Planning a Self Portrait Session - Learn From Your Mistakes

As the world has been in lockdown and social distancing, Running a Videography and Photography Business has not been the easiest of tasks and has left me feeling very limited. However I am not one to be static, I have a pathologically need for progression and positivity, no matter how resistant time can be. As you can imagine I have been very busy behind the scenes, focusing on admin, website maintenance, Marketing and planning for the future of Beadie Productions. What i've learnt? It is very hard to run a creative business without being creative and I mean this on both a personal and on a business level, So I have been trying to do what I can creatively and came up with the plan of doing a Self portrait session to remind everyone of what I do and also have a little fun developing my skills.

When it came to Planning my self portrait session I had so many Ideas , different outfits in mind and poses. I had even been writing my ideas down and sketching them. But guess what?

NOTHING WENT TO PLAN. When I say nothing I really mean nothing. I'm hoping We will learn from my experience, by listening to my Very Simple advice. I am already planning my next Self Portrait session, Never let your mistakes hold you back from improving and trying again. So here we go:

Know your Camera I can not stress this enough. Your camera is capable of doing so many wonderful things for your photography and it is always an asset to know your limitations. My camera is outdated but I absolutely love it, I remember saving every penny and birthday gift to buy it and how at the time it was the go to camera and to this day it gets the job done. But there is one feature my Canon 70D does not have. A self Timer.... or so I thought up till writing this blog when I wondered if I should probably google it. As you can Probably guess my lack of knowledge of this somewhat secret feature was very limiting for poses and creativity. lucky my camera does connect to an app on my phone but spent more time trying to make sure my phone isn't in shot than taking photos and resulted what I would call a very basic but by no means bad photo shoot.



Your Environment This is where lockdown really comes in to affect. Of course your main reason for doing self portraits at the moment is very likely because you can't go out and have clients book with you. However you may also be in lockdown with other people. If they are happy to be help and able to help, great. It my case I am too self conscious to have others take my photo and believe that if it's a self portrait you have to do it your self. This links in to know your space because you don't want people in the way and I can't imaging they want you it the way. It is so crucial especially in lockdown that we be considerate of eachother.

For me I get up way before my Partner anyway, I decided this would be the best time to do my session as it meant I had privacy and could do things in my own time without disturbing anyone.

I did however find having enough space challenge and I had to rely heavily on my lenses to get a variety of shots. I Made sure to clear a space and make plenty of room after all you can alway crop in post for that closer shot and using the app on my phone I could see a preview of shot.

Plan your shoot As I mentioned earlier, I was filled to the brim with idea of what I wanted to do. Write yours down but really look at how realistic they are. Do you have the time and space; are you aware of what you can do with your camera?

Now even with my small draw back, the largest obstacle I came across was myself. I planned on doing my mini session two weeks before I eventually Built myself up enough to do it. Don't do this, it is completely unnecessary and like myself you might find that you enjoy yourself. Fear shouldn't stop you, have fun! Self portraits are the perfect time to experiment, to make mistakes and learn from them. you might even find that mistakes generate more ideas. This is a great Chance to Improve! Plan Your Post Now we all have heard the phrase: Fix it in post. This is not a mindset I recommend, however there is a massive difference between planning and fixing. I knew from the Very beginning of my Planning that I wanted to play with colour because of how much I loved it from a past session and I wanted more Practice. This meant I had to plan this in my session. I knew from my past session that having a solid background would make the Editing process easier, So I found a nice plain grey wall. Below is a picture showing you the walk before I added a slash of colour.

If I had chosen a textured dark bold wall, the editing process would have been much more challenging but by planning ahead I have many painstaking hours. It you have the opportunity always try and plan what you intend to do in your editing suite before the photos are taken you will be forever grateful.


Now these are just a handful of tips to keep in mind while think about your taking the leap and planning your self portrait. In my next Blog post I will planning my next session in a later post we shell see how it turns out and how to move forward and what to take into your sessions with clients.


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This Post was Written By Harriet Finch

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