Covid-19 has changed everyone’s day to day lives for the past few months, and who knows how long this new norm will last. Staying at home can be weird, confusing and boring. As a photographer it was hard to not be able to work with my couples and creating lasting memories for them every week. In order to stay creative during this time, my husband and I started to regularly take self portraits together and it is so fun! This is something that I use to do a lot more of, and I am glad to be back at it. After lots of trial and error, I have a few tips for taking self portraits to create your own memories during quarantine.
Self portraits can be done with any device! We typically use our Canon 5D Mark IV, but if you don’t have a DSLR camera, a smartphone or tablet will work too.
The first thing you want to do is get creative! What is something that you can your partner like to do together? If you have a favorite restaurant or brewery maybe order some food or a growler (to-go) and enjoy a picnic at home together with that. Or maybe there is a place you love to spend time together, if it is not a crowded place you could go there for your self portraits! Capturing something that is special to your relationship is always fun to look back on.
Now how do you take a self portrait? Well there are a few ways! A tripod is ideal but if you do not have access to one, propping up your device with whatever you have around your house can work too! There are even smartphone tripods that can hold your phone onto anything that you can wrap the legs around.
We also recently got a remote trigger to be able to hit our shutter from a distance so we don’t have to run back and forth using self timer all the time! The remote makes it easier to pose ourselves more naturally so we don’t have to run back to the camera every time and get the right pose in a few seconds. Be aware of where you have the remote if you use one, you can tell I have it in my hand in the image below. Whoops!
Lighting is another way you can get creative. If there is a cool light falling through a door or window in your house, sitting together in that light could be something to consider for a self portrait.
Having good light on the two of you is important too. See how the light is falling onto your partners face to make sure it is flattering in order to pick the best spot and angle to set up your self portrait.
Finally, editing! How do you make a photo look good? We personally use Adobe Lightroom for all of our editing. Adobe Photoshop is another software we have but only use it when something really intense needs to be done. Adobe Bridge is very similar to Lightroom for editing RAW images as well.
I also have Lightroom mobile downloaded onto my iPhone so I can make phone photos look a little more high quality than what they look like straight out of the camera. The Lightroom mobile app is free and a better editing software then what is built into a phone. There are a lot of different presets people sell that can get your started with editing your mobile images. I have the Dirtyboots Lightroom Mobile Presets that I use for editing my mobile images.
That is all for now, I hope these tips for taking self portraits help you out with creating memories together during these very uncertain times. If you are interested in more of the gear we use, check out my blog post about What’s In My Bag!
If you have had to postpone your wedding or even just engagement photos, I have a blog post on how to do a Facetime Photo Shoot that could be another creative way to have your photographer capture memories of you during this time together.