photos of their parent’s since cell phones and digital cameras make it so easy, but I think a more sophisticated approach to self portraits like Serena’s are a lovely way to capture life and one I need to start experimenting with.
What do you think of self portraits? Are they silly and vain or an important part of your personal history?