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
- 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.