In honor of National Photography Month, we are doing a series on photography’s most recent trend, selfies! Let’s face it, selfies are here to stay. While some say they are a form of narcissism, I like to think they are a glimpse into who we are and who we are becoming. Just like boudoir photography, selfies can be either a boost to your self esteem when done correctly, or a confidence killer when poorly executed. And while a professional boudoir photography session just can’t be beat, there are times when a quick boudoir selfie can come in quite handy.
Tips for rocking your own boudoir photography selfie:
First things first, let’s make sure you have the right equipment to get the job done. You will need a smart phone, a tablet device or a camera with the ability to flip the LCD or to shoot with a remote. For my selfies in this post, I used a Panasonic Lumix GF6 and am loving it’s ability to see my photo as I am taking it from the app on my phone or the flipped lcd screen. Plus with it’s wifi options, I can quickly send it to my phone or iPad for editing. And the self-timer is pretty cool too, if I want to go hands-free! For the standing photos in this post, I set my camera to self-timer and to the setting where it takes 4 consecutive shots. That way I could move around into my poses without having to keep running back and forth!
If you are using an iphone, simply flip the screen so you can see what you are doing. However, when we flip the view of our camera, it can sometimes be a bit shocking since we aren’t used to seeing our facial features in reverse. If you can’t get used to seeing yourself this way, definitely use a remote (like this), try using your headphones by clicking the volume up button to snap the photo, or shoot into a mirror.
Make sure to focus on your face by touching the screen of your iPhone near your eyes, to ensure you are well lit and in focus.
Choose your backdrop wisely. You want to make sure your surrounding space is decluttered. Look for something as simple as your bed, a pretty wallpapered area of your home, or even on a gorgeous rug on your floor. Basically, you don’t want anything distracting from you in the photo.
Lighting is everything in photography. It can make or break a photo. Good lighting shows you at your best, so, we definitely want to find the gorgeous light here. A wall next to a window with soft, natural sunlight filtering in is a really nice option. But , you can look fabulous with artificial lighting too, such as the light from a bathroom vanity. Just be careful to not show anything that screams bathroom in your photo if you choose this location for light.
When judging the lighting, look at the shadows on your face. Ideally you want the light to be evenly spread on your face, with no harsh shadows. Usually the light will be coming from the front in this situation. However for a moodier effect try shooting with the light coming from the side. Make sure you angle your face towards the light source though.
If you decide to do your boudoir selfie outdoors, look for open shade for the prettiest lighting.
For an extra boost in lighting, pick up an inexpensive iphone led light like this one.
For most people, their best angle tends to be the side they favor for the part in their hair. But, you can add some mystery by shooting the opposite side with your hair flowing over your eyes, while peeking seductively at the camera.
Posing & Expressions
If you are holding your phone or camera with one hand you may be more limited in this area. I tend to like selfies in bed when holding the camera. This can be super sexy first thing in the morning, for a super natural look. But, wherever you decide to pose and especially for sitting up or standing shots, make sure you are holding the camera from above. This will help ensure you don’t get the dreaded double chin and it’s a flattering angle for almost everyone.
For the actual pose, I favor shots that don’t look too forced. Do this by adding energy to your pose – by fully committing to the pose, using your hands (or hand haha) and using your breath. I teach you how to do this in detail in a shoot with me but for now, let’s break them down into bite-sized pieces for you to practice
Arch like you mean it. Add curves by not only arching, but using your arms and legs. Try tipping one knee towards the other. Pop a shoulder towards your chin or push your hip out to the side and then angle your face in that direction too.
A relaxed mouth is much prettier than when forcing it into an expression. Definitely do not attempt duck face. Instead try these breathing exercises in your photos for a more pleasing look.
Exhale – lips parted, sighing loudly, breathing deeply out of your mouth, head tilted upwards and to the side.
Inhale – eyebrows raised slightly, neck elongated, sharp inhale through parted lips, facing the camera.
Genuine laughter is sexy too though. You can achieve this by turning your head to the side and laughing while facing upwards. Come on, give it a hearty try!
Spy Eyes – pretend you are a sexy spy with sexy secrets. I’m dead serious. I have coached this technique for years with my clients, to great effect. It not only puts you into character by adopting a confident alter-ego, but it gives you a sexy expression by speaking through your eyes. With spy eyes you are not merely looking at the camera but seeing into it’s very soul.
Hands– Use your hands to play with your hair, draw attention to your assets (tracing along your collarbone or décolletage with your middle finger, for example), or framing your face. Just remember you want delicate hands here. And, the side of the hand is always more attractive than the palm or backs of hands.
Spy Eyes, using my hands & adding curves.
Shooting details is alway an option for those who may be too shy (or concerned with privacy) for a full face and body shot. But, it could also make a lovely diptych or triptique collage. Look for the pretty details of your lingerie and of course, the curves on your body.
Lying on floor, exhaling with a smile, using hands.
Practice Makes Perfect
Don’t get discouraged if it takes a couple of tries before you get an image you love. In fact, get snap happy and keep firing way! Professional photographers call this spraying and praying (since it’s a sign of an amateur), but if you don’t have the knowledge of a pro, it’s really a good solution!
Once you’ve nailed your shot, you will want to edit it. My favorite app for this is Snapseed. It gives you so many options from adjusting the contrast to adding filter effects and framing. You can adjust your image to your liking with SnapSeed. Plus with an editing app, you aren’t forced to post it publicly like you would have to do on Instagram. Go easy on this though! I never apply a filter at full strength. Never, ever! Nothing screams amateur as much as over filtering or retouching a photo.
A SnapSeed Grunge Filter
This was actually an interesting challenge for me. I am a photographer, after-all, who prefers being behind the camera. However, I learned to see the beauty in myself doing this – from my crooked teeth, to the dreadful wrinkles, to my freckles that I have always hated. I’m kinda liking them all right now, since they make me uniquely ME! Oh, and who knew the ‘girls’ could look like that while lying on the floor??? Wowzers!! If only they looked like that while standing! Ha!
“Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first” ~Carrie Bradshaw
I encourage you to also take a boudoir selfie and look for what you love about yourself. Can you appreciate the little things in your photos that normally annoy you?
To continue with this boudoir selfie series, be sure to watch the blog for the entire team of Haute Shots giving their tips for boudoir selfies, along with their own photos!
Las Vegas Weekly Magazine Feature: Unleash Your Inner Seductress
Seven Magazine: What Is Beauty?
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