Knowing how to take good pictures of yourself is a very valuable skill in today’s society. Good pictures are like social currency, whether it’s for Linked In, Instagram, or a dating app – a lot of opportunities require people to see pictures of you before seeing you in person.
By the end of this article and video, you’ll become an expert in taking amazing pictures of yourself.
Let’s quickly talk about equipment.
As far as a camera goes, you don’t need to buy a standalone camera to take high-quality pictures. Pretty much every modern smartphone now has a camera good enough to take unreal photos.
Clicker: You won’t always have access to a friend, so if you want to take pictures alone, you’re going to want to get a Bluetooth clicker. This allows you to take photos without awkwardly setting a timer or asking a stranger.
Next, we’re going to determine what kind of photos we want to take.
I’m going to show you a few styles of pictures that are popular right now.
The first type of photo is what I call the ‘don’t notice the camera’ shot.
This shot should look natural and not overly staged.
The key to taking this style of photo is to be in the middle of an action, whether it’s taking a sip from a glass, reading a book, driving, cooking – whatever the action is, pretend the camera isn’t even there.
Another important style of photo you should get familiar with is the ‘fit pic’.
These pictures are more focused on the subject showing off an aesthetic outfit.
Something very common you’ll figure out is that some outfits look amazing in photos, but pretty mediocre in real life and your favorite outfit might not show very well in photos, but looks great in person.
The key to a great fit photo is contrast with the background. If you’re wearing a simple outfit, you want more stuff happening in the background. If your outfit stands out, you want a more simple background.
Now let’s talk about selfies. Selfies can either be done tastefully, and look great and provide a more authentic version of you – or they can look absolutely terrible and turn everyone off.
Some really aesthetic selfie ideas you can try out are:
The Jawline Selfie:
The muscular back selfie:
The faceless selfie:
And The gym selfie:
Remember not every photo you take needs to perfect enough to win an award.
Having random and goofy selfies of yourself can be a great addition to more posed and professional photos.
It gives you an aura of authenticity and genuineness.
These are just a couple of ideas, there’s hundreds of other styles of photos you can take like
… You get the point.
In general when posing for pictures as a guy, you want to appear strong, confident and masculine.
This means having good, strong posture:
– Shoulders down.
– Core braced.
– Feet shoulder width.
Once you have a nice, strong posture, elongate your limbs.
It never looks good to scrunch yourself down. You want to take up space by extending your limbs, whether it’s having one leg out, or your arms extended out – always try and look longer and more spread out.
Keeping all of this in mind can be hard, but with some practice it will become second nature to you.
With that said, having a few tricks up your sleeve when taking photos can help a lot.
Bringing a prop with you like a water bottle, a book or a coffee and just holding it can give you something to focus on and induce a more natural and relaxed pose.
Not knowing what to do with your hands is also a big problem when you’re taking pictures of yourself, an easy way to combat this is using pockets.
Having one hand partially in your pocket naturally will create a more relaxed and comfortable stance.
The half swallow is also an old time photographs trick. To avoid the look of a double chin and just to create a stronger jawline in general, do a half swallow right before taking a picture.
One of the easiest ways to get good pictures, is by getting inspiration.
The best app for this is Pinterest.
Browse through the app until you find poses or a picture idea that you really like. Save the images and take notes on what you like about the photo and what makes the picture look good. It could be the pose, the setting, the lighting.
Try and recreate the photo. At first this can be just practicing that specific pose in the mirror until you get it down.
Yeah it can feel a bit silly to practice poses in the mirror, but when you get fire pictures of yourself, you’re going to get all your friends asking how you did it and if you can take their pictures too.
The biggest hurdle a lot of guys face when wanting to take better pictures of themselves is the mental block that they’re not ‘photogenic’.
The truth is that there are certain features that look better on camera. Sharper features do photograph better than rounder features.
But another fact is that people that are good at having their picture taken, take a ton of pictures.
Even models take hundreds to thousands of pictures before settling on 4 or 5, so if your pictures don’t come out looking great at first – don’t worry about it, just keep practicing.
It’s a volume game, your goal should be getting comfortable in-front of the camera until it’s second nature to you.
Another question you might run into is: “Why do I look so much better in the mirror than in pictures?”
this is due to what’s called the mirror effect.
When you look at yourself in the mirror, you are seeing a reflected image, which is a reversed version of how others see you.
This reversed image is what you are accustomed to and perceive as your true appearance.
However, when you take a photograph, it captures your image as others see you, without any reversal.
When we see the result, it can be shocking.
All the little flaws and asymmetries stand out, and you think “Wow, that’s how I really look?” but the truth is you only notice those things because you’re used to seeing a reflected image of yourself.
Everyone else sees you like how you see yourself in the mirror. It’s a bit of a mind bender but you’ll get over it the more pictures you take of yourself.
The right lighting can turn a good photo into a great photo. For 90% of your pictures, you want to find good natural lighting.
If you’re taking a photo indoors, you want to do it by a big window where the natural light is beaming into the room and lighting everything up.
Golden hour is the most flattering light to take photos in – golden hour is the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset, it gives the warm golden look that will make your pictures look amazing.
On Overcast days, you get a more soft even lighting that minimizes shadows and creates a nice natural glow.
In general take advantage of natural lighting as best you can because it will make or break your photos.
Finally let’s talk about editing your photos.
Don’t be fooled, EVERYONE edits their photos.
The kind of editing we want to do is tastefully done.
We don’t want to face-tune ourselves into looking like a completely different person – but we do want to edit the image to enhance its natural beauty and emphasize the details we want to highlight.
Remember, the aim is not to create an unrealistic representation, but rather, to ensure that the image reflects the scene as accurately and beautifully as possible.
Let’s begin with basics. Adjusting brightness, contrast, and saturation can make a huge difference in your photos.
Don’t be afraid to play around with these settings until you get the desired result. A dull photo can turn into a vibrant masterpiece with just a few tweaks.
Next, focus on color grading. This includes adjusting the hue, saturation, and luminance of individual colors within the image.
With subtle changes, you can evoke different moods and emotions in your photo. But remember, moderation is key. Overdoing it may result in an unnatural look.
In addition to color grading, it’s important to consider cropping and composition. Cropping can help you eliminate unnecessary details or distractions in your photo, while also allowing you to better frame your subject for an improved visual impact.
If you’re looking to bring more depth or focus to your subject, playing with shadows and highlights can achieve that. However, be careful not to lose too much detail in your quest for the perfect contrast.
Lastly, remember that imperfections often make photos unique and relatable. So, leave some blemishes or quirks in your photos.
Not everything has to be perfect. After all, the best photos are the ones that tell a story or capture a genuine moment.
It’s also worth noting that there are numerous photo editing apps and software available that can make these processes easier and more accessible.
From Adobe Lightroom to VSCO, each platform offers a different set of tools and filters that can be customized according to your needs and style.
Just like in photography itself, practice makes perfect in photo editing. So, keep experimenting and learning.
Over time, you’ll develop your own unique style and become adept at using editing to enhance your photos, not to create an entirely new reality.