Yesterday I shared the first part to this three-part post. I didn’t strategically intend on it being three parts, I just felt it was appropriate to best convey my reason for sharing my final picture, which I will share tomorrow if all goes as planned. In this post, I will address Light’s suggestion of sharing my favorite place to photograph and a picture taken there, and explain what I used and how I took the picture.
I decided on using my living space to take the picture because, as much as its messiness makes me question my sanity sometimes, it’s where I reside with my little family. It is the space I call home. I can walk around in my underwear, or naked even, without anyone telling me to put clothes on. My room—also known as the room where everyone sleeps—has been the space where many memories have been made and captured on camera. Although this space is lacking in many areas such as good lighting and inspiring scenery, I have been able to work around its shortfalls and capture images that have received great responses from my followers. The “likes” aren’t necessarily important to me, but I thought it would be helpful to add to prove my point that a good picture can actually be taken anywhere. However, I must clarify that just because any space can be used to take a picture doesn’t mean it will be easy to get the desired shot. I’m not a professional nor a well-educated photographer, but I am not afraid to play around with my manual settings or put in the necessary time (it won’t take five minutes) to portray the picture I have in my head on my camera.
For the picture I will share tomorrow, I used the following items:
- Canon EOS Rebel SL1 with 18-55mm lens (Supposedly one of the smallest DSLRs on the market.)
- Promaster tripod (I love this tripod!)
- White fabric (I bought this fabric from a swap meet years ago. I specifically bought this for photography and use it regularly. It was super inexpensive.)
- Thumb tacks
- Reflectors (Only used when needed.)
How I took the picture:
- First thing was first, I set up my “studio”. I hung my white fabric to have my solid colored backdrop for my self-portrait. I used the thumb tacks to pin the fabric to my wall, and voilà, I was halfway set up.
- I mounted my camera to my tripod and began adjusting my camera’s angle. Taking self-portraits usually requires me to take as many test pictures as necessary to get my positioning and lighting correct.
- Once I got the angle and lighting the way I wanted it on my camera, I set my timer to take ten consecutive pictures.
- Before calling it a successful shoot, I reviewed the ten pictures to ensure I had at least one perfect picture.
Taking a picture in the space I live in is a benefit to me because I know where the light is best at specific times of day. However, being a stay-at-home mom makes my day unpredictable and I don’t always get to do things on my schedule, rarely do. I already knew where I would set up my backdrop, but wasn’t sure I would get to take the picture at the time the space got the best lighting, so this is where the reflectors came in handy.
The best advice I can give when it comes to taking a self-portrait is…
Learn to use your manual settings on your camera. Keep in mind that all photographers look for different things in their pictures, so knowing how to play around with things like your F-stop, exposure, and ISO could help you get your desired image.
Plan to spend time taking and reviewing the pictures, which means you’ll be adjusting your settings. Unfortunately, the timer on your camera doesn’t do more than just take the picture, so this means you’ll have to do 99% of the work.
Take advantage of your camera’s timer. I’d recommend to set your camera to take the maximum number of pictures so you have more chances of getting a good one.
Be kind to yourself. Remember that every picture you take will not be exactly how you want it, and this doesn’t mean you’re a bad photographer. I’d safely say that 3% of my pictures are exactly how I want them. The other 97%, not so much, and this is why I take so many pictures and why I appreciate digital photography.
I’m looking forward to sharing my final picture with you tomorrow.
To be continued…