When I first started blogging I enlisted the help of my mom and friends to take quick snapshots of my outfits. If I was lucky, I would end up with one in-focus image of myself centered in the frame that I could post on Instagram. When I moved away from home, my boyfriend became my go-to photographer. He had some experience behind a camera so we were able to take more photos and experiment with angles and locations.
However, as I got deeper into blogging and gained experience, I wanted to create more complex concepts for photos and be more intentional about my content. Shoots started to become longer and more complicated and I was more picky about my vision. Soon we found that taking photos detracted from the precious time we got to spend together. I knew I needed to take the photographer/model dynamic out of the relationship in order to focus on being present during our time together. So, I didn’t dump him as my boyfriend, but I did dump him as my Instagram husband.
I found myself in a difficult position: I needed a photographer with the time, skills, and equipment to execute my vision but I didn’t have money to hire a professional.
What I did have was time and a degree in Studio Art.
I had taken photography classes in high school and college so I knew how to wield a camera, but I had never explored self-portraits. I bought cheap a tripod and remote shutter release on Amazon and started following bloggers whose self-portraits I admired (@sorelleamore, @phobymo, and @anouskapb were big inspirations to me).
A lot of my first attempts were blurry or stiff. I spent so much time trying to get the camera to focus properly. To top it all off, I was worried about what people would think of me walking around with my tripod taking pictures of myself in public!
I persevered and slowly honed my skills. I learned that placing an object in the frame while I focus the camera and then standing where that object was will ensure the photo is focused on me. I learned how to pose in ways that mimic motion to create movement in my photos that doesn’t cause blurriness. I photographed in public so much that now I people’s comments and stares just roll off my back.
Now I’m proud of my ability to take photos of myself anywhere and capture dynamic images that showcase my outfit and my personality. It’s so freeing to be able to make my vision a reality and I’m sure my loved ones are grateful that I stopped asking them to take my picture!
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