Self-portraits and How to Start

There's no disputing that self-portraiture requires time and patience, but it's a fun opportunity to experiment with your camera and push yourself.

Despite the loosening of lockdown measures, many of us are still constrained to shooting and styling our own content from home or when out on our socially-distanced walks, so now is a good time to boost your confidence and familiarise yourself with self-portrait photography.

Have you ever wondered, "Why do I need to photograph myself?" To others, taking a picture of yourself may seem vain or stupid, but I see it as an opportunity to be artistic and chronicle yourself in your current settings from your own perspective. I've got some creative self-portrait tips, whether you use a tripod, table, or extend your arms.

Shooting in natural light

Position yourself near a window when photographing indoors, ideally with the light source directly in front of you. If you're outside, aim for the shade or wait for some cloud cover to avoid squinting into the sun.

Find some unusual shadows on walls and experiment with their shapes if you're filming about your house. The combination of a wine glass and floral shadows is always a winning combination.

Golden hour is a photographer's dream – get outside with your camera a few hours before sunset to capture that beautiful soft dreamlike light. It's essentially a form of magic.


When photographing a self-portrait, you don't always have to have your entire body in the frame. Self-genuine portraiture's beauty is in capturing your true 'self,' and our hands and eyes are the best storytellers.

For an arty editorial atmosphere, stand near to the camera and extend out a hand towards the lens, or capture a close up of your eye staring right into the lens. Then, using your best self-portrait portions, create a 9 × 9 collage with a little bit of you in each square.

Another idea is to put a small mirror on the bed and photograph a minor feature like a jewellery or a ruffled sleeve.


What colours will you be wearing, and how will they contrast or enhance your surroundings? Wearing a bright orange raincoat in a green forest scene, for example, can look much more effective than wearing brown or green.

Black & white

By removing colour from your self-portrait, you can increase the drama in your composition as well as the atmosphere and emotion it evokes. It's very effective when you have a shot with a lot of light and dark contrast. When it comes to wedding photography, the white of the bride's gown stands out against a dense woodland or a dark and spooky church setting. When editing in post-production, play around with contrast and shadow to make the black and white edit truly pop.


Your self-portrait doesn't have to be perfectly sharp and in focus all of the time; sometimes blur and movement work best.


Self-portraits can be created by shooting directly into a mirror and capturing your reflection. Having your camera or phone in the shot also looks quite amazing. Experiment with various reflecting surfaces, such as puddles and windows, or shoot your shadow form with natural light.

Different angles

Self-portraits don't necessarily have to be taken in front of the camera at eye level. By filming from above or below, you may alter the perspective and begin to tell a visual story.

Texture & character

Images recorded with a film camera have a lovely raw texture, but you don't have to be an expert in film photography to obtain that retro look in your photos. Adding grain to your photos, whether they're coloured or black-and-white, will give them a retro film look. You may also experiment with saturation to make your self-portrait appear to be less vivid and more tonal and aged. You may also produce hazy, dreamy self-portraits by photographing through sheer fabric and lace.


You might wish to publish your self-portrait on your Instagram feed, stories, or Pinterest board after you've shot and altered it. Using the Template app, you may experiment with hundreds of innovative templates, custom brushes, typefaces, and layouts to create your own unique visual story. Enhance your photographs with a consistent aesthetic and design, from film strips to paint splashes and aged scrapbooks.

Make a video of oneself in a vulnerable position. This is me in my cluttered bathroom first thing in the morning. It doesn't get any more genuine than this! Though sharing this photo is rather humiliating, I believe in the beauty of raw vulnerability, which in this case displays me without makeup in an untidy environment.