If you're on a major budget or running out of ways to persuade your sibling, significant other or soul sista to serve as a pseudo-photographer, it's time to use some tried-and-true tricks of the trade in self shooting. This is a challenge that some of our top bloggers, like Tricia Gosingtian, Rachel Ecclestone and Liza LaBoheme, have come across frequently and are more than willing to share what they have learned.

Although having the right equipment is ideal, there's also plenty of tips for those of you just starting out or want to experiment before investing in the full-fledged camera-tripod-remote control package.

Read on for expert advice on timing, lighting, set-up, selecting the right background, the benefits of both outdoor and indoor shots, dealing and being resourceful with your surroundings, and other practical tips, that just about anyone can implement.


“You need the right equipment which is basically a good camera, a tripod and a remote control for your camera.” — Liza LaBoheme

“A tripod with an instant or 3-second remote is all you'll need for some sick shots!” — Rachel Ecclestone

Photo by: Rachel Ecclestone


“If you shoot indoors, look for a plain background so that all the focus is on the outfit.” — Santiago

“Lighting is another important thing for the pictures. I´d look for a window and place your camera in front of it. Don’t look straight into the sun unless you have shades on.” — Cami Nim

“Check how the light hits beforehand and avoid taking pictures at midday in direct sunlight — it will create harsh shadows. You don't have the benefit of someone holding the reflector or extra flash, so it’s important to be resourceful.” — Kadri S.

“Pick a background that's not too cluttered. You'll want to shoot with a fairly shallow depth of field (i.e. a low f-stop), so that you (the subject) stands out from the background. If there's a lot going on in the background, the auto-focus may pick up on something else besides you. I’ve found it’s best to shoot outdoors from this perspective, as you can find an open space without much behind you to distract the camera. Plus, natural light is always nicer for portraits anyways!” — Kit Marsden

Photo by: Jenny Tsang

“If you do shoot outside, go early in the morning when the light is most diffused. In the middle of the day, you will get eye holes (unless you pop on some shades). The morning is also great for big city dwellers like me, as there is much less traffic and people to come into your shots.” — Matthew Reinhold

Photo by: Matthew Reinhold

Photo by: Rachel Lynch


“Place the camera or phone on a flat surface. Make sure it’s on timer and viola!” — Si Qi

Photo by: Si Qi


“Mark the right place of your position in front of the camera with a stone or small object so that you don’t end up cutting off the head or the legs, or off center.” — Yulia Proskurina
Photo by: Hannah Louise


“Just find the right place, check whether you have the right lighting and focus and set the remote (I prefer 10 seconds). It's good to use automatic focus as pictures tend to be blurry without it, and just shoot.” — Sophia Fay

“Focus on a spot on the floor or something to figure out where you have to be in the picture, or use auto-focus.” — Liza LaBoheme

Photo by: Liza LaBoheme


“Stay confident and comfortable when shooting in public. It will feel weird at first, but it becomes normal and routine after awhile.” — Leah Moreno

“If someone asks you what you're doing, just tell him that it's a project for your photography class.” — Venetia

“For safety reasons, avoid places that are too isolated, though. You don't want someone to rob your camera.” — Trevor W.

Photo by: Trevor W


“Take a couple of photos of you with your remote control, then check if everything is fine as there's nobody there to tell you. Make adjustments.” — Liza LaBoheme

“All cameras have timers so maybe try and set it to 10 seconds.” — Santiago

“I usually use a remote with a three second timer, which means I have 3 seconds to hide the remote/throw it in the grass/put it in my pocket. For me it is the best option, as I don't have to run to the camera after every shot (like I would with using only the timer).” — Kadri S.

“If you see my studio-lit photos taken against a white wall, it means that I just used self-timer to take my own photos. I have a small studio outside my room and it’s quite convenient when there’s nobody around to help me take my photos.” — Tricia Gosingtian

Photo by: Tricia Gosingtian


“Also remember to take shots from different distances and possibly different angles as well - for variety.” — Kadri S.

Photo by: Kadri S.

Check out the original forum topic here.