the blog

Creating a Great Self-Portrait

… Of… YES!  Yourself.

Wait, what was that? Doesn’t Leah know that the reason I am the photographer is so that I never have to be IN a photograph again??  Why are we talking about the camera being pointed at me?  Maybe I’ll just pin this one, go back to it someday… someday  far, far away. 


Here me out for just one minute… Okay – we all know that I am not capable of talking for just one minute! So how about if you give me five?

I don’t think putting off your own portrait is a good idea; in fact, I think it’s a very bad one.  I think you should make this happen now, because a beautiful self-portrait is muy importante for a whole lot of reasons.

First and foremost, you need to know what it is you’re trying to sell to your clients – which is photographs that they absolutely love to look at.  Do you know how that feels?  To love what you look like in a photograph?  Because you deserve to experience it too!

The second reason is  strictly business.  Potential clients MUST be able to identify with you.  Must, must, must!  When there is nothing that tells them who you are and (yes!) what you look like…  How can they become comfortable enough to trust you as their photographer?

We are visual people, and thank goodness for that, since our whole business is based around visuals!!  So, with that in mind… Do you think you’re really sending the right message if your about me page has NO PICTURE OF YOURSELF when you are a photo-grapher???

Why do you think Go4Pro is so flooded with pictures of me?  Because I think the world needs so many more pictures of my mug?  Most certainly not!  Just like you, I wince just before I see a picture of myself – brace myself for what I’m about to see.  You should see me in every-candid-shot-ever-taken.  It’s a riot – just never for me!

There are images of me all over the Go4Pro Photos website, because I want you to get to know me!  I want to you to feel comfortable with me, to relate to me, to begin to feel a connection with me.  And then, as you get to know me better through this blog and through my newsletters, you’ll have a face to put with all the words.

I hope that you will do this for yourself; that you will carve the time, eliminate the excuses, and create an image of yourself that you can love!

Here are my tips to plan, create and love your own self-portrait… This is the process that I, personally, took when creating and developing the images for Go4Pro that you can see on the home page video, the shop, the praise page, the about me page and the blog.

I was not the photographer who captured them, mind you.  And if you can enlist help, you will thank yourself over and over.  I went out with a team of four (thank you Kari, Karen and Taylor) – I guess I need all the help I can get!


I really believe that inspiration is such a key component to getting that great self-image, because what we really need is to get our confidence up!  When I’m behind the camera, it’s my job to help bring that confidence out in my clients… But when I’m in front of the camera – who will do that for me?  Each of these steps helped me feel secure and safe and will do the same for you while you work to create this for yourself.

The purpose of the ‘Inspiration Step’ is mainly look for posing, lighting, and cropping that YOU connect with.  Look for images that feel like you. 


You know that actor that people have told you that you look like?  (If you can’t tell I’ve been told I look like Anne Hathaway… Although, they say it in reference to Princess Diaries… Hmmm.)

Or that actor whose poise and presence you really admire?  Do a quick google search and a pull a few head shots and stylized session shots that you gravitate toward and would like to emulate.

Side note… A self-portrait (for your business) should never be sexy!  I find that to be so incredibly unprofessional and, ironically, a huge turnoff.  A fantastic self-portrait is inviting, engaging and has a sense of familiarity for the viewer.


How often do you really do this for yourself?  Not very!  Take the time to plan the location; schedule for great lighting; and, for goodness sake, wear something that makes you feel incredibly confident!!  For me that’s usually an excuse for new clothes! {wink}


You’ve done the work.  You’ve found your inspiration.  You’ve planned the look, feel and poses.  You have the clothes, the location and timing set.  You’ll be shot right when the sun drops and gives you the golden hour.  You are ready.  Almost… Why not bring the whole experience full circle and allow yourself that added boost of confidence by having your hair and makeup done professionally?!

This is a GREAT time to test your new hair and makeup artist!

(See: Your guide to working with Makeup Artists & Hair Stylists


You’ve planned, prepared and stylized… Remember to take lots of pictures and really study the back of your camera to see what you’re liking and what you’re not.  It may even be a great idea to have a mirror in front of you so that you can see what you’re doing.

And, of course, if at all possible – enlist help!  But remember, if they’re not a photographer, they will need lots of coaching on what they’re looking for when pressing down the shutter!

I would LOVE to see your self-portrait, so head over to the Facebook page and – if you’re brave enough – upload it to our wall.  If you’d like, you can even ask me to critique or answer a question about self-portraits using your image! 



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