Man, I sure do miss the days of taking 5 different outfit photos at once and having content set for the rest of the month. But since many of us are at home, or social distancing, now is the right time to perfect your at home photography. Whether you need photos for Instagram, your blog, or just to flex on your ex, here is my process for how to take self portraits at home.
1. Caption Before the Photo
What has been the most successful for me is actually figuring out what I want my captions or blog post to be about before I even charge my camera. That way I can have an idea of what feeling or vibe I want my image to convey before shooting. It’s far more difficult to come up with a caption to fit your photo than taking a photo that fits your caption.
For this specific shoot I wanted to highlight my new Brother Vellies shoes, and thought my caption would either be something along the line of send nudes, or the my new favorite color is Brown Skin Girl, so I had those in mind while shooting.
2. Brainstorm & Inspiration
The next step in taking photos is brainstorming your content. Sometimes, my inspiration comes from fellow creators on Instagram or Pinterest. I’ve got tons of images saved on Instagram that I categorize by type – I have folders for beauty content, home content, lifestyle content, even content that involves working on the computer. I recently started a folder called At Home with creative ideas that I’ve seen people take in the past few months.
Now all this is just to get the juices flowing – I don’t copy other people’s work! I just use these ideas as creative direction and for help posing, because that’s an area I struggle with sometimes. For this shoot I turned to Pinterest and searched “shoe game” – but it brought up a bunch of sneaker pics, so I instead searched heel, and “heel aesthetic” popped up. I then screenshotted these images to help guide my shoot.
3. Clothing, Makeup, & Props
You always want to make sure that the clothing, makeup, and even hairstyle complement both the photo as well as the tone of your caption. If you’re shooting a sponsored campaign, it’s always a good idea to make sure your outfit complements the colors of the product you’re shooting, so you don’t divert attention from the product.
Props have the power to make or break a photo, and are often the difference between an okay shot and one that stands out. You can see that I experimented with a different rug for these shots, but the black & white one popped way more than the cream one because it provided some contrast.
4. Shoot the Shot
You can either use your phone or a camera (this is the one I use), it really doesn’t matter. What you do want is a tripod to help prop up your equipment, and ideally some kind of remote so you don’t have to go back and forth between every shot. If you’re using your phone, AirPods can act as remotes, and if you’re using a camera, then your phone can be a remote (depending on your camera model), or you can buy a standalone remote.
When shooting, try many different things, because slight changes to the position of your shoulders or of your smile, can impact a photo a lot. You also want to shoot with different angles and from different perspectives. I shot some photos sitting down, some with my legs up, and some on the bed to get a variety of shots. Not only does this help you have options, but you can have more content to share in the future!
5. Spruce it Up and Post
Once I’m done taking photos, I sort the images on my computer, delete the ones that are trash, and narrow down to a few that I can work with. I edit my photos using Lightroom presets, which makes editing super fast – these are the presets I normally use and recommend. Consistently using one or two of your favorite presets will contribute to a clean, aesthetically pleasing feed. The rest of the editing process includes correcting the lighting, color, fixing the geometry, cropping the photo and editing out anything that is distracting.
Lastly, I add the image to my grid on Planoly to make sure it flows with the rest of my images. Since my captions are already formed, all that’s left is to edit the copy, tag any relevant brands, and hit post!