Some creative self-portrait ideas to get inspired.
Portrait Photography Basic Photography Black & White Photography
July 11, 2018

In a world of selfies, the idea of self-portrait is extremely popular. A highly entertaining genre of photography, self-portraits are becoming increasingly prevalent amongst photo enthusiasts. With the extreme amount of creative freedom involved in self-portrait photography, things can go haywire if certain rules are not kept in mind. Let us take a look at some of the creative self-portrait ideas and try to get inspired.


1)   Vibrant colours:

Photographs shot during the Indian festival of Holi (The festival of colours) look extremely attractive. This is because faces and colours make a beautiful combination. We can replicate this scenario by using several colourful lights. You can use a prism or even a CD to do the same. The glittering portion of the CD needs to have the maximum light reflected off it. This will ensure the presence of several colours. Mount the camera on a tripod and use a remote shutter cable.

2)   Use of fancy costumes:

Fancy and colourful costumes can be of great value in self-portraits. You can use wigs too to get some unique portraits of your own. Look out for the latest fashion trends and get inspired!

3)   Silhouettes:

We have all seen silhouettes. We admire them too. Silhouettes of the African landscape have often grabbed our attention. You can make silhouettes of your own too. Just make sure you stand in front of a very bright background. If the background has lights of multiple colours, it will be even better since it will create the beautiful bokeh effect. Make sure that the highlights of the background just creates a sort of rim lighting on your face. This will help to separate your face from the background. You can also create a double exposure effect using one of your silhouettes. Double exposures look awesome when done properly. We have a separate blog on how to create a double exposure effect.

4)   Intricacies instead of portraits:

You don’t have to always shoot the entire face when you are into self-portraits. Focus on minute details and you can get really creative with those. Water splashing shots, jumping in the rain kind of shots can also be included in the genre of self-portraits. You can also shoot half of your face and explore different angles to shoot the same.

5)   Shooting through props:

This is a common way to grab attention. Shoot through different props like prisms, coloured glasses, filters to introduce a completely different dimension to the image. You can also use coloured paper to cover half of your lens while shooting. This will bring about a soft spot of colour in the image and it looks quite cool. With this process, you can get extremely creative.

6)   Shadows as well as black and white:

The game of light and shadows look beautiful in portraits. Use different props to introduce the shadows in your image. You may look to cover some part of your face in shadows to bring about the mystic feel to the image. This also makes sure that the focus goes straight on to the uncovered part of your face and makes it more prominent. This is quite simple as well. All that you require for this is a single light source and a prop to introduce the shadow. This prop can be of any size and shape. Find patterns around your home or outside. Some grilled windows can also be a source of light and shadow. These can create unique designs on your face. Another way to get pretty self-portraits is by converting them to black and white. Remember, not all images should be converted to black and white. Analyze the images and find out the ones which have a lot of contrast in them. When you convert these images to black and white, the contrast gets even more highlighted.


7)   Recreate the favourite themes:

We all have certain favourite themes. These can be from one of our favourite movies, music videos or even cartoons. Once you select the theme, arrange the costumes and props required to replicate that. Choose the location wisely too. The location should be fitting in to your theme properly. Replicating the favourite themes can be very enjoying and exciting and hence can result in lovely self-portraits.

8)   Seasonal sensations:

Dressing according to seasons can be enthralling. Find out the new trends of each season before you start shooting. Think of the things that come to your mind first when you think of each season. Mangoes and lemon yellow in summer, reds in winter etc. are some of the trends I like to follow.

9)   Your different moods:

This is also quite commonly seen these days. Shoot a portrait of yourself based on your different moods. Dressing according to the mood can be a big advantage. However, if you don’t want to do that, play around with your expressions to create different portraits, each pertaining to a specific expression. The beauty of this is that you do not need to guide anyone as you are doubling up as the model and the photographer. Once you have shot the images, make a collage out of them. This can make for a great wall shot for your living room.

10) Story telling collages:

Story telling images are always much more attractive than the normal ones. Can you tell a story using self-portraits? You certainly can. Find a small piece of story you want to convey. Once you have decided the story, create a sequence of self-portraits that you believe can depict the storyline. Shoot them in sequence and combine them in a collage and you have your first story telling self-portrait collage ready.


Self-portraits are getting increasingly popular with time. There is no limit to creativity when it comes to self-portraits. These are just a few ways to shoot self-portraits. This can be a sort of a guideline for you. Follow them when you are starting out and get creative with each of them. Remember, all that you actually need for a self-portrait is a camera and YOU!

Portrait Photography Basic Photography Black & White Photography
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