Five Tips for Taking Self Portraits

In September, I decided to celebrate my birthday but doing a birthday self portraits. I had fun deciding on my outfit, makeup, location, and props. I wanted to share a few tips for anyone who may be interested in shooting their own self portraits.


Girl looking up and smiling with balloons
Happy Birthday to me!
Tip One: Work with the equipment you have but don't limit yourself.

As a photographer, I have an arsenal of equipment but all you really need for self portraits is a good camera, tripod, and trigger or remote. Even though I brought all my camera equipment, I ended using only these three items for the shoot. Sometimes, simplicity is best and more efficient when you're shooting alone.


Tip Two: Take the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone.

This was something I had to remind myself because one of the things that drove my interest in photography was that I did not like being in front of the camera. I enjoyed capturing others, but didn't feel any joy in taking my own photos. However, I realized that I was a model always at the ready for any crazy ideas I may have and doing self portraits is an opportunity to execute those ideas.

Tip Three: Be creative and showcase your personality.

Even though balloons are popular for birthday themed photos, I honestly just love them! I've always said I'd love to have a bouquet of balloons over flowers, so I took this as an excuse to use my favorite prop and it turned out great. So don't be afraid to showcase aspects of your personality in fun and creative ways.

Tip Four: Switch up the angles in your location while shooting.

If you feel that your photos look stale, do a 90 degree pivot and see what changes in background impact your photo. You may not even realize that there is a better backdrop available to you without have to hike over to another location but by simply switching up your angles. That goes for your posing as well, raise or lower the tripod to play around with different looks and you may surprise yourself.

Tip Five: Have fun and don't overthink it!

Photography should be fun, so don't lose that aspect in your self portraits! Laugh at yourself and wiggle your body to get loose. I usually shy away from compliments, but when I was doing my birthday self portraits the park patrons were so nice and encouraging that I think it helped me remember to have fun.


Check out the gallery below from my birthday self portraits and I hope these tips inspire you to take some great shots!



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