Want to learn how to take good pictures of yourself? Here are the easiest ways to do it.
In this post, you’re not only going to learn how to take good pictures of yourself with a phone and camera, you’re also going to learn the importance of it (whether you’re a content creator or not), how to get comfortable on camera at home or in public and see photos I personally took of myself.
When you see the photos, you may be surprised to learn that I absolutely hated being on camera and I still get anxiety taking photos of myself in public even after six years of being a content creator.
So everything you’re going to learn from me today is all from personal experience and years of trial and errors (plus going through four different tripods, two cameras and two phones…).
Once you get through this post, you should feel confident with how to take good pictures of yourself, and if you do, please consider sharing this post on Pinterest or tagging me @sarchetrit in your Instagram photos! I want to see how your photos come out.
Please note that this is a reader-supported site.
Purchases made through genuinely recommended links may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.
Why Learn How to Take Photos of Yourself
Unless you have a lot of money or a Instahubby or friend with lots of time on their hands, it may be hard to get someone to help you take photos, and as you might know, if you want to learn how to become an Instagram influencer that makes money, learning how to take Instagram photos of yourself is a must.
It’s important to learn how to take photos of yourself without anyone’s help because if you wait on someone else, then you may hold yourself back from putting out content, and as a result, growing into the full-time (or part-time) content creator you might want to be.
If you’re not on the content creator or influencer track, it’s also really nice to learn how to take good pictures of yourself because you can save money on hiring a photographer and you’ll have beautiful memories to cherish forever.
Because I know how to take nice photos myself without the help of a photographer, I often take beautiful couples photos of my husband and me and fun family photos whenever I visit my sister or sister-in-law and their kids.
Without fail, at family events, I’m asked to bring my tripod and camera out so we can all grab a photo together.
How to Get Comfortable on Camera
Now you know why you should learn how to take good pictures of yourself, but before you even take photos, you might want to know how to get comfortable on camera.
I’m going to show you my photos in a second but believe it or not, in my teens and 20s (basically before my Instagram days), I did NOT like being on camera. I had really low-self esteem and didn’t feel like I was worthy enough to be caught on camera. So I happened to be that annoying friend who always made a funny photo in a picture and essentially ruined it.
Years of passed and now I am much more confident on camera whether it’s at home or in public, and I can tell you–it really comes down to practice.
Here’s exactly what you can do to learn how to get comfortable on camera, which is the exact steps I took.
1. Work on your overall self-confidence.
If you’re like me and don’t like being on camera because of how you look, there is some internal work to be done here. It will take awhile and be hard to do but it’ll be so worth it.
To work on your self-confidence, really watch how you talk about yourself. Do you speak negatively about yourself often? Would you talk to your best friend like that? Talk to yourself like you’re talking to your best friend. Be kind to yourself.
You don’t have to talk positively of yourself always but at least eliminating the negativity will help neutralize yourself until you’re ready to amp yourself up.
An “easy” way to add some positive self-talk into your life is to throw on some positive affirmations on YouTube or Spotify. Listen to it every morning while you brush your teeth and get ready for the day.
Even just 5 minutes of positive affirmations every morning can really increase your self-confidence.
2. Take photos of all angles of your face.
You might feel better in front of the camera if you know which angle of your face or body looks the best on camera.
With one of the methods listed below on taking pictures of yourself, take about 7 photos of your face:
- Straight ahead looking at the camera
- Slightly turned left
- Slightly turned right
- Slightly turned left and chin slightly tilted down
- Slightly turned right and chin slightly tilted down
- Slightly turned left and chin slightly tilted up
- Slightly turned right and chin slightly tilted up
Look at the photos and see which angle of yourself you like best!
3. Practice posing in the mirror.
Practicing poses in the mirror really helped me learn how to take good photos of myself!
Go on Pinterest or TikTok to look for posing ideas.
Don’t overwhelm yourself. Only pick 3-4 poses.
Practice them in the mirror.
Once you practice them in the mirror, it’ll be more intuitive to do them in front of the camera, and you won’t be as shy because you know which poses look best for your body.
4. Wear clothes you’re comfortable with.
I started gaining weight a few years ago because my fibromyalgia made me more sedentary than ever. Even though I gained weight, I kept wearing pre-weight gain clothes in photos, and it really made me feel so awkward. I didn’t feel comfortable enough to move freely as my clothes were soo tight on me.
I bought new clothes that actually fit me and it really made all the difference in how I felt both on and off camera.
If you’re not feeling confident in yourself the day you take photos, at the very least, wear clothes you’re comfortable in.
You can take posing in the mirror one step further by practicing in the clothes you’ll be wearing in front of the camera. This will really help when you go outside and take photos.
5. Focus on yourself.
No matter what, focus on yourself. Re-center yourself in your story, which could involve hyping yourself up or reminding yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. Ask yourself what the future benefit of it is.
How to Be Comfortable Taking Pictures in Public
Being comfortable on camera at home and in public are two totally different beasts.
In public, people pass by and look at you. I’ve had some men even take photos of me and come up to bother me- SiGhhh…
There’s really not much to do about this. Even though I’ve been taking photos of myself at even the busiest of places like Times Square, New York City, I still have to get over the fear of taking pictures in public like 60% of the time.
But as I like to remind my blogging students, having anxiety and taking actions are not mutually exclusive. You can have tons of fear while still producing really great results. It’s kind of how I lived my entire life since both of my parents died by the time I was 10 and I had get through life on my own a lot until I got married. Thank goodness for my hubby! He’s the best.
5 Mental Tips for Public Photos
Here’s what I do when I have anxiety taking photos in public:
- I acknowledge the fear and work alongside it instead of letting it take over me.
- If a place is really busy or there’s a big group of people, I’ll pretend I’m busy doing something on my camera until they pass and then take photos.
- I remind myself on why I’m here, what results I’m looking for and how this contributes to my livelihood monetarily. Money can be quite motivating!
- I remind myself that I will never see these people again in my lives and they have no impact on my life the second they step out of the photo.
- I remind myself that I chose to do this and that comes with both the good and the bad.
Even if you tell yourself all of these things while you take photos out in public, your anxiety might over take, and it really comes down to the saying, “Practice makes perfect.”
Practice might not make your anxiety of taking photos in public by yourself go away, but you will become more ok with being anxious while taking photos.
By the way, it’s very normal to not enjoy taking photos in public, especially by yourself. I have days where I do not care about anyone around me, and I have some days where I’d rather be by myself.
5 Physical Tips for Public Photos
1. If you really can’t get over the idea of taking photos of yourself in public, timing is everything.
Go outside and take photos at sunrise. Not only will you have the beautiful lighting of golden hour, there’ll be less people around gawking at you.
2. If you need to take photos of yourself but need to get your feet wet in the process, go out the first couple of times with a friend or family member. Sometime it feels less scary or embarrassing when you’re having someone take photos of you vs. when you do it all by yourself.
3. If you can’t go out to take photos at sunrise or don’t have a friend, go someplace you know won’t be too crowded!
4. Make sure you practiced your poses at home before you go out. Even if you feel anxious in public, you will have some muscle memory with the practice you did at home!
5. Do research before you go out. If you know there’s a certain location you want to take photos at, have screenshots of it on your phone.
Referring to these images and knowing exactly what to do will make the outdoor photo shooting process faster.
Examples of Photos I Took Myself
Before we get into learning how to take good pictures of yourself, I thought I’d share results from taking photos myself.
Here are photos I took of myself at a hotel and home with a Geekoto tripod and Canon 6D.
Here are photos I took of myself out in public; again with a Geekoto tripod and Canon 6D.
Mike was actually with me in the photo on the left side and above in the hotel photos but he doesn’t always have the patience to take 100 photos of me, which I totally understand. He has his own full-time job so I don’t expect him to use his few free hours to be my photo assistant.
To make us both happy, I’ll still bring my tripod so he can hang out and do his own thing while I do mine!
Here are photos I took of myself at home a Geekoto tripod and my iPhone 11. You’ll learn how to take photos on your phone below!
Best Tips for Taking Photos of Yourself as a Beginner
Besides the mental and physical tips I mentioned above, these are some of my best for taking photos of yourself. They are the best tips for any beginner and will really make your photos will professional.
1. Add movement.
Whether you feel like it’s impossible to get a good pose or two down or you want your photos to come out effortless, add movement.
The movement does NOT have to be grand at all.
For example, if you’re looking straight at the camera, turn yourself to the right or less a tiny bit. Then take one step back and forth. Take photos while you’re taking that one step back and forth, and it’ll look like you’re effortlessly on the go.
2. Hold a prop.
Even after everything we talked about above, if you still feel awkward, hold something like your sunglasses, a hat, a mug– anything to keep your hands busy.
3. Take lots of photos.
To really learn how to get take Instagram photos of yourself, it can’t be a one-and-done process.
In fact, you’ll want to take multiple photos and select the best one. It’s what all the big Instagrammers do!
In the next section, I share how to capture multiple photos easily.
How to Take Good Pictures of Yourself With Phone or Camera
Ok now that we went through all the mental and physical blocks of taking photos, let’s actually get into how to take good pictures of yourself with a phone or camera.
Get a Tripod if You Don’t Have One
There are multiple ways I recommend taking photos of yourself with a phone and/or camera, but no matter which method you use, I highly recommend getting a tripod. To me, it’s more important than the best photography equipment.
You can learn how to take photos by yourself without a tripod by finding a spot in your house where you can prop the phone against something (i.e. table and a cup or on top of a stack of books). But it will be difficult to get the exact angle or deviate from that spot.
Having a tripod is really helpful because:
- you can easily adjust the height of it to have the best angle (depending on if you’re doing an outfit shot or portrait),
- it’ll save you so much time and hassle of figuring out how to set your phone without a tripod
- and you’ll have more freedom to take photos wherever you want outside.
Types of Tripods to Get for Phone and/or camera Pics
Which tripod you need will vary based on what your purpose is. I’ve listed out different situations in which you would need a camera. See which situation applies to you so you can learn the best way on how to take good pictures of yourself.
Phone Only – Indoors
If you’re making TikTok videos and/or taking indoor photos at home on your phone, I recommend getting a ring light on a tripod. That way, you can have good lighting while you take Instagram pics and make TikTok videos.
Here’s Amazon’s Choice for a ring light.
Phone Only – Indoors and Outdoors
If you’re using the tripod for indoor and outdoor pics only on your phone, then I recommend getting this style of bluetooth camera tripod that I see a lot of Instagrammers and TikTokkers use.
It’s great because it comes with a wireless remote and can be used as a selfie stick or tripod.
I actually have this brand’s tripod for a DSLR and like the brand so I can safely assume that their phone tripod is just as awesome. Get it on Amazon here.
If you want an even more portable tripod, I have something like this, but it’s not as good as the one above because it’s quite short.
However, I got it because it fits in my pocket and it still comes in handy when I don’t want to carry something bulky.
Plus, I’ll use it at my desk for my TikTok channel with blogging and social media advice.
Phone or Camera – Indoors and Outdoors
If you’re using the tripod for indoor and outdoor pics on your phone and on your DSLR camera, then you’ll want the tripod I have plus an attachment for your phone.
The reason I chose this tripod is because it:
- folds up super small (into a backpack),
- is lightweight,
- has a ball head making it easy to take pictures at any angle and
- has flip locks, which makes it super fast to set up your tripod on the go.
Of course with the phone attachment, I can use my Canon 6D, Sony A6000 and iPhone 11 all on one tripod easily.
After trying out multiple tripods (seriously I have 4 just doing nothing in my home office), I found this tripod to be the best one for constantly traveling and taking Instagram photos. The flip locks were so key for when I took Instagrammable photos at multiple locations in just a few hours.
Get the tripod I have here as well as the phone attachment.
Good to Know: On my other blog, you can find my Instagrammable places around the world or you can check out my Instagram for travel photos.
Where to Position Your Phone or Camera on the Tripod
Where you position your phone or camera relative to your body and face makes a big difference.
You can see how much the angle of your camera makes a difference in this TikTok video.
There’s a lot of factors that go into this but to simplify it as much as possible, for a full-body fashion shot, I like to have the camera lens in line with my waist.
If you are shorter and want to look taller, you can bring down your camera as low as possible and have it tilted up a little.
For portrait images, I like to have the lens be in line with my neck.
Taking Photos of Yourself With a Phone
Now that you have a good tripod mentioned above and know where to angle the camera, let’s talk about how to take good pictures of yourself with your phone! There are three methods of doing this with your phone.
Oh hey! I took these screenshots as I wrote this post!
My absolute favorite way to take photos of myself with a phone is with the LensBuddy app.
It’s an app that takes photos of you at specific intervals so you can get multiple photos in a row.
For example, I like to set the app to take 30 photos in a row every second. That means after 30 seconds, the app will have taken 30 photos of me. Then I can choose the best one I like.
If you got one of the tripods mentioned above, you can connect your phone to your remote and take a photo right with your phone’s normal camera app by clicking the remote when you want to take a picture.
Just be careful about where you hold the remote so you don’t see it in your pictures. Some remotes have a delayed timer option so you can click the button, put it away and still be ready to pose for a picture.
If you already have a tripod, you can buy the bluetooth remote for your phone separately here.
Screenshot a video
I call this the lazy way to take photos because you’re not actually taking photos, you’re taking a video!
- Bump up the resolution settings as high as possible for video on your phone.
- Then start recording a video and move around as if someone is taking photos of you.
- Stop the video, pause it and scroll back and forth until you find a good “picture” of yourself.
- Take a screenshot of it.
You can see how I did this exactly in this Instagram video.
Taking Photos of Yourself With a Camera
Once you get a good tripod for your camera that’s easy to travel with and steady enough for a DSLR or mirrorless mentioned above, there are four different ways to take photos of yourself.
DSLR With Interval Timer
My first camera for blogging and Instagram was a Sony A6000. But I really wanted a camera with an interval timer built in since I was taking a lot of photos by myself. That’s why I got the Canon 6D, which is the most affordable full-frame camera that Canon has.
Here’s how I take photos by myself with the interval timer:
- I set up my camera on my tripod and use the back button to manually focus on the area I think I’ll be standing.
- I set the interval timer to take a photo every second.
- I step in frame and take a few pictures.
- I go back and look to see if it was in fact focused on me or not.
- Then I’ll turn the interval timer back on and pose as my camera goes off automatically every second or two, depending on how I set it.
You can see the results from me doing this in this Instagram video and in this one.
DSLR With an Intervalometer
If your camera doesn’t have a built in interval timer option, then you can buy an intervalometer for your specific type of camera.
It works just like a built in interval timer. You can set how many pictures you want it to take at how many seconds. It’s as if someone is clicking the shutter button for you!
DSLR With CAMERA APP
Some cameras like the Canon 6D and Sony A6000 come with their own camera app, which acts like a bluetooth remote.
Even better, you can see exactly where you’ll be in frame and then you tap the app to take a photo.
Just make sure that your phone is out of the way!
Mirrorless or DSLR Camera With Self Timer
Using the self timer is probably my least favorite option because it’s slow. But this is a great option to use if you don’t have an app or interval timer.
Do whatever it takes to get the photo you want.
Why Edit Your Photos After Taking Them – It’s a must!
You might think your photos are “bad” but if you’re taking photos of yourself on Instagram, then more likely than not, they will be good enough for social media after you edit them. Editing can really do wonders.
For best photo qualities, it’s a good idea to take photos during golden hour but sometimes taking pictures during good sunrises, sunsets and weather isn’t possible, which is where editing comes in.
Editing is a must.
Editing your photos can really reduce the brightness of the photo or bring back some detail lost in the shadows or highlights.
When you use nice photo editing apps like Tezza’s, you can also make your photos aesthetic.
The apps I like to use to edit photos is Adobe Lightroom on desktop and mobile and the Tezza app. Both are must have content creating tools for me!
For you Instagrammers, here’s a post on how to fix blurry Instagram photos and another one on how to remove ghost followers safely. If you have more questions about Instagram, feel free to ask in my free Facebook group.
I hope this post helps you greatly with learning how to take good pictures of yourself.
Feel free to share how your photos turned out by following me on Instagram and tagging me @sarchetrit.
Want to learn more? You can find more helpful blog posts here, get consistent page views to your blog with my SEO course, or follow me on social media to get daily tips:
- TikTok for blogging + social tips @sarah.chetrit
- Facebook Group to ask me anything Blog and Make Money
- Instagram for travel, blogging and Korean food @sarchetrit
Until next time,
Tuesday 5th of October 2021
I believe a good light is the key to a good picture. I learned it from my friend-photographer. I love pictures taken during "the golden hour". This time gives the best light to capture stunning pictures.
Thursday 14th of October 2021
This is truly a golden tip!! Photos during golden hour turn out so nice, even with an iPhone! Thanks for sharing.