Self Portraits - Get Yourself in Photos

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CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

Have you ever noticed that in 90% of the photos taken by any photographer, the photographer is hardly ever in any of them?

Granted, the majority of photographers are so focused on capturing great shots, concerned about the quality, the format, the lighting etc, that including themselves on the photographs is probably the last thing on their mind.

But some images may also benefit from the image of its creator in them. This is especially true of sets of images used in themes such as documentaries. It has been always fascinating to not only gaze at beautiful photographs made by a talented photographer but equally so to see the face behind the photos.

Some tips for getting yourself in photos are; to ask someone to take your shot, to take an assistant or another photographer along with you on assignments, and this is easiest if you have already built a reputation as many photography students will gladly intern with you, get photos from others, and take self portraits, and reflections work well too. Don't forget to use a tripod and the timer on your camera for this purpose.

Those images which include you, should ideally also include portions of the scene which you were photographing in the first place. Exceptions like macros and close ups not withstanding or when not feasible.

Many books, if not all that are published by photographers will most certainly include images of its author, this has the effect of lending credibility and realism to the work.

Apart from use in book publishing, for editorial work, for magazine articles featuring your work, and for self promotion, the majority of self portraits do not have much resale value other than intrinsic or to be used for personal reasons.

Family and friends are usually the first to volunteer or get "chosen" to be the ones taking your shots, so make it an enjoyable experience, not a chore or make it so stressful that they will never assist you again.

Something else to consider, although in the past it was never customary to include your own image in submissions to editors, there seems to be a trend towards including them nowadays. Perhaps due to today's need for speed of submissions and printing plus deadlines which is making editors be at the ready if they choose your images and need to publish them rather quickly.

Be creative and use good taste if any of the photos may eventually be seen by editors and any photography professorial even if this is not what you originally intended.

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CC BY 2.0 | Source

Just because you are going to be in some of your shots, does not mean that the images need not be creative or technically sound.

Take shots that showcase your personality, maybe your fashion statement or go all the way and get really creative.

Pose yourself or rather capture yourself in the same ways that you capture images of others. Although you don't really have to include images of your gear, this tends to assist others not familiar with the topic and equipment.

If you spend some time with family, friends and volunteers and explain what it is that you want to accomplish, many will gladly accept the challenge and accommodate you and will even feel more part of the process.

They may even be awaken to the beauty of photography and perhaps choose to pursue it further.

Don't underestimate the opportunity of mentoring those who seek your advice as this is a very noble relationship and worthy of pursuit.

Many top professional photographers regularly hold mentoring sessions or photographic camps, retreats and seminars, often accompanied by a fee, but on occasion just for the love of the art.

CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez

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Comments 5 comments

iamsergell profile image

iamsergell 5 years ago from Darwin, Australia

Informative! Voted up! As for me, I really like capturing myself most of the time, kinda narcissism. haha. "Sceneries" are good though. Following you now, follow me too


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

This is a great topic for a hub, especially in the age of digital photography when it's so easy to take a self-portrait. There is so much that most of us still have to learn about this subject.


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

@ramdomcreative: Thank you, I'm still learning myself...LOL


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

Informal or wacky portraits are the in-thing these days. Professional photographers may even choose a suitable location for your portrait compilation.

Thanks for sharing useful tips on this hub, Sir Luis!


rambansal profile image

rambansal 5 years ago from India

Yes, innovative efforts..

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