The Art Of Self-Portraits: 4 Tips For Taking A Good Self-Portrait

You can deny it all you want, but we’ve all taken a selfie at least once in our life. You know how it goes – hold your smartphone at arm’s length, find your “good” side, and snap a picture.

But when it comes to self-portraits, things are a bit more complicated than that. If you want to learn more about it and get some much-needed tips for taking a good self-portrait, keep on reading!

Self-Portraits Vs. Selfies: Is There A Difference?

Is it okay to think of selfies as the self-portraits of the 21st century?

That’s a legitimate question for you to ask.  

The motivation behind these two phenomena is simple and quite similar – both a self-portrait and a selfie aim to portray and somewhat embellish the definition you have of yourself. Think of them as relatives – close, but not quite the same.

Self-portraits take time, careful composition, and creativity. They document who the person is – or was – better than any selfie ever could, and as such, they can be viewed as art.

You wouldn’t compare a Kim Kardashian’s selfie to Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait, wouldn’t you?

4 Essential Tips For Taking A Good Self-Portrait

Now, I know why you’re here. You’re looking for some tips for taking a good self-portrait, right? Here are five simple, yet useful tips you can try today!

1. Don’t Try Too Hard

Trust me, people will notice, and they will call you out for it – no one likes a try-hard, especially not when it comes to self-portraits. I get that you’re trying to look all mysterious and cool, but let me tell you something:

If you have to try to be any of those things for your self-portrait, then you’re probably not. It’s okay – and actively encouraged, even – to experiment with emotions and facial expressions, as long as you find a way to make it work.

On that note, make sure you’re comfortable, too – if you want to take a picture in a good pair of shoes  because they feel good, by all means, do.

2. Make Use Of Self-Timers, Burst Modes, And Tripods

Nothing turns a good self-portrait into an average-looking selfie like an outstretched hand in the corner of the photo.

These things all exist for a reason, you know?

Also, pre-focusing is a must with self-portraits. Turn off autofocus, and use something – a stuffed animal, a broom, whatever – to focus on, and mark the spot before you step into the camera’s field of view.

3. Mirrors Are Your Friends

No, I’m not talking about the annoying bathroom mirror selfies trend. I’m talking about playing with reflections and using mirrors as props.

It doesn’t stop there, though – any shiny surface that allows you to catch a glimpse of yourself in them is a good enough reflection for a self-portrait. For instance, give puddles and windows a try!

4. Lighting Is Vital

Self-portraits are a form of photography so of course, light plays a huge role in getting a good shot.

There are plenty of ways for you to play around with light. Of course, natural sunlight is the absolute best, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to make fake lighting work – a flashlight in a completely dark room always creates a dramatic effect.

Final Touches

The next time you’re in the mood for turning the camera lens your way, make sure you give these tips for taking a good self-portrait a try. I’m pretty sure you’ll be surprised with the results.

Do you have any other tricks up your sleeve that help you take breathtaking self-portraits? Leave them in the comments below!

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