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How To Take Self Portraits
{even if, like me, you don’t know how to use your camera}
Well, you asked?
And I answered.
At least I’ll try to answer anyway.
Q: How do you take those pictures of yourself?
Q: Do you use a backdrop?
Q: What program do you use to edit and upload your pictures to blogger?
My home was built right around the time that dinosaurs roamed the Earth–not that I’m complaining or anything.  What I’m trying to say is that apparently it was in style back then to build the bathroom in the same room as the bedroom–ick.
I’ll be even more specific–my sink is 5 feet away from my bed and my toilet just 5 feet from the sink–at least the toilet is behind a door.  Not sure this is all important, but now you know.
What you need to know:
My bedroom gets phenomenal indirect light–perfect for taking pictures at the right time of day.  And the right time of day, when the room is the brightest, is around 1:00 pm {also Baby W’s nap time}.
At this time, I open all my blinds and let in the light like so:
{that’s my bed: bedding from Target {knock off Anthropologie bedding}
My bathroom area is across from these blinds.
Right across from my bathroom door {where the toilet is} are my full length mirrored closet doors. I usually open my bathroom door and take a seat on the toilet facing the mirror–yep, you read that right.
I usually take my pictures from the toilet–or near the toilet anyway.
Here is the less glorious version of my self-portraits
{before I zoom and crop}.

AND to answer your other questions:
Q: Do you get dressed up cute every day–just to hang around your house?
A: No Way Jose!
See above picture.
This is me–most every day.
In my hubby’s shirt…and pajama pants.
Hair in a pony.
The previous days make-up.
That’s how I roll.
I take comfy over cute 99.9% of the time.
So before you get to work on those portraits,
get to work on loosening those “smile” muscles.
Then put on make-up.
Especially bronzer and lip gloss.
You don’t need to spend a ton of time on the make-up,
just cover up obvious “problem areas”.
However, if you know how to edit photos this won’t be as big of a problem.
I, however, still need to learn how to edit out wrinkles, zits, etc.
So, for now, make up does the trick.
FYI: I use Bare Minerals powder foundation and bronzer.
Next step: take down your hair from the rats nest bun on top of your head.  I just washed and blew dry my hair last night so I don’t have many kinks in it today.
Next, ditch your hubby’s thermal top for your favorite, more flattering girly shirt.
{note to self: organize closet}
This is the shirt I picked out–it’s my favorite.
Just ask my Momma–she says I wear it in too many pictures on this blog.
Oh well.
Note: I am still wearing my pj pants.
In fact, in nearly ALL my portrait pics, I have a cute top on with sweats below {shhh, don’t tell}.
Next: Layers almost always look cuter in pictures.
So pick out your favorite cardigan, vest, sweater, etc.
I have recently joined the cool kids and started wearing a belt with my outfits.
Note: still wearing the pj pants.
Now I turn on my camera,
set it to “auto”,
aim the camera at my mirror reflection,
zoom in on my upper body,
{to cut out the pj pants and tummy},
and start to shoot away.
Here’s the secret: You will need to take over 100 pictures just to get 5-10 that you like.  It shouldn’t take you long though. Just relax, get comfortable, and shoot away–one right after the other.  This way you capture “you” rather than a posed version of you.
You’ll notice that in a lot of my pictures I’m not looking into the camera.  That’s because I am busy looking at my image on the camera screen and making sure I don’t look like too much of a dork.  You can still take a cute picture if you’re not looking into the lens.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
And don’t be afraid to try different poses that would otherwise make you feel like a goof.  I find that it’s easier for me to take pics of myself because I’m not so worried about what the photographer thinks about my pose. And the more relaxed you are the better the picture will turn out.
Don’t be afraid to ZOOM in–they make for some creative pics.
Oh yeah, another thing.
NO FLASH.
The flash will only make you look yellow.
Natural, indirect light all the way.

Now if you don’t have a brightly lit bathroom, you can still take your own pics.  I would recommend finding a white wall {for background} next to the brightest spot in your house.  You can bring over one of those portable wardrobe mirrors {you can get them at Target for about $10}.  If you don’t have a white wall, you can try a sheet, or tape up a white poster board.
Once I take my pictures, I upload them to my computer and into Picasa. I use Picasa’s basic editing features to lighten and brighten my photos {use the “fill light” and “highlight” tools}.  Then I crop my pictures to try to get out as much of the yucky toilet and door jam background as possible.
Next, I select my edited pictures in Picasa, and I click “upload” to upload them into blogger. Then I go into a “new post” in blogger, I click on the picture to upload pictures, and then I select “from Picasa web albums”.  I should see a folder with the images I just edited.  I select that folder and begin uploading the pictures I want to use into my post.
I am also a big fan of the collage feature in Picasa.
That’s how I created all these:

And that pretty much sums it up…for now at least.
I hope this helps a bit.
Do you think we should have a
“Self Portrait” LINK PARTY??
Let me know.
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