Picture 1: The Portrait

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taken by my sister

The Tina Lisa

A PORTRAIT TO REMEMBER:

The self portrait might seem like the most obvious picture to have taken (or to take) but you would be surprised by how many people take photo-ops for granted.

I am from Cyprus. EeH! Haha. (A little Cypriot flavor) And there is a really nice tradition there that I encourage everyone to try. After graduating from high-school, as young ladies and men, there is a tradition of having professional portraits made. I LOVE THIS TRADITION!

The graduates print a few copies and hand them out to their best-friends, boyfriends, and family as a coming of age gift. Now professional pictures can be costly, so by all means if you can take them yourself GO FOR IT! Friends and family can always help out. I’ll leave some tips and tricks down below.

The Reasoning:

My mom, did not do this. I MEAN COME ON. A whole country has this tradition, but nooooo she has to be a rebel. I discovered this fact last year while trying to put together a family photo album. There was a chaos of photos stuffed into an old drawer, but I could not find one decent picture of her when she was well, my age at the time.

This really sparked my interest and got the curiosity juices flowing. So I dug, and dug, and dug, and ALAS there was one picture of her. She was chasing my brother around the living-room. She looked so beautiful with waist length hair and she was wearing a Victorian style blouse. This picture is one of my favourite keepsakes from my mother.

The only regret I have is, the picture is her profile (her face is turned to the side) and a little blurred because she was chasing the two year old version of my brother around the house. If I could go back in time, I would get her to stand still, look at the camera, and take a snap of her smiling. Fun fact, or not, her and I look really alike at the age of 21.

This is why I have chosen picture one to be a portrait. That way if I have children in the future, or even just for myself, I’ll have this memento of the past and so will any little rascals looking like me.

TIPS + TRICKS: for taking a good self-portrait

1. Take a stool and sit yourself outdoors! It gives you a clean background and less odd shadows in your picture. Your pictures will look more vibrant.

2. If you want to be indoors, like my portrait above, be prepared to adjust the brightness of your image through a picture editing program like Photoshop. Flash can wash you out and create funny shadows.

3. Overcast days give the absolute best lighting! There isn’t too much light and hopefully not too little. 

4. Turn off your flash! The flash on cameras is the worst thing you can do when taking a portrait. It often washes people out and creates weird shadows, and that’s why being outdoors can help eliminate the need for flash.

5. Use a Tri-pod! This allows you to take a longer exposure, which brings more light into the photo. It makes it brighter. The tri-pod will keep your photos sharp because long exposures are sensitive to movement.

6. Don’t be afraid to smile! Try taking pictures while slightly moving your face  to find your best angle. Michelle Phan gave some good advice on this!

*Remember natural is always better. You want to show who you are.*