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Capture amazing self portraits from home

Written by Lend Me The Dress NZ

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Posted on May 11 2020

Taking your own photos can be a daunting, scary thought. But it doesn’t have to be! With a bit of planning (and patience) you can capture your own precious moments yourself, at home. They may not be perfect – but that’s not the point, is it? We take photographs to remember. The chaos, the calm & everything in between. 

Hey! I'm Sarah. I'm a photographer, a wife and a mum. I LOVE my work, as I truly believe in the importance of capturing memories! I want to remember how my family is at this time - how I am. So naturally, I often combine my love of photography and family to create self-portraits. I want to share my process with you, to help you capture your own special moments at home. I promise, it is so worth your while. 

The biggest step to a successful shoot at home is planning. Putting in some work before actually taking any photographs will save you a whole world of trouble!

Think about: 

Who - Who are you going to photograph? Decide what they will wear. For yourself - pick something you love, that makes you feel beautiful. I LOVE  this dress I'm wearing in these photos from Lend Me The Dress – it’s beautiful and comfortable, and the perfect colour for the photos I had in mind. Darker coloured clothes help create moodier images, while lighter colours create airy images. 

Where - Decide where you want to take the photographs. Your room? Lounge? Kitchen? Garden? Where has good light? 

When - Choose a date and time of day. Even if you are shooting inside, the time of day is important. For example, my bedroom gets a lot of light during most of the day. As I wanted moodier images, we took these when there was less light, around sunset. For light and airy images, we could have shot these earlier in the day, when there was more light. (If you want to learn more about finding the right light, you can learn more through my free mini email series on light, sign up here! 

How- How are you going to take the photographs? Enlist someone to help you or grab a tripod or chair to prop your camera or phone on. 

What - This step is the most important to a successful shoot – planning the poses/activities to do while shooting. Spend a bit of time looking at other lifestyle sessions for inspiration, on Pinterest or Instagram. Create a mini schedule, following images you’ve found that you love and your own imagination. You could do something you often do for fun. It will help put you all at ease, doing something normal rather than worrying about focusing on the camera. It’s a great way to capture beautiful memories of your day to day life! For example – read, cuddle, tickle. There is a natural and easy flow from one step to the other. Keep scrolling and you’ll find a home session I did with my girls, as well as some bonus photos I took while video calling the lovely Rachel, as inspiration for you pregnant Mamas!

Personally, I find planning to be half the fun! I love choosing outfits and deciding what I want to shoot. A bit of planning will help you to relax – and enjoy it! 

On the day, it’s important to be in the right frame of mind. Dedicate a decent amount of time to taking photographs, giving yourself plenty of time to get ready, clean/clear the area you’ll be shooting in, do your hair and makeup if you plan to get dressed. 

If there are children involved, have a chat to your kids about what you’re doing. Turn it into a game, something they’re excited about. Then before you shoot, run through some positive affirmations. You are beautiful, and your photos will show that. Build yourself up! Even if it feels a little silly, it’s so important to help your confidence. 

 

Then start shooting! If you’ve done the prep work, this should in theory, run like clockwork. Some tips for looking your best: 

- Sit/ stand up straight. Roll your shoulders back and down, and chin up! - Make triangles. If you’re standing, place your hands flat on your upper thigh, hip or stomach. “Pop” the leg closest the camera, by standing on your tip toes on one side. - Don’t be afraid to enjoy the moment! If you’re playing games, let yourself laugh like a crazy person. 

If you’re taking peaceful shots, take a moment to focus on your breathing, soaking in the moment.

If you are shooting indoors, face the light source. In the maternity photos below, I had Rachel face the window when possible. This creates flattering, even light on your face. 

- If you have sheer curtains, use them! They create a beautiful backdrop and soft, even light. I used the sheer curtains as a simple backdrop for the maternity photos. - If you are pregnant, try to wear light coloured and/or tight clothing (or clothing that can be held tight), to show off your beautiful bump. You can also hold your bump. Try one hand on top and one hand near your hip or both hands near your hips.

Having your hand near your hip rather than lower on your bump helps turn your arm into a triangle shape – super flattering! If you are sitting, make sure to sit up as straight as you can to enhance your bump. Have a look at the images above to get a better idea of what I mean! 

So to sum it all up: 

  1. Plan! Who, where, when, how and what. This is the biggest trick to successful photo sessions of any sort!
  2. Give yourself plenty of time to take the photos.
  3. Enjoy yourself! Don’t be afraid to relax. Your happiness is contagious and will make these photographs even more precious. 

It is a real possibility that the first attempt won’t go according to plan. Don’t let it put you off trying again! Write down what you have learnt, using that to plan for next time. Believe in the importance of capturing memories, you know that it is worth your while. Then try again - after all, practice makes progress! 

We would absolutely love to see the images you capture yourself! Tag us, send them to us! @sarahgraysonphotography @lend.me.the.dress.co.nz 

Have fun! 

Sarah x