How I Take My Self Portraits! | cavaphotography

Hey guys and welcome back to the blog! So as we are all unfortunately in lockdown at the moment I obviously haven't been able to get out and shoot with any models. This week I decided to take some self portraits; I never usually like to take photographs of myself and have only done a couple of self portrait shoots in the past but I thought it would be fun and was desperate to create some new images! So stick around to learn how I take my self portraits at home and my top tips for making a home studio!


First things first: my set up.

  • The first decision I make when shooting at home is what colour background I want- I have white, black and green colorama backgrounds(using a green screen can be edited to any colour in photoshop) . As you will see from the images below this time I went for black, sometimes if I want white I just use a wall as its quicker and easier but gives a more vintage result.

  • So I have my black colorama set up and the next step is lighting. For me this depends on the time of day I am shooting, this week I shot in the afternoon but due to the time of year the lighting was subtle through my window so I just used natural sun light. But if I was shooting in the evening or in a dim room then I would usually use my soft box - you can pick these up reasonably cheap on places like Amazon or eBay.

  • Lastly, I will need to set up my camera. I set my tripod up about a meter from the background and attached my camera vertically so the images were portrait. So I set my camera up with a shutter speed of 1/60, aperture F/4 and an ISO of around 1600 as the light kept changing slightly.


Time to shoot.

  • I used to be quite uncomfortable taking self portraits but now that I have got the hang of it I get it done quite quickly and get some good results.

  • I use the self timer setting on my camera and set it to 5 seconds and to take 6 images. I find that setting it to any more images than this is too many and I run out of poses to do for that burst of pictures!

  • I find it quite easy to pose myself for the images because I am used to instructing my models to pose, I check the images briefly after each shot and don't take as many images as I do of other people. After I can see a couple of good shots I usually call it a day and start editing a few.


Post production.

  • I don't always do a lot to my portraits - especially studio shots. So there isn't much to see in terms of edited vs unedited but I thought I would put them below for you guys to see so that you can see the effect of the natural lighting on the raw images.


Well that's it! Pretty easy process that only takes about 30 minutes! I thought I would finish off with my 3 top tips for taking professional self portraits at home.

  1. Lighting is not as important as you think it is BUT get a soft box (or any studio light that you can) so that you are not limited to shooting during day light hours. There are some super affordable ones online that will really enhance your at-home photographs.

  2. Make sure that you set your self timer to take more than one image per burst or the process becomes very time consuming. Set it to at least 5 images and just HAVE FUN posing in different ways, sometimes the pressure of the countdown make some unique and interesting poses!

  3. Make sure you're comfortable! If you don't want people to watch or see you modelling that's totally fine, go to a room where you can have your own space and take your time. You don't have to stand up either - you could sit on the floor or on a chair! And if you don't have a tripod that's fine too, you can just put your camera on a table or chair in front of you to get the shot.

I hope you guys enjoyed this weeks post and have learned something about taking your own professional self portraits at home! Don't forget to follow me on instagram @cavaphotography for updates throughout the week and feel free to drop me a message about the blog or my work!

I will be back next Sunday at 11 am BST with a brand new post! Have a good week guys! Lots of love, Chlo x

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