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Self Portraits

Hey there,

I am back with another self portrait post. About a year ago I made a post and shared some self portraits utilizing reflections from windows and mirrors. You can check out that post here.

This time I am actually in front of the camera. This is inspired by Mango Street's video where they used newspapers as props. I decided to use books.

You can use anything available at home: magazines, books, even photographs, coffee beans and mugs, flowers, food of similar category or even home made face masks. So just about anything.

Here is the set up:

Along with a background you would need a camera stand. In case you don't have one available, try mounting your camera, at a higher angle. This might be a bit tricky if it is a DSLR camera. Instead you can use your phone, there are many hacks available to safely tape your phone onto the ceiling, so try that. If these two do not work ask someone to stand above you or on tippy toes or on a foot stool. What you want is your camera to be at a higher angle.

If you do have a camera stand, mount your camera. Additionally, you would need a remote trigger or you can download the app, Camera Connect for Canon, this app connects your Canon camera to your phone via wifi. There are other such apps available for cameras of other brands like WirelessMobileUtility by Nikon Corporation for Nikon on android phones.This allows you to use your phone as a trigger. You can change the settings via your phone, position yourself and see on your phone screen, what the camera is picking up. This makes it easier compared to using self timer and running back and forth.

Depending on how you have set up the background, on the wall or floor or floating, sit, stand or lie down. All you have to do now is lie in various poses, with book, without book, reading it, throwing it in the air, and shooting such actions. You can do this on continuous shooting mode which will capture the actions and make the picture more fluid and less awkward. Moving the camera, or your body in various angles/ shooting the movements makes a big difference.

I found that opposite directions worked better than the same side. What I mean by this is lie down on the opposite side of where you have positioned the camera, it is just a better angle, at least for me.

So here are a few when I was lying in the same direction as the camera stand:

(Note: I changed the setting here a bit, some books are on the floor and some are stacked on top of each other)

Here are a few from when I was lying in the opposite direction to where I set up the camera. I also shared few of them on Instagram and on the gallery page.

And at this point I was just trying various poses and ideas. I was really trying to let the book stay on my head without covering my face...and it did not really work.

If you try this at home please share it in the comments below.

All pictures shot on Canon EOS Rebel T6i and edited on Lightroom and Photoshop.

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