Getting Started in Self Portrait Photography | What I Would do if I was Starting Over

What advice would I give to those starting self portrait photography?

What would I do different if I was starting over today?

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Advice for New Photographers

  • You don’t need the newest DSLR. In fact, the best camera to start with is a camera phone. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a DSLR and different portrait lenses to get great portraits. Most of my self portraits these days are taken on my smartphone.
  • If you want to experiment with different lenses, you can buy inexpensive clip-on lenses for your smartphone camera.
  • You don’t need fancy lights or flashguns either. Cheap room lights work well, as well as inexpensive ring lights. Experiment with different angles and distance in relation to you.
  • You don’t need a backdrop rig with expensive backdrops. Easy backdrops can be made by lying on a blanket on the floor of tacking a blanket/curtain to your studio wall.
  • Invest in a selfie stick, tripod, and Bluetooth camera release remote. These tools will get you far.
  • Focus on building your skills, not spending money on equipment. There’s no shortcut to great portraits.
  • Get comfortable in front of the camera by practicing a LOT. Get comfortable doing your own hair, makeup, and wardrobe styling by practicing a LOT.
  • Source backdrops (blankets/curtains), wardrobe and props from thrift shops. You’ll find something unique and save money.
  • Find a solid group of apps to use. My most essential apps for editing self portraits are Lightroom and Facetune with occasional use of Mextures and Procreate Pocket.
  • Get your own website to share your art. If you do more risqué portraits, upload teasers on Facebook and IG so you don’t get reported. You want a portfolio where people can find your work where YOU are in control.
  • Back up your portraits. Get yourself a thumb drive that attaches to your phone. Then backup your photography work both on a computer and a hard drive.

If I Was Starting my Photography Career Over

Honestly, if I was starting over I would do it more from a financial perspective.

I spent so much money on DSLR bodies, different lenses, backdrops, umbrellas, lighting and more to try and be more professional, but all this equipment ran up my credit card bill and slowed down my creation process.

And when it’s harder to create, the less we create.

The more time it takes to create, the less we can create.

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I would keep down to the basics:

  • Camera phone will cheap plan
  • Selfie stick
  • Clip on portrait lens
  • Tripod
  • Bluetooth remote
  • Thrifted wardrobe and blankets for backdrops

We truly don’t need to spend so much money to look professional.

We need to spend our time creating, practicing, and upgrading our equipment when necessary instead of when we think we can get a shortcut.

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I hope this helps!

Self portrait photography is one of my greatest passions in life!

Let’s get creative and make some art.

Wardrobe Couture | Labradorite Ear Hangers

Labradorite  wire wrapped ear hangers

These stunning labradorite ear hangers just arrived and I am in love with them!

These gorgeously wire wrapped gems are from my new favorite shop, Jewel of Bastet, and I can’t wait to grow my collection 🌙


Getting new pieces is always exciting, and it comes with a little touch of anxiety.

Any photographer wants to do justice to the artists featured in a work, be it the model, makeup artist, designer and assistants.

What’s the best way to beat the procrastination?

Just start shooting.

As photographers and models, we already know that not every shot in a photoshoot is perfect.

Out of 250 files, maybe only 5 are chosen to share.

Let’s keep this in mind as we curate our wardrobes and collections, and truly appreciate our items by getting started shooting!

Do you tend to start procrastinating when you get new items in the wardrobe? How do you beat yours?

Forest God Fantasy Photoshoot | Doing Two Photoshoots in One

Fantasy photography cosplay of an androgynous forest king

This fantasy photoshoot of a forest king came out absolutely beautiful!

Get your own headdress in the BlessedShadows Etsy shop! They’re perfect for any photoshoot, boudoir session or fantasy wedding.

This shoot was such a blast, and is SFW so I get to share the whole set!

Two Photoshoots in One

To maximize your lighting setup and time in the studio, consider doing two photoshoots in one.

Start with the simpler set, simpler hair and simpler makeup. The second shoot should have the more elaborate makeup.

Remember that it’s easier to build than to remove.

This strategy works even faster when the two shoots use the same lighting setup and backdrop, but of course feel free to switch it up between photoshoots.

Have you ever done 2+ shoots at once? What looks can you think of that would work well being shot on the same day? What shoot looks are complementary?

Can you guess what the second set in this double shoot was?

Don’t forget to check out the BlessedShadows Shop, drop a like and browse the blog!

Wardrobe Couture | Labradorite Ear Hangers

Labradorite  wire wrapped ear hangers

These stunning labradorite ear hangers just arrived and I am in love with them!

These gorgeously wire wrapped gems are from my new favorite shop, Jewel of Bastet, and I can’t wait to grow my collection 🌙


Getting new pieces is always exciting, and it comes with a little touch of anxiety.

Any photographer wants to do justice to the artists featured in a work, be it the model, makeup artist, designer and assistants.

What’s the best way to beat the procrastination?

Just start shooting.

As photographers and models, we already know that not every shot in a photoshoot is perfect.

Out of 250 files, maybe only 5 are chosen to share.

Let’s keep this in mind as we curate our wardrobes and collections, and truly appreciate our items by getting started shooting!

Do you tend to start procrastinating when you get new items in the wardrobe? How do you beat yours?

Separated but Integrated|Grunge Floral Portrait

Step into the Shadows and shop creations and prints, and join our OnlyFans for exclusive content!

It’s been a year of growth and change, and as focus in the photography studio shifts and begins to focus more on boudoir portraits, I’m now wondering how separate or integrated I want to keep my businesses.

As photographers and models, we often keep our businesses or at least our portfolios separate.

Lovers of mountain landscapes aren’t necessarily expecting for fine boudoir portraits in the same portfolio and social media feed.

Someone looking to buy fantasy accessories isn’t always looking for NSFW prints.

There is a way to marry many things together, and as business owners and lovers of our craft, it’s important to find our niches.

And perhaps, when we have a couple competing niches, we should get more specific by finding a way to aesthetically marry them together.

What are your thoughts?

How have you built your photography businesses and niches so that you’re able to grow and change? Marry your many niches together?