With 'Selfie' photography a growing trend, lots more people are taking photos of themselves to upload onto the internet. Self portraits are a great thing to have a go at if you're home alone one day and want to try capturing some portraits. Here, we share some hints and tips for achieving better self portrait photos using your smart phone, compact or even a mirrorless or DSLR camera.
Self portraits can be made even easier with the use of a smartphone as a remote control to fire the shutter. Nikon cameras like the Coolpix S6800, with built in Wi-Fi, enable remote camera control with a compatible smartphone or tablet. This makes it really easy for making sure you're in the frame when working by yourself, as you'll see what the camera sees on the smartphone screen.
Lighting - As with any kind of photography, the quality of light will determine if your photo comes out looking natural. For self portraits, window light will give you a flattering look that's not too harsh. If your camera or phone has white balance settings, make sure it's set for natural light instead of tungsten, to avoid images having a colour tint.
Look after your kit - Make sure your lens is clean, and it will also help to ensure that you have the camera set to the highest resolution available to ensure the best quality images. If you're still not satisfied with photos from your smart phone, try using a higher resolution camera for a crisper image.
Presentation - 'Selfie' photos are great for experimenting with different looks, so don't sell yourself short! You'll be more pleased with the results if you make the effort to look your best for the image. Put on your favourite clothes, style your hair and experiment with different ideas until you're comfortable with the way you look. Then, you'll find it easier to act naturally for the camera.
Look approachable - If you're using the self portraits you take as a profile picture, make sure you look approachable. Smiling people look more friendly and so it can pay off to make the effort and smile for the camera! The beauty of the self portrait is that there is no one else there to hurry you along - take as many photos as you want until you're happy with the result.
Use a mirror - Sometimes it can help to look at your reflection in a mirror and take some practise shots this way before pointing the camera at yourself. There are however some drawbacks to this method and these include the fact that the camera and flash if you're using it will be seen in the shot, and you'll be able to see your hand holding the camera or phone in possibly a strange position! It is ideal however for getting used to where you need to hold the camera to make sure your head and torso are in the shot.
Self timer and tripod - If you are using a bigger camera or simply want to get some shots with more of the torso than an arm's length will allow, consider using the self timer mode and mounting the camera on a tripod, or sitting it on a set of drawers. This can allow you to have a more natural pose which can be quite difficult when holding the camera up high with one hand!