How to Take Better Self-Portraits

No, keep your iPhone in your pocket and forget about the duck lips. We're not talking about selfies; we're talking about self-portraits. Step to the other side of the camera and learn how to take better shots of yourself.

Many of us like being photographers not only because we're creative, but because the thought of being on the business end of the camera triggers the fight or flight response. But whether it's for business reasons (I've shot self-portraits for Fstoppers articles) or artistic exploration, self-portraits are something worth trying. Personally, I like experimenting with them because I think they're the perfect platform for developing one's eye: you can follow your own ideas without the additional impediment of trying to translate half-developed creative impulses into well-articulated speech for someone you're posing, which tends to make it easier to turn off your brain and follow your instincts. Even if you don't want to get into that sort of intense introspection in front of a camera, it's a useful skill to have, as you may need a portrait for your business, or as is often the case, you may find that amongst your family and friends, you're the most talented with a camera, and at some point, you'll need to join them for a shot. 

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More regurgitated content, thanks Alex. Maybe actually write something instead of browsing youtube and nofilmschool looking for something to retweet?

Alex Cooke's picture

I don't normally respond to comments like these, but I've written over 100 original articles for Fstoppers alone; you can find them by clicking on my name. Aggregating content is also part of what Fstoppers does; good creators get featured, which increases their view counts, making it a win-win.

p.s. Anyone can be sarcastic on the Internet. Addressing someone in a constructive and mature manner will start a much more fruitful conversation.

Patrick Hall's picture

A baby bird's entire existence is based on regurgitated content.

Anonymous's picture

Ewww! ;-)

David Tothill's picture

You are so far up your own arse Alex Cooke, take a moment to reflect that you are here because of us, not the other way round. Now, will you sneer all over this or take your usual lofty stance of not normally responding to anything that might imply criticism ?

Alex Cooke's picture

Dude, calm down. My point was that I don't respond to comments that are sarcastic and/or belittling in tone, not that I don't respond to criticism. I love having a respectful discussion with someone who disagrees with me; that's how I grow as a person. I am tremendously thankful for everyone who takes the time to read what I write and this site as a whole. I'm all about positivity and constructive feedback, so let's be friends, yeah!? 🙌 🙌 🙌

Anonymous's picture

That's odd. All my comments are positive and constructive but you rarely acknowledge them. ;-)

Chelsey Rogers's picture

Patrick... bahahahaha ;)

Alex Cooke's picture

I acknowledge this comment. ;)

I've been coming to this website for a while now and I don't think I've seen you post anything that I haven't already seen on Petapixel, Nofilmschool, ThePhoblographer or Youtube. Here's your constructive criticism though: I guess it's cool that you're promoting others who actually bother to create content, but I can't see any reason to come to this site anymore. Also, you're snarky as fuck, we can hear it in your words and see it in the curiouslyTrump-like expression you wear in your gravatar photo.

Alex Cooke's picture

Again, feel free to click my name and find any of the hundred original articles I've written, or I would be happy to point you toward some I'm proud of. You can also go to this URL for the latest originals by all our authors: Also, my headshot was taken in 2013, well before any hint of a Trump presidency, and most people on this site seem to accuse me of leaning hard left anyway (Patrick OConnor, where are you!?), so maybe it's time I update my headshot? Either way, I've addressed your concern, and you seem to be crossing into personal insults now, so I'll leave it at that. Best of luck!

Andrew Smith's picture

Well Alex, unfortunately we can't get rid of trolls. I like your articles and this is my main source for articles and information/inspiration. Keep up the good work.

Alex Cooke's picture

Much appreciated, Andrew.

Andrew Smith's picture

Why would you even bother being rude on a website like this? If you don't like the content, it's simple, go away and don't come back. No need to try to demean someone's work and be a middle school bully. Grow up.

I think the audience of this website would be beyond any tutorial that begins with "Step 1: Use a tripod."

Pete Tapang's picture

this escalated quickly

Brad Barton's picture

Does anyone else get a chuckle out of people who feel the need to post things like, "This is why I don't come here anymore."

But you did.