how to create a self portrait

This has always been a difficult subject for me … it’s a challenge being on the other side of the camera. My preference is to be the one holding the camera … even in getting portraits of myself … and so, I do self-portraits. We all need some sort of photo of ourselves for our profile photos on our social media, so we might as well learn to take a good one. 🙂

Some people call them ‘selfies’, but to me, a selfie is something you do with your cell phone, held up in front of your face or standing in front of a mirror capturing you.

A self-portrait is planned out much like a portrait session is planned out with a client.

Self Portrait Quote

You’ll need …

  • a tripod or something to hold your camera
  • a camera
  • good lighting

My suggestion is to use something as close to an 85mm lens that you can. The 85mm produces super sharp images and no distortion. You can get a nice depth of field with a larger aperture. I usually shoot at 2.2 with my 85mm.

What I do …

  • Hair & makeup … plan it out! Make sure you look your best!
  • Practice poses in your mirror … this will help you to see how to make your eyes look the same size and know which is your most flattering angle, etc.
  • Find a location. Outdoors works and I’ve gotten some that I really love. (click here for a sample) Indoors works too! You can get really great window light.
  • Take lots of shots


For the first two photos I used front lighting and the second two, I used a flash to light up my face and backlighting from my window. (…a little awkwardness going on here … posting FOUR pictures of me is not what I like doing!!!)

I tried sitting on my bed, leaning on my bed, one with my arm out and one with my arm down (you obviously can’t see my full arms, but can tell what I did with them). These are just a few of the shots I took … I probably deleted a minimum of 30!

Over time, I’ve discoverest that shots with me looking directly into the camera with my face straight forward are the most flattering for me. I generally always angle my body to one side or the other though, as that straight on body look typically isn’t good for a woman. It gives us a boxy body and I don’t know any woman who wants that!

I hope you learned a little something today … check back for more tips on posing.

Thanks for stopping in … it’s been great! 🙂



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