I've seen a lot of interest in the past few weeks on how to take better content and how to make the most out of what we have. I personally self shoot all my photosets. Sort of due to my awkwardness. I've been making all my content myself for...about 5 years now so I thought I'd share my tips on how I personally go about doing this.
Side note: There is no right or wrong way! This is just my personal process.
The Camera Set Up
When setting up my camera I try and find an area with natural light in front of me. With minimal light in the background.
The best time of the day for this is around 10-11am, as the natural light is there but it's not too harsh and uneven yet.
I use a Canon 700D with a flip around screen so that I can see what is in shot. However I do sometimes switch in between using my mobile phone too.
I use a tripod for my Canon camera and for my mobile, I will take advantage of my phone case and any shelves/books I can find to prop it on. Typically I would recommend using a windowsill as this also means you have natural light head on.
Depending on how well you know your way around a camera will make this step vary. I usually use manual mode and self select my white balance depending on the mood I am trying to convey, and self adjust the aperture.
I tend to use manual focus if I am going for a more body shot/distance shot, but auto focus for headshots. This is because when I click the button it will focus and my arms aren't long enough for it to focus on my face at a distance hahah.
(I use a 2 or 10 second timer)
On mobile, I make sure I have a 5 second timer set up. This gives me enough time to get into place and pick out a pose.
Theres a lot of stigma around editing your photos. "#NoFilter" etc.
However it is 100% okay to edit your photos! Photographers do this as the camera is not 100% true! The camera picks up colours differently to the eye as well as other details.
I do not recommend you edit your body parts tho. When most of us talk about photo editing in the photo world, we mean colour correction, blurred backgrounds, adding some fancy overlays and what not.
I use the photo editing software for Windows + Mac called GIMP. This is like photoshop however free and less controls. You can adjust the saturation, the contrast, colour balance and whatever else you see fit.
If you're interested in my full process in video form, you can check out my video below on how I took my grunge photoset.
Miscellaneous Tips and Tricks!
1. Don't try to improve everything at once.
If you try to improve 10 things at the same time, each skill only increases by 10%.
However if you focus on improving just one of them things, you can 100% increase that skill and then move onto the next.
2. Practice with basic/blank backgrounds before experimenting with adventurous sets and backgrounds.
As you get the hang of blank backgrounds, slowly introduce 1 more prop each time etc.
3. Wear a basic outfit, with 1 item that you really want to highlight in the photoset.
This helps give your photoset a specific look and feel to them. Having too much going on outfit wise can someone distract you. Having 1 item as the focus of the set can also help give you a clear thing to focus on (I've learnt so many new poses doing this!). If you change this 1 item in your future photosets - your photos will start to look different!
4. If you have a messy background, use the "Free Select Tool" in GIMP,
as close as you can outline yourself,
Head to Select > Invert,
Head to Filters > Blur > Gaussian blur,
This should blur the background and you can just the amount in which the background is blurred at. Feel free to use the blur pen tool to blur any areas that it missed.
5. Take wayyy too many pictures.
And be sure to shoot the same pose multiple times with slight camera adjustments (such as focus etc).
When it comes to reviewing the pictures on your device/laptop, you may notice some great pictures accidentally were a little too out of focus to use. So take more than enough because some pictures will fail. and thats okay!!
I hope this article is helpful for you guys! \^o^/ I have so much fun taking and editing photosets so I thought I'd share some tips to make it easier and more enjoyable for you kitties too!c:
Self photography is hard and, well, theres not many tutorials out there - but I hope having a little insight into my behind the scenes is useful for you! \^o^/
Much Love, Omo ~
Feel free to share some pictures of your self shot photosets in the comment section below ~ lets spread some love together!