It has always been so interesting to me when scrolling through Instagram and seeing all these ladies and sometimes gentlemen with so much content of themselves wearing exotic fashions, traveling to these incredible locations, and getting the most creative angles that really does showcase them or the product they are marketing in the best light. However, I always wonder, "who the heck is taking all these amazing shots of them on a day to day basis?!"
For some, there is your classic, "Instagram husband or boyfriend" (lol), and for others, they have the luxury of hiring different photographers or are friends with very talented creatives. Then there are a very small handful of folks who take matters into their own hands and do it all themselves. Yup! That's right, it's totally possible, as I am a part of that tiny lump-some of people who do the whole shabang from start to finish.
So when you don't have access to models, can't afford to hire a team to help you execute your ideas and no one you know has the flexibility to go shoot on a whim whenever, wherever and however? But you still need a person to wear the clothes, the gear, the product, etc.? Don't wait and let that kind of stuff hold you back from what you want to get going on. It's time to be a one man band and take on those challenges yourself.
Work with what you got on as minimal of a budget as possible utilizing the gear and items you already own. Get creative! That is exactly what I do. I take my tripod, wireless shutter remote, camera, and the necessary essentials to create the content that will further me in where I am aiming to go toward next. However, photographing yourself, by yourself definitely comes with it's challenges as I am sure you can imagine.
I can't tell you how many times I have walked away from capturing myself with absolutely nothing but trash. To name a few, I go out and set everything up and the light I wanted to shoot in is just gone. THANKS MOTHER NATURE (more like thanks to my poor planning). Or my remote battery dies, all the shots are out of focus, something on my outfit wasn't laying the right way, my hair was sticking straight up, the constant going back and forth of checking to make sure I am actually in the frame, or the persistent adjustments I have to make in either the camera and/or tripod...I think you get the idea. Not having someone there to direct and tell you what looks good and what doesn't as well as controlling the camera and getting a lot of different angles makes things a bit harder, but not impossible.
There are also a lot of perks to this madness though. The flexibility of shooting whenever and wherever is great, but I have also found that I am able to analyze and utilize the area I am working with to a much further extent no matter how big or small. I acquire more focus and am able push my creativity to a whole new level even more so than when I am with someone. I have learned some serious patience and discovered new ways of photographing not only myself but also my subjects. Honestly, I was a portrait photographer for years, and the moment I started getting in front of the camera consistently, my sessions with others has resulted in so much more natural and organic "poses." It's fantastic!
When I first started taking on this concept, I would normally just find a really cool location, place the camera on a tripod and compose the shot to where I wouldn't get lost in the background. Over time, this kinda started to bore me, as all my images were beginning to take on the same look and feel. The typical stand right smack dab in the middle of a dramatic landscape kinda vibe. I still do find value in those types of shots, but I felt that I was lacking in perspective and variety when looking at my Instagram feed. Because when working with brands for social media content purposes, it's pretty crucial to keep your A-game strong on the gram. Which is why recently, I began to work with different angles and heights creating more movement and uniqueness into what it is I am trying to put the focus on. Something I do and have found a lot of value in for growing my skill and and pushing my creativity, is setting forth personal projects. These personal projects help me find what works and what doesn't. They surface my problematic areas and allow me to reflect on what I should do different for a more efficient and effective process. A result of doing these also prepare me for when I take on paid partnerships, collaborations or new client. Think of your skill as a muscle. If you don't work it, it begins to atrophy, but if you consistently keep it at, you grow.
Yesterday I went out for an hour and practiced new ways to work my style and get more creative with the angles and perspectives I could do with my tripod. Here are a few of the results!
If you are interested in any of the gear I use to get these results, hop on over to my YouTube channel and check out my most recent video where I share everything I keep inside my camera bag! >>>> CLICK HERE to visit My YouTube Channel!