Photo Tech Top 40 Self Portrait Photography Ideas to be a Pro Photographer

Top 40 Self Portrait Photography Ideas to be a Pro Photographer

Self portrait photography is one of the brightest portrait photography ideas. It is not a new category of photography. If you see the examples of the self portrait on the internet, then you will find that these self portrait ideas were as old as the invention of the camera. However, with the passage of time, self portrait photography has reached a multidimensional level. Initially, it was done by the cameraman himself, and there was no scope for editing and placing anything by manipulation.

Today, in this age the self portrait photography is easy and popular among all. Selfie is a new dimension of the self portrait ideas. However, let’s not count selfie taken with a smartphone as self portrait photography. These portrait photography ideas are not bounded with the limitations of taking self photography by the photographer himself. We will see in the subsequent paragraphs that self portrait ideas have changed a lot.

Self Portrait Photography Ideas

In this article, I shall show you some self portrait photography ideas. Here, I will not go in details about the procedure of taking the photographs. I believe you are a master on handling the camera and know how to take which photo. These tips will help you to widen your vision about self portrait photography ideas. In the end, you will be able to fuse two or more ideas to make a single idea. I also believe you will be inventing more self portrait ideas.

If you are an amateur on portrait photography then you may read the articles related to portrait photography:

However, we are not getting deep inside portrait photography ideas. Let’s start with the self portrait photography ideas.

1. Half Below the Water 

Nowadays this self portrait photography ideas are popular. With the help of a waterproof camera, you can capture this photo. This is usually done with GoPro cameras. You may also use protective gear to restrict the water to contact your camera. You can capture at the water level where your face will remain half sink in the water. If you get a reflection of your face on the water then it will be great. If the water is very clear then with GoPro camera you can capture both above the water surface and below it.

2. The Portrait on Mobile Screen

This is an elementary idea for self portrait photography. Just hold a smartphone in between the camera and you or the subject for a portrait by keeping the camera of the phone on facing the display opposite to the subject. You can also utilize this idea from the rear of the person while the person is takin selfie with the smartphone.

3. Double Or Multiple Exposure

Double exposures is an innovative way of taking a self-portrait. You got to do some photoshop post-processing for the photography. However, you also need to make two or more photography in case of double and multiple exposure self portrait photographies. You may check it on youtube for learning the double and multiple exposure photography post-processing by Photoshop.

4. Use a Prism

We all know the characteristics of a prism. It receives normal light and throws seven colors. This characteristic can be utilized as one of the self portrait ideas. While taking the self portrait place a prism on the incident rays of natural light which is falling on the face. You will get a colorful effect on the portrait. This is unlike using multiple colors on the face because the colors projected by the prism will become natural and magical.

5. Use an Architectural Frame

Sometimes; you will find some frames around you which are within the architectural structures. LIke, in many of the doors there are rectangular frames around the door. It can be utilized for self portrait photography ideas. You will find many frame type structures around you which shall make a massive change in the photography.

6. Self Portrait with Book

You cannot deny the importance of the book in your life. In the same way, you can not deny the significance of the book in photography. It increases the value of photography and adds a story to the photo as well. A portrait can be taken with colorful books presence. The subject or the reader can pose by reading or may keep the book with him showing the bright cover of it.

7. With Origami

We all are interested in origami. Most of us did it during our childhood. Now, this the time again to make origami for photography. In my youth, I used to do origami with used papers. Now you can create colorful origami for taking self portrait photography. Self portrait ideas with origami can be done with a color combination of the origami and the dresses of the main subject. However, used-papers can also be used for making a meaningful one.

8. Add Flares

Flares as self portrait ideas make a portrait magical. Usually, flares are added at the corners of the photo or from the behind of the subject. This can be done by using lights. The easiest time for adding flare is the golden hour. During this time you can get flares very easily you don’t worry about the quality of the photo. Please avoid using the hood of the lens to get the flare clearly.

9. Dress and Background Combination

For portrait photography, we usually use a different color dress. It is also recommended for self portrait photography. But, we can make an exception in the self portrait ideas. We may try the same color of dress for this photography. Try to take close up photo of the face in this case so that the face becomes contrasting here.

10. Invite Pets

The presence of pets also changes the dimension of the photo. Pets can be invited to adding more self portrait ideas. For self portrait photography we may use a portion of the pets like the leg of a cat on the face or slight presence of the face of the cat or anything you wish. Pets should commensurate with the subject’s outlook.

11. Shoot Candid

Pose removes the natural look from the face. Shooting candid is one of the brightest self portrait ideas. This brings the natural look on the portrait and projects the actual nature of the subject. A long focal lens is recommended for taking this photo from a long distance. Because subject should not know that he or she is being captured in the frame. Otherwise perfect candid will not be achieved.

12. Make it Filmy

Making filmy is very easy. Almost all the photo editors can do that. For making self portrait photography ideas like these you need to capture the photos in a different way. If have to pose such a way which gives a filmy look. I prefer to capture the usual activities and shoot candid for making filmy self portrait ideas a successful one. And, check some examples of this kind of photos before you shoot.

13. Through the Object

Through the object means placing the subject behind any object keeping a way to frame through it. It can be anything available around you. For example, capturing a portrait through the small opening of an ancient architectural structure. Here the opening will act as a frame to the photo. There are numerous ideas like this. Just capture when you find one.

14. Design your Portrait with Shadow

Take a net or anything similar to that nature. Now place it in between the light and the subject for self portrait photography. You will understand the change and beauty. Just keep the object away from your frame. You can make your photo black and white for shadow self portrait ideas. Do not stick with net only, you can take any structure and place the shadow on the face for self portrait photography ideas.  

15. Curtain or Wall

This is another exciting idea of self portrait photography. Bring your face out of the curtain or wall in such a way that you are trying to see someone so that you are not being recognized. You may directly look towards the lens or may see in other direction keeping a portion of your face outside of the obstacle. But the part should be sufficient enough to make the right frame.

16. Utilize your Hairs

Sometimes, keep your hairs in front of your face. Make different styles of your hairs. Keep those in one side or totally at the back or showing some portion of your face by covering it with hairs. Changing a style of hair will give a different look in the portrait. Always utilize these self portrait ideas to get a different kind of photo within the same face. You will not need a different spot or arrangement for this. Just change the hairstyle. It is also applicable to the male.

17. Use a Frame

I believe there are many photo frames in your house. For the time being during photography session take one frame from any photo and detach the photo from the frame. Now place your the frame in between the camera and the subject so that it makes a different frame within the frame. Try with a different frame, better if you can manage colorful one to emphasize the frame.

18. Wall as a Background

Walls of your house may sometimes act as an excellent background in self portrait photography ideas. If there is something good in your home, then you may put on a very contrasting color dress or anything similar to that. It will make a magnificent self portrait. Colorful wall and different pieces hanging on the wall can be utilized as the background of the picture.

19. Light on Face

The title says about the idea. You have to place a light on the face of the subject. Now, it can be done by letting the natural light to enter through a narrow opening so that it is sufficient enough for the face and not more than the facial area. You can do it by using external lights as well as using some reflectors. Self portrait photography ideas of lighting on face work great. For making it more fascinating, transform the photo into black and white.

20. Rainbow Effect

A similar kind of idea I have shared before. That was with a prism. The rainbow effect on the face can be done by placing the reflection of light from the CD on the face of the subject. The CD reflection will make an outstanding rainbow effect on the face. This can be converted into black and white as well. The rainbow effect will not more remain in that case but different colors will create different shades on the face.

21. Frame the Silhouette

It is easily possible to understand the man by seeing a silhouette if the person is well known. We are not making a photo for an ID card by the way. You can use the outline as one of the self portrait photography ideas. A silhouette self portrait can be an excellent one if you use another frame in front of the subject. Combining these two you can make excellent self portrait ideas.

22. Color on Face

This is a simple, easy and effective idea for a self-portrait. In the Indian subcontinent, there is a festival named Holi. That is the perfect time for using color on face self portrait photography ideas. However, by adding colors on the face you can do this at any time any place. But the color mixing that happens during the Holi becomes suitable for a better self portrait.

23. Face On Car Glasses

Car glasses are excellent sources for self portrait photography ideas. The glasses of the cars are so placed that the driver can see the essential places without looking at the back. Thus, the areas for which the glasses were set will be the place for placing the camera. Try to take a closer shot for this kind of photo. However, you must bring a sufficient amount so that the pictures explains that it was on the car glasses.

24. Back or Side View

We should not be rigid with the idea that the portrait has to be taken from the front. You should sometimes try to take the photo from the side or the back highlighting the face. Silhouette effect can be added to this idea as well. The purpose of placing a light on the face will also work great for this kind.  

25. Different Angle

Besides taking from the front, side, and back you should try to take a photo from the top or bottom. If you take the photo from the top then you the face should be towards the lens otherwise only the head will be seen. At the same time while taking from the bottom same thing to be followed. In this case looking up by changing the direction of the face to any side will also work great.

26. Capture Details

Self portrait photography ideas should not remain only with capturing the whole face. You should try capturing the details like lips, eyes, half face, etc. It can be modified by placing anything suitable on the face which makes a good composition with the face like ornaments or any color. But never highlight decorations while capturing details for the photo.

27. Make a Good Face Composition

You can not change your face for self portrait photography. Then how to compose your face? Well, this applies to the ladies. They can use a different color as makeup. Painted nails can be placed on the face with colored lips, hairs, and eyes. Then you need to adjust the frame to make a good composition of the face. This self portrait will become artistic as well.

28. Add Smoke

In one of the self portrait ideas, I have mentioned about smoke. That was with the food. But now I am saying to add only smoke as one of the portrait photography ideas. You will get the best result of using smoke by making the photo a black and white one. Adding smoke should not be to add smoke, it should make a good composition and a meaning. Like, someone is smoking and you have captured that will have a purpose.

29. Black and White

This is actually not related to capturing photo, rather it about the post-processing of a self portrait photography. In many of the tips, I have mentioned about black and white. I recommend you to make a black and white copy of all the photos. You will find many of the photos are appearing better than it’s usual look. So, from now have a try with each photo by making it black and white.

30. A Portrait on the Mirror

Use a mirror for capturing a portrait. There are some mirrors with good frames. The designs of the mirror frame will act a secondary frame for the photo. If the frame of the mirror is white, then you may put on a white dress or a black dress which will contrast with the frame. You can also take a small mirror to utilize this idea. Remember anything with a suitable reflecting surface can be considered a mirror, so use those as well.

31. The Golden Hour

I hope no photographer does not know the term golden hour. I am not saying or suggesting to capture during the golden hour because you already know you. I am mentioning the golden hour to remind you so that you do not forget to consider the golden hour as one of the aids for self portrait photography ideas. This time a very resourceful for taking any photographs.

Recommended Post: An Ultimate Guide For Shooting The Golden Hour Photography

32. Shoot at Night

Besides shooting at daytime you must have an endeavor to capture self portrait photography during night time. The lights of nighttime makes a beautiful effect. Some lights act nicely for a portrait with bokeh effect. You will not get the same effect of lights especially at the background during the daytime. So, keep a slot for capturing during the night for the self portrait.

33. Posing with the Camera

This can be done in different ways. Like, someone posing with a camera and another person taking the photo or someone standing with a camera in front of a mirror and capturing the reflection of the mirror. This type of photo declares the authenticity of self portrait photography than the other ones. However, these are the poses which were invented long ago but still have significant value.

34. Magnifying

This is a very easy one among the self portrait ideas. Take a magnifying glass and change the look of your photo. Highlight one important part of your photo by the magnifying glass. Suppose there is a necklace on the neck, now you can place a magnifying glass to enlarge it. You can do it by magnifying some other parts. But, make a meaningful one.

35. Through the Lens

A lens like 50mm will give an inverted image on the inner lens if you place it at a certain distance.  It can be added as one of the self portrait ideas list. Black and white are also recommended for this type. Must make a good composition in this photo. Do not take a very long lens, take a lens with the wider aperture so that it gets enough space to make the image.

36. Headgears

Portraits with headgears is another idea. There are many headgears for man and woman. Utilize those for self portrait photography. Colour can be contrasting depending on the background of the photo. You can make headdresses with flowers for capturing the self portrait of a girl. While using the headgears made with flower or leaves, you should also think about composition, contrast, etc.

37. Capture One Side, Cover Both Sides

This is nothing but taking the portrait with the help of a mirror. In this case, the subject will be placed in such a way so that one side of the face is seen and another side is seen in the mirror. The frame of the mirror is also necessary. A different frame can be used but must not be too conspicuous. It is better to have a moderate color of frame for the mirror. You must take a perfect and clean mirror.

38. Secondary Display

For this photo, you need two cameras. Place a person for taking a portrait. With the help of a tripod make a right frame keeping the display of the camera live. Now, with another camera capture both by focusing on the screen on the camera. Do not use a very wide aperture so that the bokeh effect completely merges the person like a color. It is better to keep the background, i.e., the person a bit blur.

39. Water Splash

Here the subject needs to be wet for the shot. Set up your camera in burst mode. It is preferable to use flash if you are capturing indoor. Before taking the shoot, ensure your subject is dry. Now, through the water on his or her face and start taking photos with burst mode. Showing no reaction while throwing the water will make a different dimension to the photo.  You can make it black and white.

40. Combining all Ideas

Till now, you got many self portrait photography ideas. Now we are left with one more thought. The idea is to connect more than one idea mentioned above and make a new one. Previous ideas may not become a successful one always if you use only one at a time. So, try to blend the plans to make one. I am sure you will get an excellent output by this, and in the end, you will be able to invent many more beautiful self portrait ideas.

Last Words

If you have read the whole article and seen the examples then surely you have marked that I have used the same photo in more than one place. It is because boh ideas were used for the photo. However, I have just given some of the examples and ideas about self portrait photography, but you have to do an experiment and invent many more. You will succeed, may be not at the first go, but once you will be.



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