Selfie Ideas - Fun Ideas for Self Portraits
Creative Self Portraits Anyone Can Create
Photographers are usually most comfortable behind the lens, focusing their camera on other people and subjects. But taking self portraits, or "selfies," can be a lot of fun.
If you're ready to turn the camera on yourself, here are ideas for self portraits that anyone can create. You don't need fancy camera equipment or incredible photo editing skills to create images like the ones shown here. I'll tell you how I made each shot and give you ideas on how to create your own fun self portraits.
(All self portraits on this page by Lisa Howard)
I'm the kind of photographer who loves to snap candid photos. I prefer to capture real life as it happens, so I rarely ask people to stop what they're doing to take a photo. I just keep snapping pictures while they're doing whatever they're doing.
Capturing yourself in action has traditionally been a challenge for photographers, but with wearable cameras such as the GoPro Hero, action selfies are now easier than ever. And you don't need to be an extreme athlete to have some fun with action shots. Simply riding a bike or jogging to the park can create fun pictures. Depending on what type of action you're capturing, you can use a hand-held monopod with a remote, put your camera on a tripod on timer burst mode, or use an action cam such as the GoPro HERO or Contour ROAM to get images of yourself in action.
To get the photo above, I attached a Contour ROAM2 camera to the handlebars of my bike, set it to take interval photos, and started riding. Since I was riding on city streets, I had a lot of photos with telephone poles and electric lines in the background, but this one with the palm trees and fluffy white clouds against the blue sky was a keeper.
More Active Self Portraits - Capturing action shots of yourselfClick thumbnail to view full-size
My Favorite Camera for Active Self Portraits - Contour ROAM2
I love my Contour ROAM2 camera. It's small, lightweight, and can be mounted on just about anything. Little action cams like the Contour ROAM and the GoPro HERO are extremely popular with athletes who love capturing point-of-view video while they're participating in sports, but the camera also features a time-lapse still photo function. Simply switch it on and the camera will automatically take a photo every 1, 3, 5, 10, 30, or 60 seconds. You can wear it on a helmet, mount it on a bike or other sports gear, or attach it to just about any flat surface. The ultra-wide angle lens makes self portraits easy.
Some people say a self portrait needs to include your face. Others say a close-up image of your hands or any other body part will do. I think you can create quite compelling photos without including your entire face or body.
For the image above, I placed a compact Panasonic Lumix TS4 on the kitchen table using my , a flexible mini tripod. Then I sat at the table, held a mirror in one hand behind the camera so I could see the LCD screen and I zoomed in on one eye until I had the focus I wanted. Then I released the shutter. Joby Gorillapod
After I took several frames and selected the one I liked the best, I converted the image to black and white in Photoshop Elements and increased the contrast. To give it the effect of a black and white sketch, I then added some grain and chose rough pastels from the Artistic Filter menu.
Using special effects such as those found in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements can add more interest to any self portrait. Try playing around with different filters to see which ones you like best.
Who hasn't taken a self portrait in a mirror? Practically everyone tries it at one time or another because it's just fun. But mirrors aren't the only surfaces that can be used to create a fun photo.
I wanted to do something a little different with the "standard mirror" photo above, so I used the medicine cabinet to create a second reflection. You can also use multiple mirrors to create an infinity effect that makes it appear as if your image goes on and on forever.
In addition to mirrors, you'll find that the world is full of reflective surfaces if you simply start looking around.
Once you start paying attention to all the objects that create reflections, you may never be able to look at the shiny office coffee pot, a restaurant teapot, a calm lake or even a puddle of water in the same way.
More Reflections - Try these ideas for self portraitsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Ideas for Self Portraits #4 - Clone Yourself - An easy way to show different sides of your personality
Everybody has different sides to their personality and different roles in life. You might be a mild-mannered teacher during the week and a champion skeet shooter on the weekend. Or perhaps you're behind a cash register all day, but spend your free time in the garden. All of us are multi-taskers with a variety of skills, interests, duties and obligations.
For instance, I am the family chauffeur. I drive the kids to their doctor's appointments, swimming lessons, Girls Scouts meetings and gymnastics classes. It seems like I'm always driving somebody somewhere! That's why I chose to do this self portrait in front of our family van. But I am also an animal lover, a photographer and a scuba diver. This self portrait tries to capture all these sides of my personality in one photo. I shot this with a Canon EOS 7D mounted on a tripod. There are many other things I could have included, but I chose these four as aspects that were easy to represent.
You might think you don't have the skills to create a photo like this, but it's actually incredibly easy if you have Photoshop Elements. You simply need to put your camera on a tripod, take photos of yourself in different positions, and let Photoshop help you merge them together.
See the video below for complete (and EASY!!) instructions on how to do this.
How to Clone Yourself with Photoshop Elements - Watch this video to learn how to make a self portrait like the one above
Creating a self portrait like the one above is very easy with Photoshop Elements. You don't need any advanced editing skills. If you can drag your mouse to highlight an object, you can do this. Watch the video below to see how easy it is.
Ideas for Self Portraits #5 - Include Others - Creative self portraits can include other people or pets
There's no rule that says you have to be the only subject in a self portrait. In fact, there are NO rules about what or who you can include in your self portrait. If you can convince a pet, child, friend or loved one to participate in your photo session, you'll have twice as much fun.
I have a cat who likes to jump up on my back when I bend over to brush my teeth. For this photo, I got my camera ready, lured her into the bathroom and bent over the sink as if I were going to brush my teeth. Sure enough, she took the bait and jumped up.
I started snapping pictures as she rubbed up against my head and walked around my back. When I reached up to pet her, she started chewing on my fingers, providing me the opportunity to snap this photo where both of us are making funny faces.
If you've got pets, think about opportunities for catching them interacting with you. Does your cat like to walk across whatever novel you're reading? Set up a tripod and grab a good book. Does your dog sit and stare while you make your lunch? Be ready with your camera.
With kids, try to get a shot of you reading together at bedtime or snuggling on the couch while watching TV. With a good tripod and a remote control, you can capture tender moments you'll always treasure.
More Inspiration for Your Selfies
Get advice from a pro
This page only has a few ideas to get you started, but if you're really interested in taking selfies, you might want to check out Art of Self Portraiture, a book available from Digital Photography School.
Divided into seven chapters, the book covers tools, lighting, composition, focus, post-processing techniques and inspiration, and provides you with some self portrait projects to practice and hone your new skills. It includes over 50 great examples of self portraits and provides plenty of tips on creating your own images.
Click here to have fun with self portraits on Facebook, too!
Selfies Are Easier with a Good Tripod - An invaluable tool for every photographer
Every photographer should own a tripod. They're great for eliminating camera shake at slow shutter speeds, and if you want to take self portraits or jump into any shot with your family or friends, they're essential. I use a Dolica ST-500 tripod. It's extremely lightweight and inexpensive, but sturdy enough to get the job done.
A Handheld Extendable Monopod is Also Useful - Camera extenders make self portraits easy
If you don't like the bulk of a tripod, an extendable monopod is another good option. They're small and easy to carry, so you'll always be ready to shoot a self portrait wherever you are.
- Only 6.5" long, it fits easily in your pocket and purse.
- Also great for videos
For Cool Underwater Shots, Try a Waterproof Case - Here's on inexpensive option
I own two rugged waterproof cameras (see the newest waterproof cameras here) and love having them as a backup to my DSLRs. But if you can't afford a waterproof camera, this inexpensive case is a cheap alternative. You'll have a lot of fun discovering a new world of photography underwater. Underwater camera bags are also available for DSLRs. You can check out my review and see some sample photos here: Does An Underwater Camera Bag Work?
This waterproof case is depth rated to 33' (10 m).
Adobe Photoshop Elements is Great for Editing and Organizing - The perfect photo editing software
Adobe Photoshop is the preferred software of many professional photographers, but for average folks, the $500+ price tag is a little too rich. Fortunately, there's a more affordable alternative - Adobe Photoshop Elements.
Elements has many of the great features of Photoshop, but is available for less than $100. Of course, it can't do EVERYTHING Photoshop can do, but you'll still find many advanced image editing functions in this feature-rich software. It's also great for tagging, sorting and organizing all of your photos.
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