How to optimise your photos for online viewing.
- it gives you a chance to practise poses you might want to try with someone else
- you can practise lighting techniques and get used to new kit
- it's a great form of self expression and a creative outlet
- you might want to take part in a Project 365 where you take a self portrait every day for a year
This will depend on your motivation. If you are trying out new kit or lighting, get your set up right first and then use yourself as a model. If you want to be creative, the kit doesn't matter so much - use a phone or a DSLR, whatever you've got with you.
You will either need a remote shutter release or a self timer on your camera, or with a phone just a very long arm. If you are using autofocus it can be tricky to tell if the camera has got it right so either prefocus manually, select a nice narrow aperture or just use good old fashioned trial and error.
With digital photography you can check your photo instantly and keep trying until you get your shot.
Personally I hate being in front of the camera which is why I'm always behind it. Here is a very rare self portrait, taken atop a windy summit in the Lake District last week. And next to it is the kind of self portrait I prefer - shrouded in mystery!
Self portrait ideas are limitless. You might take the same shot of yourself annually, try expressing emotions, attempt some moody lighting, get clever with long exposures or reflections. My favourite resources are Flickr and Pinterest - have a search on there for self portrait photo ideas and see what other people are up to. And if you are inspired, join a P365 (or 52, or 12) portrait group (there are a couple of Flickr) and have a go at the challenge of taking a photo of yourself every day (or week or month.)
The most inspiring P365 I have seen is the one Nini Baseema did in 2011.
Get in front of the camera!
If you want an invitation to join Pinterest, just leave a comment. Make sure you include your email address (which won't be published).