Great Self Portrait Ideas and Tips for Photographers

If you’re a photographer, chances are you’ve taken some self portraits. It’s a great way to practice your lighting skills, and it also helps you get comfortable being in front of the camera. But if you get bored of doing the same old thing, here are some creative self portrait ideas for photographers.

  • Photograph yourself with others. This could be with friends or family, or even strangers. It gives you an opportunity to practice interacting with other people while being photographed, which will help you in future shoots. You can also use this as an opportunity to practice photographing children, pets and other animals.

    Include objects that are meaningful to you in your shot. These can be everyday things (such as a coffee cup) or something more specific (such as a piece of art from an exhibition). This is another way of showing off your personality and interests through photography.

  • Sharp focus on one part of the face and blurred background
  • Double exposure with yourself as the foreground subject (this can be done with film or digital)
  • Silhouette against a bright background (the sun setting behind you is perfect!).
  • Take black and white portraiture.
  • Shoot your reflection in a mirror. Hold your camera as close as possible to the mirror, then shoot through the viewfinder or LCD screen at yourself. This is one of the easiest ways to take a self-portrait.
  • Get creative with objects in front of you and use them for props (like hats or wigs). You can also use the objects themselves as props by placing them on top of your head or around your neck (a flower in your hair or a tie around your neck).
  • “Pose” with another person or pet in front of you (as long as they’re not moving too much).
  • Take photos from above using a tripod or even just placing your camera on something stable like a chair or table top (make sure everything is steady when taking these shots).
  • Take pictures of yourself with different backgrounds and props at different times of day/year/season – For example, if you’re photographing snowflakes in winter, take one shot when it snows and another when it melts away.
  • Use objects as props – A flower or other object can help set the scene for your photo. If you’re taking a picture with a friend or family member, use it as an opportunity to practice posing people!
  • Experiment with angles – Try taking photos from low angles or high angles (making sure no one will trip over anything!). You can also try standing on something higher than knee-level (like a chair) for a unique perspective on things around you.
  • Change up your attire – Another way that you can change up your self portraits is by changing up what you wear.
  • Take photos of your face from different angles so that you can see how it looks when turned to the side or upside down.
  • Use facial expressions like smiling, frowning, raising an eyebrow or blinking an eye to create different emotions in your photo shoot.
  • Experiment with long exposures and multiple exposures (layering multiple images together). These techniques can add visual interest and depth to any photo!
  • It might help if you can find someone who looks similar to you (in terms of age, gender and ethnicity) who is not afraid to stand in front of the camera. Take your new friend’s picture, and compare the two. You can then ask them what they think their portrait would look like. This could make a fascinating discussion topic for you to discuss in class.

Have fun taking self portraits, and try not to worry too much about the results. Even if you are unsuccessful, the practice of taking lots of photographs will enable you to become a better photographer in the future.