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.
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!
Tip: Note the use of the mirror too, another handy prop!
There are so many more props you could use…experiment and have some fun!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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