Loners 'R' Us: How I Shoot my Photos

I've been on Instagram and blogging for a little over a year now. Over this time, I've learned a lot and grown as a photographer and blogger. I've started shooting with like-minded blogger friends with great results; I've dragged out my boyfriend (achem, "IG Husband") to take cheesy photos during travels and laid-back weekends. The truth of the matter is, however, that everybody is busy, including me. Sure, now that I'm almost done with school, I've got quite a few more days off than I had before, but the problem is those days off don't always line up with other people's plans. For busy girls constantly wondering how to get good photos without the weirdness/conceit of "photographing myself," read on:

Get the Equipment - First of all, you don't need the most hi-tech, expensive equipment to get started. If you're just starting out, the general rule of thumb is to NOT bankrupt yourself before you get a chance to grow and develop with the equipment you've got.

I personally shoot with a 6-year-old Canon T3i that I bought back in 2012, when my passion for photography first developed and I saved up money to purchase my dream camera. With that said, you can do this with an iPhone or another mobile phone.

Next, you're going to need stabilization. Whether that's a stack of books, an old-fashioned tripod, or one of the new table-top tripods (which is what I personally use), you need something that will "hold up" your camera for you. For phones, this is honestly a little bit harder, and your prop-up device might need to be more complex. Whereas a traditional camera can sit easily on a pile of books or on the *achem* car trunk, a small tripod and clasp for your phone will work wonders and is generally inexpensive to purchase.

Lastly, you'll need somebody... or something... to push the camera trigger. Phone cameras and DSLR cameras have 10 second timers that work well enough to get the perfect self portrait. But what if you have the perfect shot framed and don't want to keep messing up the shot when you press the button? Did you know that you can get remote controls for both DSLRs and phones that let you "shoot" the photo right from where you are standing? If you want to simplify the process and cut your shoot time in half, invest in one of those as well.

Now that you've got the equipment, nothing can stop you, right? That's all the information you needed! Well, based on personal experience, here's a few things I've learned from taking self portraits that might take a little adjusting and practice!

For those who are shy, or feel awkward taking photos of themselves, here's what I used to do versus what I do now:

Past me: Whenever I saw a person approaching, or walking by, I would hide and gather up all my equipment, basically pretending that I'm just standing around doing nothing. I'd also feel guilty for no reason, thinking wow I must appear so conceited and self-obsessed for taking photos of myself. This is normal when you first begin, and was a big struggle for me because I tend to be a little sensitive to what others think.

Present me: It's all about your attitude. Now I try to think that what I'm doing has purpose (and it does!). I am building a brand, doing a job, and even if I weren't, who cares? I play music, do weird happy dances when I get the right shot, and generally have fun with it. You'll realize as you go that people largely do not care what you're doing. Though people tend to be aggressively judgmental on the internet, you will find that IRL they largely don't live up to their bark. This makes shooting less stressful and more enjoyable, which means that I can do it more, and get more photos to post!

Lastly, always be safe and vigilant! There's always a balance between being comfortable with what you're doing and being negligent about weirdness going on around you. I always try to shoot early in the morning or during golden hour at the absolute latest. If I'm shooting by myself close to evening, I tend to stay close to my car. I like to find places that aren't full of people, but I also try to keep my wits about me when I'm in a seemingly deserted place... that eerie quiet could always be hiding something sinister... just kidding. But yes, there have been times when I have been shooting next to warehouses close to sunset, and I notice a white van driving by and then doubling back... At that point, I usually say screw it to getting the perfect shot, jump in the car, and never look back. Unless I'm in a location where lots of people are constantly passing by, I do not allow myself to be approached!

Shop the outfit via the widget below! The skirt is from Zara


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