How to Take Beautiful Self Portraits for Blogging & Instagram: Self Portraiture Photography | Claire Petersen | Skillshare

How to Take Beautiful Self Portraits for Blogging & Instagram: Self Portraiture Photography

Claire Petersen, Fashion & Influencer Photographer

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10 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:13
    • 2. What You'll Need

      2:12
    • 3. Why, Oh Why

      2:16
    • 4. Style it Out

      2:04
    • 5. Pop in a Prop

      1:40
    • 6. The Set Up

      4:58
    • 7. Get Shooting

      2:08
    • 8. Experiment: 4 Fun Self-Portraits & Examples

      4:26
    • 9. The Edit

      6:44
    • 10. Conclusion

      1:14
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About This Class

Take your own photos and wow your audience with your images! In this course, photographer and Insta-addict Claire Petersen will show you how you can take incredible shots and edit your own self portraits, for use on your blog or Instagram.


You'll learn how to:

  • Style a self portrait shoot and tell a story through your images
  • Capture your most flattering angle 
  • Take the perfect Instagram picture without a professional photographer
  • Edit your photograph so it fits in with your Instagram or blog style

If you see other people’s Instagram stories and wonder, how the hell did they do that, then this is the course for you!

Suitable for any level. Whether you’re using a DSLR or the camera on your phone, this course will help you snap self portraits to be proud of.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Claire Peterson on today I'm going to teach you how to create some beautiful self poor traits using your DSLR or you think a camera phone. So how my well versed in self portrait photography in particular? Well, not only am I a fashion on lifestyle photographer, but also I'm really avid in scram er on Blogger. So I'm always taking self portrait for my own block and instagram and sharing them. You can find me at At By Claire P. Feel free to get some inspiration from there and follow along. So why should you follow along with this class? Well, if you're any sort of blogger or instagram, er, it's not always convenient to hire a photographer. He might not always have the funds, and sometimes you can't get a friend to help. You don't want to always be bothering your friend or even your boyfriend to take your photographs, so sometimes you just need Teoh. Work with yourself and create your own self portrait. So you might want to know how to take your self portrait so you can keep your blogging, your instagram re fresh with content or another reason could be that you're just really interested in photography on Did you just want to learn the skills of photography and really up your photography game? You might not always be able to grab a friend. Take photos off. Sometimes the best person to practice on is yourself. You can literally spend as long as you want to on the photographs. Experiment with settings. Experiment with different poses on getting your You're not gonna be annoying anyone you can spend as long as you want. If you yourself are the subject of your photos self portrait, that is a really great way to get to grips with your camera on. You'll really start to up your skills and photography just by taking photos of yourself. Throughout this class, I'm gonna be sharing my tips for getting the best self portrayed C can. I'll also be sharing for it different fund self portrait ideas. And finally, I'll be giving a little insight into my editing process. So let's get on with first lesson 2. What You'll Need: first up what you will need. Let's take a moment to check that we have everything we need to create some beautiful self portrait. It's the first thing you'll, of course need, is some sort off camera. So dear Solares are great. You might not have won, but perhaps you have a friend who could borrow one from or a family member. If you can get your hands on a DSLR, that could be great because off horse quality is really good on. It would be great for you to give it a go and try and up your photography skills. But all that said, you don't need a DSLR. You can quite easily use camera on your phone. Next, you'll need a way of editing your photos, So if you're using a DSLR, you'll probably want toe. Edit your photos on a computer or laptop so you can download a free trial of Light Room and Photoshopped from the adobe website. That's personally what I used had it, and I'll be showing you a little bit off that edit later on. If you're taking photos on your phone, there are loads of free editing APS personally. Are you used Visco. So beyond the camera and editing software, everything else is optional. You could get a tripod. I would call a tripod, technically optional, because you can balance your camera or your phone on a stack of books or on a table to try and get the shot you want to get. But of course, having a tripod will make your life a little bit easier. So if you happen to have one or if you think you want to invest, then it is a great thing to use as a self portrait artist. On the last piece of equipment that I recommend is a remote control shutter. You can definitely get by without one, because most cameras obviously have a self timer. But it is handy to be able to get into position and simply click a button to focus instead of having to walk back and forth from the position that you're into the camera. Andi, yet trying to get focus in kind of that awkward situation. So I've done a little checklist of what you need to begin, so feel free to screen shot this on. Tick it off as you go on. Of course, like I said. A lot of these things are optional, but if you do have, um, that's great. So we know what you need. Let's move on to the next class. 3. Why, Oh Why: before you start snapping your photos, you're going to want to ask yourself, why, What is your purpose for taking these photos? Why you doing it? Because it's really going to have an effect on how many photos you to take. How long did you work on it? The different kinds of photos you take, the different angles. All of this is wrapped up into why you're bothering to take these photos at all. So ask yourself, what is the purpose? Maybe you're a blogger and you have a piece of clothing that you want to take photos off, too. So how you would Silas? Or perhaps you are photographer and looking to do some creative self portrait, so it's more of a completely creative pursuit. Whatever it is, just make sure you noted down on get really clear on your purpose off taking these photos. So once it's clear in your mind, you're going to want Teoh actually write down the different kinds of photos you need to take, so basically it's a shot list. You make sure you take all the photos you need, and you can go through this as you're actually taking the photos and tick every kind of photo off as you take them to make sure that you don't miss anything knowing your purpose is going to help you understand How many photos to take? What kind of shots to get on even could make a difference in how you edit them. For instance, you're a blogger, and you're looking to take photographs off, um, outfit that clothing company sent you. So for this, you're gonna need a lot of different kinds of photos. You can need some full length photos that show off the whole outfit and how you've styled it. You might also need in some detail shots, perhaps of the shoes or of an accessory on you might just need some close up shots of your own face. Now, compare that if you're just looking to do a creative self portrait that you're gonna be hearing on Instagram in this instance, most of the photos you take will be Justin Portrait, because those are the kind of photos that work best on instagram feet. Maybe you just have one or two photos in mind from a similar angle because you're just getting creative. You're not worrying about showing off the clothes necessarily. So again, it really depends on what the purpose off these photos is. Once you've got the purpose crystal clear in your mind, it's time to want styling. Even if you're not a fashion blogger, this is still an important step because it's still a big element off. Your photograph will be what you're wearing, so let's move on to that. 4. Style it Out: So at this stage, you've already considered your reasoning for taking the photos. So this is going to inform how your photos should look, and it will inform maybe if you should wear makeup. Or if you're not gonna bother with makeup on off course what you're going to wear and how you gonna style your outfit. Okay. So, for example, if you're taking photos to Arlington, these are gonna be very different photos you take for your instagram because with linked in , you might want to wear neutral colors. Or maybe a somewhat formal outfit where his instagram you can go wild with whatever your personal style is. If you're even just taking the self poor trades for your portfolio or just two practice with self portraiture, then you should think about the feeling you want to evoke from the viewer. On With this in mind, you can style your look around that. So if you're doing a moody photo pops, you'll be wearing a dark black dress or some sort of vintage out fish. Or, of course, if you're doing a fun happy photo, then maybe a wear bright colors, maybe summery clothes. So these are, of course, quite generic examples, but you yourself will know the photo that you're trying to capture. You know the feeling you're to evoke, and you'll know your own wardrobe on what you have to work with, and you'll start seeing outfits that work. So sometimes I won't know what I want the photo to look like a the end. But I will know that I once kind of pastel colors, for example. So then I just start choosing pastoral kind of outfits from my wardrobe on. From that, I start developing an idea for the final photo. So whatever you're shooting, you probably don't need to go out and buy a whole new look. Try to use what you already have in your wardrobe. And remember, this is a self portrait that you're shooting so you can be flexible. So if you're not sure what shoes to wear or what top works, then bring a few of them with you to your shoot location on D. As you take photos, you can always switch parts of the outfit. Seeing the photos on your camera may make you change your mind about what works, so having a few options is good 5. Pop in a Prop: So my next tip is the Jews a proper toe work into your photo in some way. This might not work for every kind of self portrayed, but there are many benefits using a prop if it makes sense in your photo. So props a great if you're not used to posing because you might have this feeling and this thought off. What do I do with my hands? With a prop you can play with that item in the photo on Instantly you'll start feeling much more relaxed in front of the camera, and you'll naturally use your hands to hold the prop. So one I've done a lot in the past is a bouquet of flowers. Instantly you've got something to hold and look ash and maybe pick off a petal. Andi, you could hold it in different positions with one hand with both hands so you can see some of these photos here. They've taken of flowers. They gave me something to work with on also proper can, of course, hope you tell a story. So say you're taking photos for your blawg on. It's about your favorite stationary instead of just including different flat lays and product shots off the notebooks. You could also do a self portrait of you holding them, flicking through them right in in the notebooks. Thes props are gonna help you tell story in some way on a proper can add a bit of interest in intrigue into your photo. So if you're going to incorporate props, bring a selection off different crops and try a few of them. It's all about experimenting and seeing what works. That's the beauty of digital photography. You can take as many photos as you want and discard the ones that you don't like on. Also, it's self portrait photography, so no one is going to be judging you. That's why I love this kind off photography, right? So now let's get onto the set up. 6. The Set Up: Okay, we're getting close, actually, taking yourself poor trades. There's been a lot of preparation, but I think that's what you need to do to get the most out of your self portrait sessions. Anyway, we're onto the next step, which is set up on. As I said before, you can take your photos of the DSLR, or whatever you have access to is fine. This is what a typical set up off mine looks like when I'm using my canon to take photos. So, as you can see, I've got my canon six D standing here on a tripod that you can flip the viewfinder around so you can see it from in front, which is common in a lot of cameras. Now can in 60 has this feature where you can sync it up to your phone, so I use my phone as remote. But if you don't have this feature, you can, of course, by a remote control shutter for your camera. Otherwise, you could also use a self timer function, So we'll be talking about both of these. So you've seen how I set up my camera, but also I could potentially set up my phone And as you can see, this is a sort of precarious position. I've got my mobile phone balancing on a tripod, but you could buy a particular tripod that actually hold your phone. Or you can get attachments for your regular tripod to also hold your phone on. If you don't have it, even have a tripod. Of course. Don't worry. You can always balance your phone on a chair or balance it on a table. Whatever works. So now I'm going to show you how you use a remote control shutter. In this case, the remote control is my phone. But if you don't have camera with this capabilities, you can, of course, use a remote control shudder that goes on top of your camera and connects to it. And you can find these were matters on or from a camera store. So with rumor control shutter. It's very simple, so you just want to make sure that your settings are on some sort of timers. So even though you could take the photo holding the remote, it's probably better if you give yourself a two second timer so that you can press down on the shutter and then throw away the remote control onto a soft spot. So then it's out of the shot, giving me some more seconds to get into my position. So I have it set up to have a 12th delay and then take 10 photos. So for me, I just like to take money as possible. So I can be pretty particular with what kind of face that I like and what pose. So it's up to you how maney you can also, of course, just have a two second timer to take one photo. Whatever works for you that this is the way to focus using a remote control shudder. It is easiest way to focus if you're doing the self portrayed. But of course, if you don't have a remote control shutter, you could also focus and different way. The easiest way to do it without a remote control is to grab a friend Andi, put them in the position that you will be sitting in. Then you can focus it using your camera. You can have this an auto focus at this stage, and then once you're happy with their positioning, then you switch your camera to manual focus so this means it won't go out of focus when you hit the button again and then course as your friend to leave the spot and maybe leave the room of your feeling self conscious. Make sure the cameras on self timer and then get yourself into the same position they were in. Then when the shutter finally goes, you will be in the right position. On. That will be a self portrait you've just taken. But of course, you might be doing this completely in the privacy of your own space, and you don't want to get anyone else involved. So that's fine. But it does make it a little bit more tricky again to take the photo. In this case, you will want to position something, perhaps a chair or a pillow or anything. Really, you're gonna put this in the frame where you will then take its place. So again, it's just like focusing on a person. But this time you're focusing on the thing that you're then going to move out of the frame and then take the place off, say, for instance, you have a chair that you can use to focus, so you put the chair in the position you focus using auto focus on. Then you can take out the chair, switch your camera to manual focus so that the next time you press the shutter the focus is going to remain where you've already set it. And then you sit down in the position that you focused on. So, as you can tell, it's getting a bit more complicated. But it's still very doable, and I have done it this way myself before I had the robot control. Of course, all of this is applicable also to mobile phone photography. You'll want to use the self timer function. Focusing could be less of an issue when it comes to mobile phone photography because it has a narrower aperture, so it's not gonna have that blurred background. In this case. You might just set the self timer and then stand in frame, and you probably will be in focus, so have a play around with it. But if you need to take those earlier focusing tips into account, then of course do so. So once you're all set up, you focused your camera. It's time to get shooting your photos, and that's what we're gonna talk about in the next lesson. 7. Get Shooting: Okay, I know you're raring to take some photos, so now it's finally time to start shooting. You know how to focus from the last session, so simply make sure that camera has a timer set to 10 seconds. Then I would recommend that you set your camera to take 10 photos or as many photos as you can one after another, because you'll want some options with different poses on different facial expressions. In my experience, I confined. Oppose might be perfect. But if I'm not happy with how my face looks, I'm not going to share the photo are not gonna be happy with the self portrait. That's why I would recommend taking, ah, lot of photos in quick succession. So you have a lot of options. I think there's no shame in taking a lot of photos. It's the wonder of digital photography. You didn't snap away, and you'll get immediate feedback by looking at the photos you just took after taking a few photos. Look at the photos you've captured and considered tweaking something. Maybe industries one of your props, or change your hair or look away. Instead of looking directly at the lens, make a few tweaks to improve the photo until you're happy with how it's looking. If you're wondering about what to do with your hands, or if you feel like you look awkward in your photos because you don't know where to place your hands or how to pose here are supposes. You can try so you can play with your hair. You can lightly touch your face while leaning on your hand could lightly fold your arms. Hold your upper arm. If none of these are working for you without your secret weapon, your prop using a proper can evaporate some of the awkwardness of feeling, making your photos seem more natural and flattering because you'll have something to play with. And I will give you something to do with your hands. When you feel like you got enough photos in one position, then maybe try something new. Change the angle of the camera, your position. Just play around with it. But don't forget you'll have to refocus the camera if you change the angle or if you change your position. So that was a really basic look into how to take a self portrayed. But in the next lesson, I'm going to go into some more details about some self portrait ideas that will help give you some inspiration, so be sure to watch that. 8. Experiment: 4 Fun Self-Portraits & Examples: But these days you know a lot of the technical aspects of how to create your own self portrait. So I thought I'd share some fun self portrait ideas for you to try number one. Place something over the lens. This works best with a DSLR, but don't let that stop you from trying out with a mobile phone camera, too. So to get this cool, blurred effect that you can see in these images, you'll have to have a wide aperture. So maybe 2.2 or 2.8. I personally wouldn't go to White as that can make it super difficult to focus in the right place. When it comes to self portrait, it's so set up your photos usual. Make sure to find the focus and have yourself time or on. But this time, instead of simply posing, you'll want to hold something up close to the lens of the camera. What works well for this effect? Well, in the past, I've use flowers and petals. They create a really pretty effect, so you could also get abstract and hold a piece of perspex, perhaps a glass to the lens, and this can create a really interesting effect, So as long as something has a little bit off transparency, then it kind of works for this. I've even held up my own glasses. Still lens for shots. So try what you can get your hands on and see what works for you. Number two Faceless portrait, which works equally well with both the DSLR on a phone camera. This self portrait works great. If you want to take photos, we can't be bothered. Put on makeup That happens to me Sometimes this one doesn't need much explaining. You literally just need to play something in front of your face, or you can turn your back to the camera. You can actually tell a story in your photo without sharing your face. So here's an example of a photo I've done without. My face was a cute little representation of a lazy day with the tea and hand my favorite magazine that I shared to Instagram number three get moving. Another self portrait idea is to capture movement in the shot. You can use any kind of camera for this photo, but you will have a little more flexibility with a DSLR again. Set up your shop as usual. But this time, instead of posing and staying still for a shot, you're going to move about. How you move depends on the Viber going for If you're doing a fun outdoors issue, maybe I want to jump or her even call will. If you're doing a foot of your blawg. A popular shot is a classic herr flick. If you have a DSLR or any camera that allows you to adjust the shutter speed, you can experiment with some fast shutter speeds. For instance, 1 1/1000 of a second, and that is gonna capture a moment in time and freeze it so you can capture a really crisp , clear shot off one moment off the movement. Or experiment with slow shutter speeds so you could even have in some cameras thes shutter open for 30 seconds. That's a really long time in terms of photography, So with a slow shutter speed, you're going to see a blurred image of movement on. It could lead to some really cool photos. Number four Collab. So this is my final idea for you, and it's simply to get a friend involved on collaborate on a self portrait, find a friend who's having a pose in front of the camera and collaborate on all aspects of the self portrait. Talk about the emotion and five you're going to portray with the photos. And together you can choose your outfits and your props your location. Together you can set up and get shooting. Andi. You'll create some really cool photos on Instagram. You're so used to seeing one person with these kind of bloggers and photographers. It's usually just one person as soon as you enter another person in the mix, it could be really interesting on. Of course, Please do refer your friend to this class to learn more about self portraiture. I would really appreciate that. So the photos I'm showing on the screen are from a collaborative self portrait I did with my friend. No, me. Definitely. Check out our page for some more creative inspiration. So time for some homework. Try one of these self portrait ideas on upload your creation to the class portrait section because I will be giving feedback on. It would also be great if you could share your photo on Instagram. Feel free to tag me in the caption I'm at by Claire P ons used the hashtag skill. Claire. That's C L A I R E as I will be picking out some of my favorite photos and sharing them on my own story, so that should be a lot to get on with. When you've taken your photos, it's time to finally move on to the edit before you share them with world. 9. The Edit: I hope you like those experiment ideas for yourself. Poor traits. And I hope they gave you a bit of inspiration to get going. So once you've got your photo taken, it's of course, time to edit it. I'm not going to dive too deep into how I edit as I think it's a whole other class. Really feel free to DME on my instagram at by Claire P It thought the class you like to see , But I will give you a quick run through of my editing process just to give you a little idea of how I would go about editing one of my self portrait. So I want to start. Wish I knew how I use this. Go to edit my phone photos so you can watch this here. Or you can skip to the time stamp on the screen to see how I use light room to edit DSLR photos. First, how I edit my photos on my phone. I personally use Visco. It's a free up, though you will need to pay to access all the features like all of the different filters on some of the editing tools that I use. But a lot of the editing tools are free, and you could do a lot of stuff with it, just with the free version. So I'm just adding a photo I took a while ago on. This was a self portrait. I balance my phone on my bag when I was exploring Cordoba. So I do have a filter. I used all the time on Visco, But first I tried to go and make the regular edits before I start messing around with filters so I can see that I have edited it correctly and that everything is bright enough and all that kind of thing. So this image, I thought, was a bit dark on social media, especially like brighter images tend to do well, so they're more pleasing to the eye. So I would mess around with this. I usually always adjust the skew of it because there is a little bit of a distortion on a camera phone Tamerlan, so you can play around with the skew to make sure that the lines are a bit more straight. So I was usually sharpened image as well. Andi adjusted right white violence. Personally, I tend towards warmer images, so that's Probably what I will end up doing is adding about 1.2 things. 1.3 on a visco. You can hold down to see the before and after, and then the hate s Elyse Hue saturation luminosity on. I do usually come into this and play around with these toggles to so you can see here there's red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. And you can mess around with the hue, saturation and luminosity. It's all about the individual image, but also the style that you have. If you have a particular style, you can tweak Thies to that style. So for me, I think that looking good unfortunately, the hate S L slider is only available for premium users by the year subscription. So perhaps considered, it's about $20. Something like that for a year's subscription to Visco on, then my go to filter is a six, and I'm liking how that's looking. It was a very overcast day, so perhaps the best voter in the world. But I do like it. Andi, I'm going to save that to my camera roll. So now that I've shown you how to edit photos on your phone, Now I will show you how we edit my DSLR photos on my laptop. So I personally use light room on photo shop and you get a free trial of thes on the adobe website. So give it a go and see if you like these platforms, and then you can decide if you're going to invest in the longer term. Personally, I find that they are the best for editing. I personally edit on light. From first, I do some minor adjustments to the colors on also to sharpen the image on. Then I would export the image and edited in photo shop afterwards. That's just for some further color grading, so you could do both. Or perhaps you stick with one or the other. So I do like my images warm, and this was shot during golden hour, hence the warm glow. But I would say that this is perhaps too warm even for my tastes, so I would take down temperature slow lightly on, also mess around with the tent and see what works if it needs to be a bit greener or a bit more pink on. I think that's looking quite nice right now. I would perhaps bring up the shadows slightly. But I do like to bring down my blacks as well. In a way. Adds a bit of contrast. Sometimes I adjust the curves. But today I'm not so sure. Maybe slightly something. I thought maybe then the hate s l sliders are what I love. And I also love them in Visco as well. So I love to play around with the different hues on often make the images slightly more red . So the tones I would mostly adjust other red, orange and yellow sections sharpening. I do always shop in quite a bit, and I tick these boxes here, and these will help get rid off any distortion in my lens. And I usually leave it at that. Sometimes I add a bit of grain. I do like a little bit of grain. If I wanted to, I could perhaps edit out the spots. I'm kind of not leaning towards doing that These days. I try and keep my photos un retouched for the most part, but this is my edition that I've done in light room, and now I'm going to export. I'm gonna make sure that it's not re sizing to fit that its full resolution because now I am going to open up Photoshopped. So I've opened up photo shop here and now I'm going to open the image that I just exported . So, like I say, it's to advance for the schools. But I would do something like this on. Let me know you're interested in learning more about how I edited Photoshopped or at in light room or the whole process, because it's a little bit too advance for this skill share cools, but perhaps another one in the future. So once you're happy with your edit, I would recommend saving the image as a J. Peg in the largest resolution on you could also resize it to a smaller resolution for social media. But just make sure you keep the large image as well as of resize images because you never know when you might need a head shop something and they might need a big size, who knows? So I usually have a big file, and then I have a smaller file, which is about the long side is about 1800 pixels. So this works for Blawg and Instagram really well I find. So that's how I would edit myself. Portray its hoop. It's given you some ideas off how to edit your own self portrait. It's now it's time to conclude. 10. Conclusion: if you follow it along with these steps, you now know how they create a beautiful self portrait from start to finish on, you might even have a portrait that you're already excited to share your class product is to simply take a self portrayed on, then share it in class projects section. This could either be based on one of the four fun self portrait examples I have given. Or you could just do your own thing on whatever creative ideas pop into your mind. Create that. So it's really up to you as long as it's a self portrait that I would really encourage you to shirt in the class four decks section on. I would also love to see them on Instagram. I would love to be able to share some of my favorites on my instagram story. I'm making a new hashtag so I would love anyone would use a little hashtag skill. Claire. So skill and then c l A i r e. I will be following along with the hash tag on will be living some feedback in the comments and, of course, sharing the photos that I really like on my instagram story and, of course, follow along on my own Instagram Journey by Claire P. So I'm always taking self poor traits, can get a bit of inspiration there, and I also share some tips and tricks along the way. Thank you so much for watching and good luck on your self portrait journey by.