Self-portraiture has been around for much longer than the much-maligned selfie. It is as old as art itself and is a real genre of photography in and of itself. But it’s not easy. If you’ve ever tried to take photographs of yourself, you’ll know just how difficult it can be.
Fortunately, advances in technology have helped enormously. However, the fact remains that what we think we look like in our mind rarely is how we actually look in the finished image. It can be an exercise in patience and trial and error. But it is possible to improve and get better at posing yourself. In this video from Mango Street, professional models give advice on how you can look better in your self-portraits.
It’s a bit of a nostalgic throwback to when we were all confined to our homes during the pandemic. However, the advice still stands up today.
So how do you avoid that dead look in your eyes? For those of us with RBF, it’s a real concern, especially when you have no photographer coaxing expressions from you. The models advise actually thinking about something (yes, I know!). Having a specific thought or imagining something that gives you the desired feeling will help you to create appropriate expressions.
You also want to move fluidly between poses, in very much the same way that models do during a shoot. Of course, it’s not easy to keep the focus, however, these days, cameras will often have auto-focus eye tracking, which will help immensely.
It’s really interesting to watch the models coach the photographers on how to pose. Usually, it’s the other way around, with the photographer directing the models to a degree. However, professional models have their own unique experiences and expertise. If you’ve ever worked with one, you’ll understand how different it is from working with a non-model as your subject. They know their angles, they just seem to move effortlessly with tiny changes that elicit completely different moods.
If you’re a photographer who struggles with being in front of the camera, then take a watch of the whole video. It’s really great advice and should have you feeling much more confident on the other side of the lens.