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How to take a good picture of yourself

There is often a time youíll want to take a picture of yourself, but such a task can be a long and gruelling process. The fact is most cameras are simply not built to be user friendly when turned the other way.

Whether youíre out with friends, trying to get a photo with a celebrity or just looking for that new perfect Facebook profile picture, itís worth adhering to a few simple points to achieve a good result.

Posted on: Fri 31 Aug, 2012 by Gary Dean

Lighting

Firstly, make sure that you have plenty of light. Shooting any type of image in bad light will result in a bad picture. A decent amount of light in your photograph will also eliminate much of the blurring that can ruin an otherwise great shot.


Avoid camera shake

The next thing to consider is camera shudder Ė or shake. Find some sort of solid structure to rest your camera on. Shaky images are all too common, so try to utilise what you have around you. Donít race to take the photo either; allow a few seconds first so that your cameraís auto focus has time to kick in.


Timing

When taking photos of yourself at a distance you will have to use your cameraís timer. Remember to adjust this setting so it allows you the necessary time to get back into position and strike a pose before the camera goes off.

If you have no alternative but to hold your camera then try to keep your elbows tucked in next to your side as this gives you the best chance of shooting a steady image. Hold the camera as far away from you as possible.

Try keeping the camera higher than you, so that you are looking up, which tends to give a more flattering shot than looking straight on. One of the challenges of holding the camera yourself is avoiding having much of your arm in the photo. While having long arms is without doubt a great advantage here, looking upwards towards the camera can also help to reduce the amount of your arm seen in the shot.


Mirror shots

Another common way of taking a picture of yourself is by using your reflection in the mirror. If you are going to do this then try and position yourself so that you capture the image of your face and avoid including your camera. This can be quite tricky and so the image may need to be cropped later.


Strike a pose

When taking photos of yourself, it is only you who you need to please Ė so donít be self conscious! Here is your opportunity to experiment with poses, facial expressions and angles without fear of embarrassment. By moving your camera around and posing in different ways you are more likely to capture an interesting shot that will be a keeper.

Try to avoid positioning yourself too close to your camera. Having an extreme close up can sometimes work, but more often these shots end up being ones that get deleted as the image appears distorted. Every now and again you may want a photograph such as this but, for the most part, give yourself room.

There are a wide range of effects available which can give differing feels. One of the most popular is Instagram, where you can change the tone and style of your shot in one quick press of a button. Sepia and black and white options also give different feels and moods; experiment and see what you can achieve.

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