When you take pictures of yourself

hoops ahoy

When you take pictures of yourself, things happen. It’s hard to look pretty, cause you’re busy dinking around with getting the camera to line up properly and you want everything to look just so, but if you don’t look pretty there’s not much point in taking pictures of yourself. So it’s, like, a challenge.

Invariably I find myself having to tidy up my apartment in the middle of shooting photos of myself, and it’s tricky to tidy when you’re in ruffle butt panties and a tiara, so you have to be sure your tiara’s still straight when you’re done, otherwise it doesn’t matter how tidy your place looks.

Unlike me, you should be totally familiar with all your camera’s features and how to use them. Autofocus can be your friend, but it probably will be more like a yapping little chihuahua that your neighbor owns for years and it always wakes you up at five in the morning. Make sure you can setup and operate all the switches and things on your camera no matter how long your nails are. Or wear little lace gloves (see above). Little lace gloves are just perfect when you’re trying to deal with an ornery self-timing switch and an autofocus from hell.

Be sure to take test shots beforehand. A test shot is when you take a shot and it turns out all wrong. If it looks good, then it wasn’t a test shot, it was a real shot.

Keep a mirror handy to check your make up, hair and outfit. Suck in your gut, especially if you’re doing a lingerie shoot. Remember your posture. You don’t have to have the body of a pin-up girl, but if you can imitate her poise and presence, you can create a masterpiece.

Invariably, you will get tired during the course of a photo shoot. This is perfectly okay, as long as you don’t look tired in your photos. It’s important to have fun while you’re doing all this, if you’re not having fun it will show up in your photo.

Don’t expect everything to go smoothly the first time out. Just consider it a learning experience, and in no time you will find your skills improving. (I mean your skills in having fun, not necessarily your photography skills).

For some unknown reason, we crossdressers take a lot of photos of ourselves just standing there, often in the hallway or by the front door. This can be interesting … however it almost never is. My advice is, once you’ve got fifty or sixty pics of yourself just standing there, consider taking some where you’re actually doing something. If you’re dressed as a showgirl, maybe you can be dancing, or if you’re in your maid uniform, you could be cleaning. If you spend a few minutes thinking of a situation or an activity, you can truly make your photos unique and memorable.

For crossdressers, outdoor photographs will always be more interesting, but they do require a bit more daring and are certainly more complicated to set up. And that chihuahua will invariably hop the fence and shred your favorite flamenco dress. But outdoor photos definitely put you in a different class, and in my opinion are worth the risk.

Don’t be too critical of your photos, but don’t be too uncritical either. Look at them objectively and ask yourself how you can make your next batch more fresh and interesting. Don’t get bogged down in perfectionism – everything is a process, and the way to improve is by putting one foot in front of the other. Never forget to have fun along the way.

If you have more ideas for taking better photos, please put them in the comments section. Thanks! šŸ™‚

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3 Responses to “When you take pictures of yourself”

  1. little_miss_sunshine Says:

    I have been meaning to check our your blog for a while now Giselle, but i’ve been busy with global warming and all (bad sunshine joke). When I see you in the cock-control chatroom, you are a sweetie, so I thought I’d add something here.

    Anyway, you have made an excellent start in giving advice for sissy photo shoots. I would add a few tips. First, digital cameras can now hold lots of pictures, so you should take lots of them. Try a variety of poses, angles, zooms, and expressions. Especially, camera hight gets overlooked when people use tripods.

    Change lighting several times during the shoot. The glare of a lamp burning a hole in every shot in just the wrong place after several hours of shooting will make you want to pout.

    Generally, three lights work best, but there are endless variations. Back light – light that is diffuse and soft – that lights up the background. A middle light, that catches the subject from the side and a third light that is more straight on and possibly behind the camera. Be careful of the intensity of this last light especially for nose-shadows. If you must use a spotlight, try to elevate it above the subject at least a little.

    For ideas, poses, or looks, I like to open fashion catalogues (although I think those girls need to smile more), magazines(adult?), and websites.

    Using a tripod increases the quality of your photographs, and I know it isn’t always possible to have someone take them for you, but it really does help.

    As far as the auto focus issues, it’s more important in complicated settings than simple ones. Most cameras will recognize you as a subject if it can generally identify a silouette – (standing against the wall?). Where they have difficulty in identifying you is when the subject isn’t so clear, such as curled up erotically around your favorite six foot tall teddy bear. If you only master one of those button thingys in your camera, the ability to focus the camera on a specific depth is the one.

    If you are shopping for a camera to photograph yourself with, make sure the LED can be twisted around so that you can see it when you pose (otherwise you may not recognize that it is clipping every shot just below your forehead).

    A full length mirror is great to pose for and a self timer is standard on just about any digital camera, but make sure you can adjust the timer to be longer than the standard 30 seconds. It’s hard to run accross the room in five inch heels to strike just the right sexy pose. That picture of you tripping over the lamp cord might be popular in the emergency room, but may not be the one you’re most proud of.

    A lot of very good software is available now that is fairly inexpensive that allows you to edit the pictures. I like Photoshop Elements, but most programs offer the basics that will dramatically improve the quality of your photos. Simple cropping, contrast, color, and gamma adjustments really do make a big difference.

    Now that you have lots and lots of pictures, it’s time to be critical. Get rid of any you don’t like. In fact, I usually go in knowing that I will delete over half of everything.

    Finally, from what I see on the web, girls forget to have fun. Part of photography is being spontaneous. put on some music and dance a little, giggle with your favorite dollies, skip and play and be sexy. They’re only pictures, and it’s easy to make new ones so relax. Even shy girls can be sexy if they smile a little and have fun playing dress up – wasn’t that the point anyway?

    And now I’m wondering about that photo of sweet Giselle in her tiarra with a petticoat above. Maybe she should give her dolly a hug and remember all those wonderful things she has to smile about.

    With love,

    little_miss_sunshine

  2. little giselle Says:

    Thanks, Miss Sunshine, that was brilliant, and exactly the kind of advice I was hoping for. I wish I did buy a camera where you could turn the LED around … that would have been smart. With my camera, I have to do a lot by trial and error and I still wind up with plenty of headless shots. As for autofocus, it goes off when I hit the autotimer, so obviously it can’t focus on the spot I plan to be in once the shutter clicks.

    I need to find my old tripod and put it back into service. I wonder where the heck that thing is? I also need to play more with lighting, because that built-in flash can really ruin faces.

    I do have Photoshop, thank heavens, and I always crop my photos and usually need to adjust the levels. Sometimes it’s fun to play with effects and backgrounds too.

  3. Alice Says:

    Sound advice,
    But photoshop cures all my photographic worries.
    I love taking photos, sadly only one in a hundred turn out nice. So i just have to take loads to get a good collection together

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