Easy Guide for DIY Self-Portraits

We spoke to our in-house photographer Nivrati Kothari about how she experiments with self portraits and asked her to share her process. Read on to understand the making behind intriguing photographs that you can take independently whenever you want to! 

  • Moodboard making

Select any one concept/theme that fascinates or inspires you. It could even be a concept that you’ve come across that has stayed with you. Collect references – for locations, for outfits and make-up, and for poses and angles.

  • Location and outfit (as per theme)

Now that you’ve chosen a theme, the next step is to pick an appropriate location and outfit(s). None of this needs to be fancy or expensive. If the theme requires a simple outfit and the comfort of your home – that works too! Let your aesthetics guide you.

  • Required equipment

While it’s great to invest in and have good equipment like cameras, tripods and lights, it’s better to do so after you’ve tried your hand at photography and if you’re sure that the investment will help you build a better portfolio. If you’re just starting out however, a phone camera is the best and easiest way to experiment. At this stage, you don’t need to invest in lights and other heavy equipment – a tripod with a phone holder should be more than enough. 

  • Demo shots

Your theme, outfit and location have been finalized. What next? A trial run! Set the camera/ phone at different angles that you think may work best and do a trial run. Experiment and play around with angles and poses, take demo shots and see what works and more importantly, what doesn’t work. This way, you can avoid delays and unwanted surprises on the day of the shoot. 

  • Get in the zone

We’ve come to the day of the shoot! Make sure you eat well and are relaxed. Play your favourite playlist and songs that will get you in the mood (because feeling good = looking good) Start off with hair & make-up (if any). Put on the outfit selected and then set-up the tripod & camera at the spot where you plan on shooting. After set-up, take demo shots and check the lighting. 

  • Be confident

Once everything is set, don’t forget to play your music and be confident! Feel the concept and the look you are going for. Also, don’t forget to set the self-timer!  

  • Editing (optional)

Once you’ve shortlisted your favourite photos from the ones you’ve taken, you could try your hand at editing some of them on various editing apps. Correct the colours, brightness and sharpness of images to make them look fresh and vibrant bringing it closer to the references and mood that you were going for.

Here are some personal favourite self portraits to start you off with:

  • Monochrome lighting & abstract edits
  • Using old CDs
  • Using any prop with light (adding meaning to it with edits)
  • Using a mirror for reflection to take pictures
  • Mood lighting
Editorial Desk

Editorial Desk