Monday, October 29, 2012

How to Take a Good Self-Portrait

While the wind and the rain from Hurricane Sandy continue to underwhelm us here in the DC area, I thought I'd take this opportune moment while the power remains on and impart on you some important information that will surely stupefy you with its profundity.

How many times have you been somewhere all by yourself and realized that where you are is so awesome that you want to remember the moment forever?

Sure, you could just take a picture of the raging hurricane, but where's the fun in that? You can buy a postcard with a pretty hurricane on it. You want it to be personal. You want to remember that you were in the hurricane too.

So what do you do?

Let me save you some time: skip the fad of just asking a random passer-by to take your photo. Their results don't last and you never know when the random passer-by is going to surreptitiously cut your head out of the picture.

Do you want your kids to remember you as a headless freak?

Not unless you want to frighten them!

But what other options do you have than polluting the world with poorly taken photos?

A self-portrait of course!

Now some people get a little intimidated by taking self-portraits and worry that no picture is better than an up close one of their nostrils.

Not so, though! I'm here today to take away the self-portrait taking mystique that causes people angst and I, Lara, will teach you how to take the perfect self-portrait.

First, here are a few do's and don'ts of taking a good self-portrait.

DO zoom out before turning the camera on yourself, or risk being remembered for your untweezed eyebrows rather than your killer gumline!

DON'T hold the camera down below your face, or you will get a first-hand glimpse of the contents of your nostrils as well as drawing attention to the duplicity of chins that may be found on the underside of your face. Taking the picture at eye level or slightly above is the most flattering angle.

DO check what's behind you before pressing the shutter button or you may get more in the background than you bargained for.

DON'T forget to bend your elbows slightly or you will find yourself having to explain the general flabby state of your arms and random choice of loud colored clothing to future generations.

DO check the lighting on your face, especially when taking pictures in the bright sunlight or you could end up with a creepy Phantom of the Opera face...

or a shadowy face that gets lost in the brilliance of the beautiful background...

or a strange raised-eyebrows kind of look when you're forcefully trying to keep your eyes open as you squint into the mercilessly bright sun.

DON'T sneeze at the exact moment you're about to shoot the picture.

DO wrap the camera strap around your arm a couple of times, so that in the unfortunate event that you should lose your grip on the camera while in your out-stretched arms that the worst that happens is an unflattering shot of yourself taken while catching it and not a strained back from having to pick it up off the ground.

DON'T forget to keep your camera with you, so that you don't miss out on an opportune time to capture a memorable moment.

think about brushing your hair and putting on make-up, even if you do not intend to leave the house. You never know when the moment will arise when you decide that taking self-portraits in a hurricane is the thing to do.

DON'T be afraid to take several shots from several different angles to increase your likelihood of getting a flattering shot. That's the beauty of digital can just erase the pictures you don't like.

or if you're like me....

you can always just do a blogpost about them.

DISCLAIMER: All double chins, nostril contents, and distracting background subjects were fabricated for the purpose of educating the public on proper self-portrait taking techniques. Author is not to be held liable for any defamatory self-portraits that may be taken while using the techniques in this blogpost. These tips are meant for suggestive purposes only and may or may not result in the same level of gorgeousness  as can be found in this instructive blogpost.  

  I'd like to dedicate this post to my sister, AnnaLisa, who taught me everything I know about taking self-portraits.



Christine de Souza said...

I love it!

Mika said...

Funny and entertaining as always ;)

shannon said...

This is hilarious!

JP said...

Very informative. I appreciate this very helpful tutorial.

annalisa said...

hahahaha! I love all of the self-portraits! Especially the one with H in the background on the beach :)

The tutorial is awesome. I must have taught you well :)

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