Self-portrait photography


Have you noticed how many similar photo plots are found in social networks and open Internet resources? It is unlikely that you will want to try on someone else's image in the interiors of a photo studio, where you will feel untight.

The advantages of a self photoshoot:

  • You can think over in advance and choose suitable props; you do not need to be too smart; you can beat the usual improvised things;
  • Freedom and emancipation are the key components of a successful photoshoot;
  • You have the opportunity to preserve the atmosphere and images in the photo for a long time;
  • The more unusual and beautiful, bold photos you take, the more you will be able to admire your youth in the future.

Do not forget to tidy up your place the day before, remove all unnecessary things from; perhaps, decorate the room. Take a look at your house from the side where you would like to pose? An optimum angle, good light are a guarantee that your photos will turn out to be great.

Psychodiagnostic self-portrait test

Self-portrait photography is a self-created image of a person. For psychodiagnostic, it is important to what extent a self-portrait as an image of its creator exhausts its model and is limited by it; by what typological features it can be distinguished.

You can make several of your self-portraits and pay attention to those features that stand out the most. In the USA, at the Seattle Institute for Human Development, the self-portrait test was invented by R. Burns, which asked the person who participated in the trial to draw themselves alone or with family members and work colleagues. Burns interprets the elements that can be found in a self-portrait as follows.

Ears and nose

Large ears suggest sensitivity to criticism. The focus is shifted to the nose, the presence of sexual problems. Highlighted nostrils indicate a disposition towards aggression.


Highlighted mouth suggests primitive oral tendencies or possible speech difficulty. The absence of a mouth means either depression or lethargy in communication.


They symbolize the person's contact with the outside world. So, locked hands suggest a tough, introverted personality. Sluggishly drooping hands imply inefficiency; fragile, weak hands mean physical or psychological weakness. Long, strong arms indicate ambition and strong involvement in the events of the outside world. Very short arms suggest a lack of ambition and a sense of inadequacy.


Long legs mean the need for independence. Large legs imply a need for safety. Drawing without legs means instability and lack of foundation. For example, deserters often paint people without legs.

How to prepare for a self-portrait?

Like any critical event, a self-portrait requires preliminary preparation. Following simple rules, you can easily cope with the task.

  • Makeup. You should pay special attention to the skin. Don't you want to look tired in the photo, with bruises under your eyes and an oily sheen on your skin? Use a mattifying creme for your face, but don't overdo it. For make-up, use the usual set of products from your cosmetic bag, or contact the services of a professional make-up artist. It is desirable to have a proven one. Debut makeup can be a bitter disappointment.
  • Hairstyle. Light waves, curls with the effect of carelessness, shiny long hair is an ideal hairstyle for a young girl, a young woman. Is your hair short? Perfectly! Slightly careless styling will be just right; few people walk around the house, fixed for reliability with hairspray. And remember, you should be comfortable; the camera will instantly catch the slightest discomfort.
  • Clothes and shoes. It is preferable to make a complete wardrobe revision a week before the day of shooting. It is an excellent opportunity to prepare several bright, stylish images for a photoshoot and bright self-portraits. Feel free to combine things, try on, twirl, pose, experiment with images in front of the mirror. Get a hat from the mezzanine, vintage silk gloves, grandma's crocodile leather reticule; all this may come in handy. And don't forget high-heeled shoes.
  • In the right mood. Try to get enough sleep, avoid eating a large portion of the meal, and drink alcohol the day before.

selfie shooting

Self-shooting guide

The artistic self-portrait is one of the most personal and even intimate genres of photography. Good self-portraits can accurately reflect not only the appearance but also the inner state of the photographer. They can also be dreamy, harsh, or eccentric. Quarantine is a great time to learn how to make beautiful and interesting self-portraits. It can even become your daily challenge.

To take a good self-portrait, you need to be well-versed in the camera and its settings, have good taste, and often understand your inner world.

Do not be afraid of someone else's opinion. One of the most obvious tips and also one of the hardest things to do. 

  • You need to get over your fear of censure and not be afraid of what others might think. You should not be afraid of your vulnerability about your body, face, look, smile, etc. On the contrary, it should become your creative tool.
  • Imagine that you are not taking a self-portrait for everyone, but, first of all, for yourself. And any possible condemnation is just a fleeting event in your life, which you and everyone else will forget about in a couple of days.
  • It also means that you have to go beyond your limits. Try nude portraits if you've never tried it before. Try to take a photo that shows your hands or lips, or one that doesn't show your face. Putting everything in a public space; can become your method of knowing yourself and gaining confidence.
  • Finally, try something that you find uncomfortable. No tips can teach you the art of being outside the boundaries of the familiar and mundane, so it is essential to expand your boundaries to create a stunning and creative portrait.

Express your emotions differently. Many people who take artistic self-portraits (not to mention simple selfies) use one or two facial expressions in every shot.

  • Of course, there are much more important things to worry about, like ensuring proper lighting, etc. But it is this standard face mask that often kills all the liveliness of a good portrait.
  • To demonstrate different facial expressions while shooting, you need to be able to recognize them. Check your shots every few minutes to make sure you captured several different emotions / facial expressions.
  • Whenever your photos become too similar, it is worth taking a break from shooting and coming back to them later.

Capture your flaws. This is one of those self-shooting guide tips that very few photographers follow. Find your flaws and use them as your strength.

  • Beauty can be found in everything, in our weaknesses, imperfections, wrinkles, etc. If your goal is to create a self-portrait that emphasizes who you are, take advantage of your shortcomings.
  • Weaknesses demonstrate our vulnerability, but they can also act as a bridge between us and our audience. Everyone has something that they don't like about themselves, and if they see a photographer who highlights their imperfections, finding special beauty in them, they feel an emotional connection. It can also act as a kind of psychotherapy for the viewer.
  • No amount of advice can give you that level of confidence that will openly display what you hate about yourself. Eventually, you may find that these are some of your best photographs.

Challenge yourself. During self-isolation, photo and video challenges became very popular. 

  • Try shooting one self-portrait using different techniques every day, experiment with angle and lighting, try different clothes if you want makeup, etc.
  • Taking self-portraits every day for a long time, you can track how your technique changes, your skills, and your sense of self-improvement.
  • In conditions of isolation, this can also be an excellent way of reflection, self-discovery, and return to yourself. And the skills you learn along the way can then be transferred to any other genre of photography. Plus, by understanding how light and camera settings work about your face and body, you can better use them in photographing other people if you are or plan to take portraits.

home photo shooting

Ideas for a home self-photoshoot

One of the features of home self-portrait photography is that you have a unique opportunity to express yourself in different ways. In a familiar environment, it is easier to relax, do not be shy, and show their emotions and individuality.

  • The image of a household girl. What can a diligent housewife look like? You can take a photo with a rolling pin and flour, or a girl drinking tea from a beautiful mug.
  • Bad girl image. This is a real provocation - daring, brave, on the verge of a foul. Do a bright, revolutionary make-up for a self-portrait, using a bottle of whiskey, rum, an ashtray, and other paraphernalia of a vicious life as props, but without obvious excesses.

Clothes made of leather, denim will be just right. Add a provocative tattoo or drawing for a highlight. Do not choose cute sofas or ottomans; we choose an angle from the top with smooth brick wall or decorative plaster background. The look is impudent, defiant, a little haughty, and at the same time cold.

  • Romanticism. You will be surprised, but the individual image is much more interesting, more subtly reflects sensuality, love, inner experiences than in a tandem with a partner.

Climb with your feet on the windowsill, warm the glass with your breath and draw a cute heart. Or lie on the bed with your favorite teddy bear. Light the candles, think of something pleasant, don't hide your emotions. The warmer you look, the more realistic you are in the photo.

A hairstyle, makeup, clothing, accessories are the simplest, no complaints. Your soul, feelings, inner world play a role.

  • Sport. Here it is, your moment of glory! Making  home photoshoot, you can and should show off your excellent fit, sports talents.

Wear clothes that maximize all your charms in a swimsuit, a tennis skirt, shorts, a tight top. As paraphernalia, use any available inventory of dumbbells, jump ropes, balls. By the way, if you have mastered the plank or twine exercise, it's time to demonstrate this.

  • With family. Happy parents, smiling rosy-cheeked kids, grandparents in a cozy home atmosphere. Looking at them a few years later, you will remember not only your own faces but also your mother's favorite picture over the fireplace or the cat that loved to sleep at your father's feet, curled up in a ball.

In family photos, the main idea is considered to be the unity of everything close by, together, in one bundle. You should not sit in a row on the couch; it is better to sit on the floor in casual positions and hug. A very good angle from above: when the family lies horizontally, on the floor, with their heads side by side. The main thing is a family atmosphere and a sincere expression of feelings.

  • With friends. Dance in front of the camera to a fiery melody, blow bubbles, or a pillow fight with feathers flying around the room.

The crazier, ridiculous idea, the more intriguing the photos will be. Relax, fool around, jump and hug. Let your friendship be admired.

  • With animals. By the way, pets willingly pose for shooting. It is impossible to seat (lay) them at the point, forcing them to freeze in anticipation of the camera shutter’s click; but catching the moment is not so difficult.

Dogs, cats are very photogenic;  just look at pics of pets with their owners. Praise a dog or cat, give them a favorite treat, and they will do whatever you want.

  • Black and white pictures. Such self-portraits have a special, unique magic. Sometimes the color distracts, makes it difficult to see the mood of the picture. A portrait in black and white is a nude emotion, an inner state, conveyed through facial expressions, glances, subtle details. High-quality shot comes from careful lighting, but the game is worth the candle.
  • Nude photos. There is no need to be afraid, shy, and look for hints of your immorality in hot photos. A real photographer will approach the solution of the task with all delicacy.

To be completely naked or not - is up to you. With the skillful drapery of a silk sheet, a luxurious bouquet will hide intimate spots of your body from prying eyes, emphasizing your sexuality.

  • Festive. A great idea for a fun photoshoot using holiday paraphernalia. Put on fun caps, masks, fake beards, and mustaches, and start fooling around. Throw balloons to the ceiling, hug and have fun. A variety of emotions, sincere smiles coexist with joy, awe, excitement, pleasure, delight. Do not skimp on the manifestation of feelings.
  • Gloomy style. You've probably seen the photos in which the heroes were shot against the background of mysterious ruins, in dark basements, strange empty rooms. A home photo session also allows you to express yourself from an unexpected side. The professional photographer knows how to correctly set the light to reflect the most essential, conceptual details: a face, a spectacular accessory, or an object.

You will have to show your acting talents to play drama, inner tension on the camera.


  • What is a self-portrait photography?

Auto portrait is one of the most popular genres in art. If we talk about a photo, then a self-portrait is considered the image that the photographer has made on his own.

  • What are the advantages of a self photoshoot?
  1. You can think over in advance and choose suitable props; you do not need to be too smart; you can beat the usual improvised things;
  2. Freedom and emancipation are the key components of a successful photoshoot;
  3. You have the opportunity to preserve the atmosphere and images in the photo for a long time.
  4. The more unusual and beautiful, bold photos you take, the more you will be able to admire your youth in the future.
  • What is the right way to take self-portrait photography?

It is best to take a picture of yourself as follows:

  1. Set your camera to aperture priority mode.
  2. Set up a tripod or find a platform where you can place the camera.
  3. Set a timer and step away.
  • What makes a good self portrait?

The most important thing is the quality of the photo itself, as well as how you look. To make the portrait look real, you need to try to be photographed with different facial expressions. Use jewelry or makeup as needed.

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