Self portrait at home
Most people aren't keen on having their photo taken and most photographers seem to suffer from this more than many. I think self portraits are most photographers idea of hell - unless they're complete show-offs like me!
But there are also those of you who'd like to know how to shoot a self portrait at home without the use of studio equipment and lighting rigs etc so this is what we're going to do here.
The look I was going for in the top images was a more 'business like' look such as you might want for a Linked In profile or your work's 'Meet The Team' page. Them we have the kind of fun stuff you'd use on Facebook etc and down the bottom a more friendly self portrait.
But notice the lighting in photos 1 and 3. I've made them look as though they were taken in a studio with some 'male' side lighting and a plain background. But all three were taken in the front room of an ordinary house - actually in the same spot.
You have to think about what you want to achieve, then go and look for the place to do it. Step one is to look for the light you want because lighting is more important than anything. You might need to move some furniture about to get a plain background but if the light's right then it's worth it.
Window light is perfect and I'm going to show you a handy trick to find it. Single point auto focus to make sure it's in the right place.
Then find the focal length you'll need to exclude stuff around you. Longer lengths of 100mm or more are best for a self portrait because they have a narrower field of view and are also more flattering.
A phone is a great tool for taking a self portrait and phones are used for 'selfies' more than any other camera. And just because you're using a phone for photography doesn't mean it has to be a rubbish photo. In may ways they're easier to get a great self portrait out of than a DSLR.
So when it's raining and you don't know what to take a picture of - why not have a bit of practise and take some self portraits at home in your own environment. We'd love to see some of them on our Facebook page by the way - always great to put a face to a name...
7 Blocks of Photography was an ideal blend of the technical and creative aspects of photography. The notion that the picture begins with the photographer and not the camera is a powerful one.
The course, like the best educational tools, was particularly valuable because it allowed me to think not only about my pictures before I took them, but more importantly it enabled me to better assess why the photos that didn't work failed.