1. Always use a tripod.
Seriously. Always. use. a. tripod.
Using a tripod is one of the most important steps to make your self-portrait look professional.
Imagine the model in this picture would hold the camera with her arm. Would it look just as professional?
A tripod is always useful to stabilize your photo, but when you take self-portraits, it is not only useful - it is essential.
If you would model for someone else and he'd give you the camera, there'd be something wrong, right?
You are not only the photographer, you're the model, too.
Doesn't matter how close you are to the camera, don't touch it
And don't you dare to take the camera - or even your phone - and stand in front of the mirror!
So, will you use a tripod when you take your next self-portrait?
If the answer is , go back to the start
Everyone else, let's go to step two
2. Be creative.
A Portrait can be so much more than just a photo of a person!
Of course no one will stop you when you take a simple snapshot of yourself, but you could do so much better!
Try out some unusual poses or try an interesting concept.
Be creative and think it through!
Plan your self-portrait just like you would with every other photo.
If you want to make a nice still-life you wouldn't just place the object anywhere random and press the shutter, right?
The same goes for self-portraits. Be creative, don't make the photo just about you.
Create a scene, implement a concept, tell a story!
3. You are the model!
Remember, one of the difficulties of self-portraits is to be the photographer and the model at once.
Try to avoid the typical "i'll just stand here and smile into the camera"!
Your photo is supposed to be a portrait, not a snapshot and you are supposed to be a model - act like one!
"But i'm too shy!" - doesn't matter, it's a self-portrait, remember?
If you ever take a bad picture of yourself, no one will see it
Get some inspiration! Look at some portraits - not necessary self-portraits - and try some poses.
Who knows, maybe you'll start to like posing! It could be so much fun
4. Get out of your comfort zone.
Are you tired of taking the 3133529th picture in your bedroom?
Take your camera, your equipment (don't forget the tripod!) and go outside!
Some portraits look so much more interesting when they're shot outside.
And they might appear more professional as well... or do the photos above look like self-portraits?
In addition: take advantage of whatever awaits you outside!
Wind, rain, snow could make your photo more interesting as well (but make sure your camera is protected )
5. Try something new
Try something new and unusual!
Try another angle or a new make-up.
Try something you haven't seen a hundred times
You can play around with some equipment or play with the lighting.
Or you could take some photos of your body parts - your legs, your back, your hand...
or virtually any other part you find appealing.
Don't be shy! Experiment.
Remember, if you don't like the result, no one ever has to see it
6. Other things that might be helpful
Have you ever tried a fancy new pose - just to see afterwards that it looked awful?
Trying out a new pose, running to your camera, checking the result, seeing that it turned out not as you wished, trying again, aaand so on...
If this isn't your idea of a relaxing self-portrait shooting, a mirror is your solution.
Place it next to the camera, now you can easily see if you should straighten your back or arrange that wisp of hair or anything else
If you want to make your self-portrait shootings even more pleasant, buy a remote-control release!
No more press-the-self-timer-and-wait, no more oh-i-must-run-to-the-camera-and-hurry-back.
And those who have done that a few times knows that after a while it becomes quite exhausting and might eventually turn your face red... not so attractive A remote-control release makes it so much easier.
If you follow these 6 steps, your self-portraits will look more interesting and professional. Just try it!
And the most important advice: have fun