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?

📷

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.

📷

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.

📷

I hope this helps!

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

Let’s get creative and make some art.

Floral Photoshoot | Blue Fantasy

Glamour portrait featuring blue fantasy makeup
Fantasy glamour portrait with a floral backdrop in the photography studio

Makeup is a very important part of portrait photography, especially boudoir and glamour photography.

Not that a model must have a full face of makeup on, but that the makeup can make or break a shoot, as well as have shooting concerns.

📷

This eye makeup is very bold, and needed a light, bright set. When shot against darker backdrops, the makeup looked much more harsh, as did the photos themselves.

Mysterious moody portrait photography

Harsher makeup can still be beautiful, it just may not fit the theme of the photoshoot.

Darker makeup needs a brighter light/set to cut harshness.

An overdrawn lip may look disproportionate at certain angles and perfect at others.

False lashes may only show up in certain angles.

As we do our makeup or provide direction for the makeup artist, we must keep in mind the set, the theme, the mood, and the angles.