woman wearing brown summer hat
Photo by Tommy Huang on

It is so obvious when you see a “selfie”. Do you ever think: Can’t that person be a little more creative. We need to get this information out to the world, share this blog, and let people see new ways to do selfies:

Try a change in perspective:

self-portrait person from above

First on our list of self portrait ideas is perspective. Many self portraits are made with a traditional straight-on perspective, but others are made from a low or high perspective, which adds a sense of scale and dynamism to a shot.

Both approaches have benefits: traditional straight-on portrait perspectives make for intimate photos, whereas perspectives that convey a unique point of view give a viewer a sense of movement or activity.

So if you normally use a traditional perspective, why not try getting high or low? And if you’re more of a dynamic, angled self-portrait photographer, calm things down to create a standard, intimate portrait.

Make use of shadows:

self-portrait idea

By thoughtfully applying shadows, you can create dramatic effects; for instance, you can obscure areas of the face, body, and the surrounding environment. Harsh light can be used to apply impactful or even mysterious patterns to a self portrait, while shadows with a softer gradient can convey a more subdued atmosphere.

Experiment with minimalism:

self-portrait idea

Minimalism is a form of abstract art developed in America in the 1960s, typified by artworks comprised of simple geometric shapes. Reveling in the beauty of simplicity, minimalist self portraits emphasize the central figure by cutting down on superfluous detail. Some minimalist self-portrait techniques use plain or simple backgrounds, a shallow depth of field, and/or shadows or highlights to direct attention to the subject.

Experiment with reflections:

self-portrait idea

Making self portraits in reflective surfaces has a few benefits:

  1. The camera can be included in the photograph for added information about the subject.
  2. Shooting a self portrait from behind the camera allows for easier exposure manipulation.
  3. A reflective surface can incorporate the surrounding area, adding interest and context.

Venture into the great outdoors:

self-portrait idea

Many self portraits are taken in an indoor studio setting. However, venturing into the great outdoors is a great way to expand the story! Forests, meadows, waterways, or even urban nature are versatile environments that convey context and depth. Nature-based self portraits can also indicate season, time, place, and a connection with the surrounding landscape.

Photograph your passion:

self-portrait idea

Self-portrait photography gives you the opportunity share personal perspectives and experiences. In this way, many photographers choose to include additional information about themselves in a self portrait, often in the form of conveying what they love or are passionate about. Plenty of photographers feature a camera in their self portraits, emphasizing their preferred creative methodology. Other options might include making a self portrait in nature, or shooting in an intimate home setting. Choose locations or props that provide the viewer with an insight into you as a person.

Shoot a self-portrait in landscape orientation:

self-portrait idea

A landscape image is wider than it is tall, while a portrait image is taller than it is wide. Portrait-orientated images are named so for a reason: they’ve been historically used for portrait photography. But capturing the essence of a person is not reserved to a portrait orientation, and you can experiment with landscape orientations for eye-catching results.

Can you see how much nicer the “selfies” would be if people would try a little experimenting? Let’s do this thing!

Article originally written by Megan Kennedy / Australia. From Digital photography school.

Published by 123photogo

I have been a photographer for many years. Worked in retail selling cameras and accessories for over 20 years. Taught many photo classes, and have even been a judge in several county fairs. Now, I want to share photo instructions and entertainment with all other photographers around the world.

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