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5 Tools You Need to Take Amazing Self Portraits

5 tools you need to take amazing self portraits
Can't afford a model? Do you wanna take self portraits but don't know where to start? Here's a list of 5 pieces of photography equipment you need to take fabulous self portraits.

Taking A Self-Portrait is Easy

You know I modeled my own jewelry. Photography is one of my hobbies so I invested a little bit of money into my studio. 

The first thing that motivated me to invest on decent photography equipment was the lack of resources to hire out. I wanted to sell my jewelry as soon as I finished it. If I had to ship out my jewelry to be photographed, I’d have to wait a few weeks before I could list them and it’s not exactly feasible since my jewelry are mostly one-offs. All in all, the pros of investing my money on photography equipment outweighed the cons.

My main avenue was selling online through my website. To minimize risks for both parties, I wanted my customers to know the size of the jewelry they’re buying. You know how a simple product photo without context can deceive the viewers. That’s why I decided to model my jewelry to show them how they hang and look on a real body.

I am whole bumblebee jasper artisan necklace by Popnicute Jewelry. Argentium silver, brass, copper.
Can you tell how big am I?

Can'T I use my smartphone instead?

Sure you can. But I wrote this blog for those who wanted to invest on a DSLR/mirrorless camera.

Smartphone cameras are getting better and better, no doubt about that, though I still find the quality of the camera on my Galaxy S8 smartphone is lacking compared to a DSLR/mirrorless camera. Editing the colors on a smartphone is annoying as heck, IMO. I prefer to do my editing on a desktop computer. More power, more precise, bigger monitor.

Don’t get me wrong… you do NOT need an expensive set of equipment to start. I did start by taking photos with a simple point-and-shoot camera next to a window until I earned enough money to upgrade my tools one by one as I go along.

When you’re ready to take the plunge, here’s a list of the photography equipment you need to take better selfies. Are you ready? 

Keep reading. 

5 things you need to take self portrait today

5 photography Tools you need to take a GREAT selfie

Disclaimer: This blog post may contain affiliated links. It costs the same to you but it gives me a small commission when you buy the products from my links. My thoughts and reviews are honest from my own experience with the products.

My thoughts on each of these photography equipment

ESSENTIALS:

Canon EOS Rebel T6i with a flip screen

The 18-55mm zoom lens that came with it is decent enough for a selfie. The flip screen is important to have! The T6 model is cheaper but it doesn’t have a flip screen so you can’t see yourself on the LED screen.

You can buy a refurbished one from Canon USA website for less. The best price available online is usually on Cyber Monday for US shoppers but they do have various online promos on select major holidays. 

Wireless remote

A wireless remote for your camera is essential to take a selfie. You can use the timer in the camera but between hitting the button manually and posing, sometimes it disrupted the mood. With a wireless remote, you simply hit it after you set your pose so there’s a lesser chance to fail.

Continuous softbox lighting kit

This kit comes with floor stands and daylight bulbs. The nice things about continuous lighting is you don’t have to deal with light meters and strobe light that the professionals use. It simplifies things. As there’s no dimmer, to get stronger or less light, you simply move the light closer or farther away from you or the object.

There are 2 lights in the kit to get even lighting without harsh shadows.

Tripod

The free standing tripods work best. Don’t get the one with the horizontal bars on the legs. I know the tripod I linked here is a bit pricey but it’s the best tripod I’ve got. Sturdy and the legs can be adjustable in many ways. I’ve gone through $20 and $50 tripods and there’s no contest. You get what you paid for. 

The cheaper tripods are built with mostly plastic head so they’re not holding your camera as secure as the more expensive tripods with powder coated steel head.

This tripod has a moveable horizontal arm that can be useful for taking product photos such as flat lays.

Grey Card

A grey/white card is needed to adjust the white balance inside your camera. When your white balance is off, that’s when you get the bluish or yellowish tint on your photos. To set your custom white balance ahead of shooting will save you from doing too much post process editing and will ensure your photos look great and uniform. 

This video will tell you how to set custom white balance with a grey card on a Canon camera.

OPTIONAL:

Canon 24mm f/2.8 STM lens

After some research, I decided to buy this lens. This Canon 24 mm lens is budget friendly and it can take a half body shot in an arms length. Which is important for taking self-portraits as if you’re too far from it, you won’t be able to see yourself on the small LCD screen. This lens is pretty versatile. It can be used to take flat lay photos as well and take a fairly close up photos of jewelry.

18″ ring light kit

This ring light kit comes with a floor stand and a colored filter. If you can only have 1 light due to a limited space in your studio, I’d get this light. It lights you up evenly thanks to the ring shape. You can have your camera inserted in the middle of it from behind so the tripod doesn’t cast a shadow on you. The nice thing about this ring light is it has a stepped dimmer. It has so many levels of brightness.

LED panel lighting

I mounted this LED panel lighting on my tabletop lighting stand. I placed it on the floor facing up on an angle towards the backdrop as a backlight. It has daylight and soft white (yellow) bulbs. The lights can be dimmed. I set mine to maximum daylight and maximum soft white color for ambiance. The purpose of it is to separate me from the background so there’s more dimension to my self-portraits. You don’t need it but it’s nice to have.

100 watt equivalent LED daylight bulb

To replace the lightbulbs on your softbox lighting once they’re dead. This LED light is so bright! You don’t need this for the ring light or the LED panel lighting.

Fabric backdrop

This fabric backdrop by Kate Backdrop is among the best ones I’ve purchased. It has a microfiber suede-like fabric that diffuses the light evenly so there is no flash back like a vinyl backdrop sometimes can give you. Easier to store than vinyl backdrops too. By the way, I hang this fabric backdrop on a curtain rod that I mounted on the designated place for my model photography. I didn’t buy a specialized backdrop hanger. The tripod backdrop hanger took too much space. The curtain rod was perfect for my need; close to the wall and out of my way.

Which one of these photography equipment are on your wishlist right now?

Discuss it in the comment.

5 things you need to take self portrait today
Kharisma.

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Kharisma Sommers

Kharisma Sommers

When I'm not working on improving my metalsmithing skills, I like to take macro photos of flowers (but only when the weather is warm because I'm picky like that). I spend my days watching funny animal videos on Facebook and/or glued on Netflix. It's hard to imagine that I won awards for my jewelry if you judge me by my silly pajamas.

I wanna know... What are you thinking? Tell me what's on you mind...

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