3 Tips to Create Stunning Self Portraits. Portland Portrait Photographer

So I got a little adventurous and tried out something totally different… in terms of style and editing. The project- a glamour style self portrait.  It was fun trying out something new! Being on the other side of the camera every once in a while also gives me a better idea of what my clients experience when they are in the hot seat!

The recipe for an image like this? Natural light, a reflector, tripod, camera, remote, a handy-dandy hair dryer for some wind-action and some antics! It was fun! For anyone watching, it would have been fun-ny :D. You should all try it! Or call me, and we can have a blast!

My usual editing style is pretty simple, clean, natural. This time I played around with some textures and blending modes in Photoshop. Must say I’m quite pleased with the results.
self portrait, glamour portrait, wind blown hair, textured background, reflected light, exist in photos, self portrait, glamour portrait, wind blown hair, textured background, reflected light, exist in photos,

Want to try taking a self-portrait? While there are a million different creative ways you could take a self-portrait, if you want to try something like what I’ve done here, these tips may help you:

  • If you’re doing this indoors, find a window or door in your home with good natural light coming through.
  • Make sure your background is clutter free.
  • When posing, just remember to stand a few feet away from the wall to get a slightly soft, blurry background. You can also avoid dealing with shadows falling on them.


  • A camera (duh!). Any camera . I used a Nikon D610 and a Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G lens.
  • A tripod if you have one, or something sturdy to prop your camera on. You should be able to keep the camera at eye level or slightly above eye level.
  • A white foam core or even a cardboard wrapped with white paper can serve as a reflector. I used a reflector, but you could use any of the substitutes. Using a reflector can help fill in some shadows on the side facing away from the light source.
  • Having a remote (I used one) makes it convenient to click while posing and saves you some of the running back and forth to use the camera timer. If you don’t have one, the timer on your camera will do just fine.
  • The biggest challenge with self portraits is to get the focus spot on. The easiest way to get this right would be to place an object on the spot where you plan on standing. Compose your shot and focus your lens on the object. Now change your lens setting to manual. This ensures that the focus remains on the object, and the camera does not try to refocus later when you click. Now take your position in the exact spot where you placed the object. If you’re using a reflector, place it facing the light and move it slowly until light is reflected on the stand-in object.
  • If you feel really adventurous, and want to get the blown hair look, try holding a hair dryer (better still, clip it to your tripod!) or place a fan for some wind action!


  • Most of us are intimidated by the camera and don’t know what to do with ourselves in front of that lens. RELAX! Your mouth, your shoulders, your whole body! You don’t have to force a smile to get a great portrait. Look at the lens like you would look into the eyes of a person you like. (LOL! I know that sounds weird. But it will change your expression! Or make you laugh. Which is good, you’ll relax!)
  • Do NOT tuck in that chin. Caution! The dreaded double chin! Most of us do it without even realizing. Instead, lift your chin up, forward and down just a centimeter. Feels odd, but looks great! 🙂
  • Posing at a slight angle to the camera is almost always flattering. Ladies, shift your weight to one leg, the leg that is away from the camera. Pivot your hips so they are not square to the camera. Have fun and try different angles.

There! Those are some basic tips.  If you do take some self portraits, please post them here! I would love to see what you come up with! Got questions? Ask me!