…take better selfies.

I always find it odd, some of the best photographers (and most of the rest of us) end up having just TERRIBLE pictures of ourselves.

I’m not saying we’re not photogenic, I’m saying we quit making an effort, or we think it’s much harder than it really is to take a GOOD SELFIE.  How many professional photographers out there just point at a mirror and take the same picture we’ve seen a thousand times.

As it turns out, taking a GREAT SELFIE is actually pretty easy, assuming you can take a good picture in the first place.  You just need a couple extra things (they’re cheap) and a couple extra minutes (you’re worth it) and voila!

Here’s my list of requirements for getting a GREAT SELFIE.

  1. Tripod.  Stop pointing at mirrors, take a REAL picture.
  2. An intervalometer.  That’s a device that controls your camera, delays it, allows it to take multiple images, etc.  An external, an internal, an app……there is definitely an inexpensive solution out there, and an intervalometer is great for many other things, like timelapse photography.
  3. A plan.  Don’t just shoot………THINK ABOUT IT.
  4. Something to focus on that’s not you.  I often use a tripod or a stick I jam in the ground.

This intervalometer runs about $20 on Amazon:

A plan (this one was free)

 

…and here’s my list of tricks:

  1. Use a longer lens, and find a location with a lot of distance between YOU and your background.  This lets you use a wider aperture and still have a high percentage in focus, because your lens is farther away.
  2. Don’t use your WIDEST aperture though, I like to use my 70-200f2.8, but shoot at f4.  I get more of me in focus.
  3. Don’t take TWO shots…………take TWO HUNDRED.  Set your intervalometer to delay 15 seconds, then take a pic once a second for several minutes.  When you get into your spot, you can adjust, shift, change expressions and experiment.  Give yourself options later, take a LOT of images.
  4. Manual focus…either place an object where you will be, or use an object the same distance from where you will be.   Manual exposure and white balance….set it and TEST IT.
  5. Pick a time and location where the light is fairly constant.

Took this one in the rain:

..this one too:

For this one I focused on the fence:

For this, I focused on the tree branch:

I used a stick stuck in the ground to focus on for this one:

For this I added flash:

…and this one was a long exposure:

And……………..if a mirror is still your plan, at least make it interesting:

Here are some tips for professional mirror selfies:

  1. Don’t use an entry level camera…even if you have to borrow one, use a better lens….nothing says “NOT a professional” like a kit lens
  2. Lift your chin a tiny bit.
  3. After you’re all set, and focused, the last step is looking AT the lens.

 

If you want people to believe you’re a serious photographer, don’t go cheap on pictures of YOU.  Another good solution is hooking up with another photographer and trading….or I have my second photographer shoot me while I work:

 

And lastly, my latest selfie……”Dave upside down”

The important thing, to me, is all the rules for shooting someone else still apply….good light, good composition.  I shot this at sunset, with lots of room behind, and a I chose a tree that created a frame.

I shot it with my 70-200f2.8 from about 70 feet away:

Just added:
More Dave Selfies

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