Selfies for shy people: 7 ways to take a self-portrait without showing your face

Post by
Marisa Young
Selfies for shy people: 7 ways to take a self-portrait without showing your face

Showing your face on social media doesn’t come naturally to everyone. It has taken me a lot of courage and quite a few years to show more of myself on my profile. You might be shy or you might like to retain some sense of anonymity whilst still having a public profile on Instagram. There are clever ways to bring the human element to your images without giving up your identity.

Using strategically placed props

The use of props is a clever way to conceal your face. They can add a styled element to your image and can help tell a story and show some of your personality, depending on the prop you use. It also helps with having your photo taken because it helps you to not feel so exposed and vulnerable if you are holding something. There are so props you can use, from flowers to the camera itself, here’s some inspiration!

Photo of a baby at the beac with a large sunhat over her face
Hats are always handy when you don’t have your game face on! Source: @pattischmidt
Photo of a little girl and a big stack of books on the bed
Books are always a handy prop, and very handy if you don’t want to show your little one’s face. Source: @pattischmidt
Tip: Note the use of the mirror too, another handy prop!

Photo of a woman taking a selfie in the mirror holding a camera
You can even use your camera whilst taking a ‘selfie’ in the mirror. Source: @naaaasyi
Reflection of a womans pregnant belly in the mirror of her bedroom
You can use both the camera and a mirror! Source: @mygreyhome

There are so many more props you could use…experiment and have some fun!

2. Crop the frame

This is an obvious one but you can simply crop your image to suit how much you want to show. You might want to crop the frame at your shoulders down so your face remains hidden, just get your legs out or only show your hands interacting in the frame. It is whatever you are comfortable showing and what you are trying to convey to your audience.

Photo of a woman holding an ultrasound wearing a tshirt that says mama knows best
A beautiful, personal bumpie without showing your face. @bethanympoteet

3. Turn your back

The way you position yourself in front of the camera can be instrumental in revealing yourself to the viewer without giving away too much. Unlike the theatre, turning your back to the camera, perhaps to a view or scene, suggests a reflective moment you are inviting the viewer to join in and engage with.

Photo of a woman standing in a field full of butterflies
A reflective moment in a field of flowers and ‘butterflies. Source: @kutovakika
Photo of a woman holding up a newspaper cut out with a woodland scene
Even though you can’t see Steph’s face in this capture, you can feel the sense of excitement and wanderlust. Source: @memyselfandsteph_

4. The looking down capture

This is a very popular way to be present in your images but not be too present so to speak…and curate a beautifully styled image too. From holding tea cups or flowers to capturing a fabulous floor, take the opportunity for the viewer to see what you see from a your own perspective.

Looking down at a woman sitting on the floor in a lace skirt drinking a cup of coffee
A morning tea view good enough to drink! Source: @my_lifestyle31
Looking down at shoes holding a bunch of flowers in a womans hand
Flowers are always handy too! Source: @my_lifestyle31


5. From a distance

Another easy way to add a human element to your image is to place yourself in a scene and invite the viewer along. Experiment with this by immersing yourself in a dramatic landscape, a field of spring flowers, an avenue of autumn trees or a beautiful wall. Strike a pose and have some fun!

Woman in a yellow coat sitting on a rope bridge overlooking a glacier
Source: @alliemtaylor
Woman in a yellow coat overlooking a fjord and mountains
Source: @alliemtaylor

Tip: Take note of your outfit. You can wear an outfit that complements the scene or one that will stand out against your backdrop, like Alexandra’s yellow raincoat! Also props like big hats, bicycles and umbrellas are handy for these captures too.

6. The bokeh effect

Play with the depth of field and focus on something in the foreground of your composition allowing yourself to be blurred in the background. Try lowering the f-stop on your camera or use the portrait mode on your smart phone to achieve this bokeh effect. This allows for human interaction in the image whist still remaining incognito.

Woman standing on a road holding a bunch of autumn leaves
Autumn leaves in focus. Source: @r4s
Man holding up a lightbulb in front of his face
A lightbulb in focus. Source: @visualsoflumina

7. Creative editing

You can get creative with showing yourself in your images with some clever editing. You are only limited by your imagination, and perhaps your Photoshop skills but this is definitely a skill worth practising. Just experiment and you never know what you might create!

Girl with butterfly wings stands in a field holding flowers that transform into blue butterflies
Source: @alexandriaslens
Woman standing in a field of sunflowers turns into butterflies while holding a net
Source: @alexandriaslens
Woman sits drinking a cup of tea in a fantasy alice in wonderland inspired composite
Source: @imagineamy_

I hope this has inspired you to get in front of the camera and add a human element to your images, or perhaps given you some different ideas to add some variety, style and creativity to your ‘selfies’. I can’t wait to see what you create!

Ready to produce customised photos & video for your brand?

Want to get paid to create visual content?

Get access to paid work opportunities with global brands. Register your interest by sharing some examples of your work.

Sign up to receive the latest digital brand strategies and case studies

Download our free guide: 20 brand campaigns using visual context to engage consumers

Sign up to receive the latest content creation tips and tutorials

Share this: 

Browse by topic

More Articles

Visual Content Creation

From Fitness to Photography: How creator Febri flexed his creative muscles and discovered a new career path

Let's learn creator Febri's background, his creative process and the secret superpower that fuels his creativity.

Visual Content Creation

Effortlessly change your video background with AI

Take advantage of AI and give your video a fresh, professional look with this handy post-production tip!