Self Portrait: 'Pedestal' & Photography Tips

Today's prompt for Blogtember states, "A Self Portrait'. 

This was my recommendation for Jenni when she announced another monthly change and I was so happy to see it included.  I love taking self portraits because it has really helped improve my skill and push myself further creatively.  When it comes to taking self portraits there are no excuses and that is why I continue to do them.  I cannot postpone it because my model was a no show and I have been able to do these where ever I have been in my travels, including in the middle of Pompeii in Italy.

My Self Portrait Tips:

1. It does not matter what camera you have.
Yes different cameras will give you different results. However give the most skilled photographer a crappy camera and they will still produce an image worthy of art. Focus on the image you want to create.

2. Be in the moment. 
To fully harness your best work and experience the process organically you need to be present.  If you are constantly critiquing your work between shots, running back to the camera only to get more frustrated then I say take a moment to refocus.  You are photographing an feeling, a mood, an idea, or a message. Not perfection.  I have been crying in front of the camera before because I was upset about something.  However, I was living this raw moment to be documented.

3. Give yourself time.
There have been some self portraits that I get a lot of feed back from where I took it in only one or two shots. There are others where I probably spent a good hour and a half from start to finish to get the one shot I needed.  The point is to make sure you are not rushed and that you can devote the time you need. Do not rush art.

4. Find the light.
Lighting can make a good photo and amazing photo. I take a lot of photos in front of the window for natural light. It is a great way for me to get what I want without my neighbors giving me quizzical looks if I were to do it outside.  My favourite lighting is overcast skies as the clouds act like a huge diffuser.  If you do use a flash on your camera try bouncing the light off a white card attached to your camera to avoid harsh light directly into your face.  Experiment and see what works best for the shot.

5. It is okay to ask for help.
I have had family members and friends help me out as assistants on my self portrait shoots. Sometimes its to stand in for me while I focus my camera, to spray me with water, or to make sure my tripod does not fall from where it is positioned.  If you yourself have any questions for me I am always a quick tweet away.

Self Portrait Saturday
Normally this would be a post to go up tomorrow and my link up would go live along with it. However for the #Blogtember post I have put it up today and the link up will be available through the next several days. Next week the SPS will continue on Saturdays.  I am also going to be reinstating my themes that I did for the Self Portrait Challenge in 2012.  This year however I will do just one set theme a month so that the rest of the month does not limit your creativity and vision.  Hope to see you around for the furture SPS and make sure to link up this week!

Join Jenni for her Blogtember Challenge! 

*Image original to A Compass Rose blog by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007-2013 All Rights Reserved |


  1. These are beautiful! I seriously wish I had a camera (any camera) so I could try out all your tips!

  2. Such pretty photos! I'm such a novice with photography, but even I know that lighting can make a HUGE difference with the final photo product. It's something I didn't realize till I started taking pictures with improved lighting and saw the difference.

  3. When you do you must. Even if its a camera phone. :) x

  4. Thank you Manda. Yes. It still amazes me what lighting can do. It honestly excites me when the lighting is perfect and is doing what I need it to do in a photo. Like a painter paints with paints a photographer paints with light! x

  5. I love this, your hair is gorgeous and the photos are just generally great! I need to practice a few of these tips because my selfie picture taking skills are awful!

  6. Thank you Kate! I've been doing the 'no poo' thing for the last few months and I really love the results. My hair actually goes in waves now instead of just curly-ish at the top. Do! The more you take the better you get. :) x

  7. I love all your tips especially being in the moment. I will definitely try to remember your tips the next time I take a picture. I've been getting into some self-portrait love with my camera phone. I might be getting better at it, thanks to forward facing cameras.

    You look amazing! That dress is gorgeous!

  8. Thank you for the tips! :) I'm definitely going to allow myself more time next time, and also try and capture better lighting! :)

    It's funny you mentioned about the neighbors. I live in an apartment, and was trying some on the porch when some guys across the way came out on the porch and I high tailed it right back in side! Haha! :)

  9. Forward facing cameras rock...i love them as mirrors also. ;) Glad you love the tips. Thanks I got the dress while visiting my home in Napoli, Italy and so its a favourite of mine now. x

  10. You are most def welcome Madi. Yes...dont rush and find good lighting. Then the world is your oyster! haha..and yeah. I did one where I was climbing up a ladder to make it look like I was flying over my hedge...tried to get that one done really quick!

  11. Love the tips and your self portraits - may one day be brave enough to take pictures of myself! :-)

  12. So glad you loved them Molly and will! ;) x

  13. Great tips Bonnie!

    I've been meaning to track down a remote for my camera. I find it frustrating getting up and resetting the timer constantly. Do you ever use one?

  14. It is frustrating because thats what I am doing right now. I have a remote, but for some reason new batteries will not make it come back to life. I need to get another one.

  15. I loved this challenge so I think I'll *try* to keep up with you! I love your tips.. all are great!

  16. You always take such great self-portraits! So pretty.

  17. Great tips; I especially like the one about being in the moment. When I try to photograph outfits I always end up so stiff looking. I need to just have fun, put on some music, click away, and see what I get after instead of running to the camera after every attempt.

  18. I'm not a big fan of taking selfies.. lol. but this challenge sounds like a fun thing!! New Linkee!!! :) Yay!!

    -Adri @ Adri's Thoughts

  19. I am good at "mirror selfies" or should I add pro ? but not with self portraits ;) There you have awesome advices so I would have to take some right away!
    Noor @ Noor's Place


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Bonnie Rose

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