10 common portrait photography cliches and how to avoid them

6 stellar self-portrait ideas: shoot your reflection

6 stellar self-portrait ideas: shoot your reflection

7. Face half-covered by a camera

Many photographers are guilty of this when challenged to produce a self-portrait and it’s been done to death. The same goes for shooting yourself in the mirror while holding a camera.

Self-portraits are a great way of trying out a few techniques and honing your style, so think beyond the grab-a-camera-and-find-a-mirror approach.

Think about the best photograph you have ever seen of yourself and work out why you like it. Is it the pose? Is it because it was taken while you were unaware? Whatever it is try to better it.

8. Soft-focus

Soft-focus or blurring tends to be used to draw attention to a subject these days, but it was once very popular across the whole frame.

Digital techniques allow more sophisticated ways of smoothing out wrinkles and blemishes that are less obvious. It’s even possible to replicate the effect of shooting with very shallow depth of field or using a tilt-and-shift lens.

Pay attention to the gradation of focus when applying blur and make sure there is sufficient feathering to look natural.

When using blur replicate restricted depth of field remember that objects forward of or behind the focus point should be soft, those that are the same distance from the camera should be sharp.

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