Contrary to popular belief, I don’t ALWAYS have a professional photographer at my disposal! And while taking your own photos may prove to be a little more difficult, it certainly isn’t impossible! In fact, back in my beauty blogging days I used to take all of my own photos…
You can purchase a little wireless remote for less than $10 on Amazon, but these days you can usually use your phone as a live view remote for FREE! All you need to do is download your camera app and it should be right there ready for you to use. Because I know I’m going to get this question a lot, I use the Olympus E-M5 Mark II with a 17mm lens.
The second thing that would be very helpful is a tripod (I didn’t use one for these photos). If you don’t have a tripod, you will have to get creative. A window sill is a great option or a chair, countertop etc. For this tutorial I used a chair with a Sephora box on top and sat on the floor…see, creative.
Now lets talk light…
We all have our own preferences, but I will always opt for facing my light source. I don’t love backlit photos or photos in direct/harsh sunlight so I closed the blinds nearest to me and left the others open so that my living room was still very bright but there were no awkward shadows in my face. Remember, it’s always best to shoot dark and turn up the exposure in editing if you need to. If you shoot overexposed there is no turning back!
What about editing?
If you are using the remote on your phone you can actually import photos directly and edit them in VSCO (or whatever preferred editing app you are using). I’ve done this many, many times, but I’m really trying to work on my editing game so I’ve been using Lightroom as of late. Finding the right presets will change your life…or build your own and sell them (my goal for this year)!
I wanted to create a soft/dreamy/romantic feeling for this look. As you can see, all of these photos are basically the same…I found a pose that I liked, but it needed refining.
I started out with a couple solid shots but still felt like there was something missing, that’s when I decided to place a cocktail glass in front of my lens. I’ve been reading a lot about prisims lately (I want one bad) and how to manipulate light to make photos more interesting. I figured any shiny piece of glass could do something cool so I took a glass with cutouts from my bar cart and placed it just in front of my camera lens. As you can see, it created a cloudy/bokeh affect on the side of my face. Compare the first and second photos of both colour and black and white sets…which do you prefer? I much prefer the second versions where I used the glass.
Lastly, I want to encourage you to play with cropping! I’ve saved so many photos from the trash can by simply cropping them (my favourite is just below the nose, a look stolen from Justine). You never know, sometimes a good crop can make a photo that much more interesting or draw focus to a particular feature.
I’m going to leave things there (for now) and let you play around with some of my suggestions. Regardless of anything said above, the best tip I can offer you is to experiment and try different things…don’t put yourself in a box thinking your photos have to look a certain way all the time! Use others as inspiration, ask how they did things, research photography tips and diy’s online!
Do you have any selfie tips of your own? I’d love to hear them!
xx – b.