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Thread: Self portraits - The how to take great photos of your hair thread!

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    Member Rhodugune's Avatar
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    Default Self portraits - The how to take great photos of your hair thread!

    A big part of tracking your progress growing your hair long and healthy is taking photos of it and it's not always easy when you have little or no experience taking photos and as you also need to take photos of the back of your head!
    So it is just easier to learn on how to do it yourself instead of hoping to recruit a partner or a friend to help us out when ever we had a good hair day or want to share a new braid/bun we mastered.

    What I do hope this thread will be is a support thread where we all can share our tips of how to take great photos and inspire each other to take loads of them, as I think I am not the only one to never get tired of seeing a thread saying: Warning pic heavy!
    That this thread can be a good one for those of us that are interested in learning from each other on to how take the best photos we can, no matter if we are using our phones or if we have access to a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera.



    So where to start?!

    So these are some tips to get us started that have made me take better self portraits, having always enjoyed taking photos but being mostly self taught.


    1.Take advantage of the timer setting
    Most cameras on your phone or digital cameras has a timer and it is so so much easier getting a good photo, when you can put your phone/camera down and having the time to position yourself in front of it, not having to hold the phone/camera yourself when taking the photo.

    You don't have to have a tripod for this, just place your phone/camera maybe on the windowsill, or on a bookshelf, a chair, just something that is at a good height.
    In the past before I got a tripod I used to borrow this one from one of my flower pots, it's time to get creative!




    2. Keep in mind that what angle and distance the photo is taken
    This especially for length progress photos, so the photo shows your length accurately.
    Changing the angle, how high/low the photo is taken and how far you are from the camera can really change how long/short your hair looks and if you don't take every length photo at the same angle and distance it can make it look as your hair as grown much less/more then it actually has, making it hard to track your progress and see from the photo how long it is at the moment.

    To demonstrate, these are 2 failed photos I took the same day, but at different angles and distance, that really shows the importance of this.

    1 photo is taken with the camera placed about waist high on me, but at the same time as I am not standing up straight and I'm also looking down slightly, making my hair look much shorter then it really is.
    2 photo is taken a bit closer then the 1st one and also at a more of a downward angle, about the same height if I would have held the phone/camera in front of my face when taking the photo, making my hair look so much longer then it really is, making it impossible to tell how many inches I was from classic at the time, which was about 4 inches.



    This is a photo I took with my Canon a few days later, me standing up straight, with a timer and having placed the camera on the tripod about waist high on me, showing the real length of my hair at the time:





    2. The lighting/wb
    For an example taking a photos late in the day or in a bathroom with no windows with just the light from a lamp or more, can really effect the colour of your hair, making it seem much cooler/warmer then it is.

    It can look something like these failed photos:


    You can often change the settings on your camera, also on your phone, to adjust the white balance to suit the lighting at the time, if it's indoor lighting, sunny or cloudy and so on.
    So your photo taken with indoor lighting doesn't turn yellow like the one in the middle photo above, which is a common thing when using the auto setting for wb.

    If indoors:
    If you prefer skipping playing around with the WB(white balance) and instead just put it on auto, you can use natural light: which I've found gives the best chance getting photos with accurate colours, so it shows what your hair really looks like when it comes to colour.
    So take the photo standing with your back against a window, with the light from outside falling through the window, but avoiding standing in direct sunlight as taking photos in often creates very dark shadows and it also can make anything that is light in colour just turn completely white.


    If outside:
    As boring as it sounds, avoid that part of the day when the sun is the most bright/sunny and again avoid direct sunlight to not get those sharp shadows and having anything light in colour turn just white.

    Some failed photos of mine, not taking my own advice. hehe


    I hope I have explained things in a good way so it's easy to understand, but if I haven't, please please let me know if I need to clarify some things and I know we have some very talented photographers here and I hope you will share the smart tips you must have and fill in what I missed and so on.



    These are 2 bonus photos I took with the help of the timer on my camera about a month ago, as I wanted to show you the freedom it gives not having to hold the camera yourself or having someone else do it for you to be able to take a great photo.






    Other awesome tips:
    Silverbleed:
    I am currently using red crosses of tape placed on my wall and floor. This way I'll always be able to place the tripod on the right spot and I'll be looking at the red cross to make sure my head is not tilted or anything c:

    missrandie:
    I tape my phone to the sliding door at the sharpie mark I've drawn, then stand the same distance (3 feet) from my camera staring at my calendar. Lol.

    Also, I have a voice capture function on my phone, so when I'm set, I yell "CHEESE!" and it takes!

    trolleypup:
    Yes! Other types of remotes!

    With an DSLR, wired or infra-red remotes may be inexpensive...of course, the least expensive cameras have the least capability of using a remote.

    Many digital cameras these days have wifi functions...get the companion app on your phone, and now you can view what your camera sees before triggering the shutter! Most of my outdoor pictures are taken using this method.

    The further you can get your camera from your hair, the more correct the length will appear (parallax blahblahblah)

    Use the highest quality available on whatever camera you use.

    If you want to bring out your silvers, I recommend outdoor dusk...and for shine, flash brings it out.

    ETA: my sig pic was taken in full sun in the late afternoon on a still cold day, the sun is only a little bit away from straight on (less than the shadow on the tufa appears).

    Chromis:
    When I just had a point and shoot, I found that the self-timer works best if it has something to focus on. Common recommendations are a big stuffed animal or a music stand. I used my coat rack xD
    Last edited by Rhodugune; July 25th, 2016 at 05:06 AM. Reason: Added some excellent tips
    https://scontent-lhr8-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/120344475_10158087876059011_7930547714127593040_o.  jpg?_nc_cat=110&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=vdypBg7jwZU  AX9BIXAu&_nc_ht=scontent-lhr8-1.xx&oh=55731d593490f4742ddb8037c6f3e746&oe=5F972A  D4

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    Member leilan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Self portraits - The how to take great photos of your hair thread!

    Thank you so much for this thread, Rhodugune! I found your advice very helpful! I very rarely take hair photos, because they never turn out well. I'll be trying some soon with your advice.

    Also, I love love love the last two photos of you in the water! Absolutely gorgeous!!

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    lady daydream ✧ lapis_lazuli's Avatar
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    Default Re: Self portraits - The how to take great photos of your hair thread!

    What a great idea for a tread! Those are lovely water photos! I also rarely take hair pics but I feel inspired by yours

    you know you're gold, you don't gotta worry none

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    Member Rhodugune's Avatar
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    Default Re: Self portraits - The how to take great photos of your hair thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by leilan View Post
    Thank you so much for this thread, Rhodugune! I found your advice very helpful! I very rarely take hair photos, because they never turn out well. I'll be trying some soon with your advice.

    Also, I love love love the last two photos of you in the water! Absolutely gorgeous!!
    Oh thank you, would love if you felt like posting some of the photos taking my advice and I'm very glad to hear you enjoyed my last two photos, thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by lapis_lazuli View Post
    What a great idea for a tread! Those are lovely water photos! I also rarely take hair pics but I feel inspired by yours
    It really makes me glad to hear that and please share your photos here as well, looking forward to see what you'll come up with and thank you for your kind words about my photos.
    https://scontent-lhr8-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/120344475_10158087876059011_7930547714127593040_o.  jpg?_nc_cat=110&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=vdypBg7jwZU  AX9BIXAu&_nc_ht=scontent-lhr8-1.xx&oh=55731d593490f4742ddb8037c6f3e746&oe=5F972A  D4

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    Curious. Very Curious. Ophidian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Self portraits - The how to take great photos of your hair thread!

    This is great! I've been trying to take monthly length photos but could never quite get the angle right. I've always done it with my back the the bathroom mirror and tried to take a pic over my shoulder under flourescent lighting. This has not yielded very consistent results and I very much appreciate the new ideas .

    Also, I want to chime in and say that your river pictures are so gorgeous!! You look so graceful and water-nymph-y.


    Short... SL... APL... MBL...Waist... Hip... Tailbone... Classic... Knee...

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    Member Silverbleed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Self portraits - The how to take great photos of your hair thread!

    I am currently using red crosses of tape placed on my wall and floor. This way I'll always be able to place the tripod on the right spot and I'll be looking at the red cross to make sure my head is not tilted or anything c:


    CL/SL/CBL/APL/BSL/WAIST

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    Member missmagoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Self portraits - The how to take great photos of your hair thread!

    I agree great idea for a thread! I think I broke all of the rules in my sig picture! Must retake soon
    waist +(?) on to hip, tb, and maybe classic

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    Member ephemeri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Self portraits - The how to take great photos of your hair thread!

    This is an amazing thread! Thank you so much for posting this Rhodugune! This is so helpful and omg those photos of you in the water are absolutely stunning.
    ◊∞◊ lady seren, charter of the stars in the order of the long haired knights ◊∞◊
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    Member ephemeri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Self portraits - The how to take great photos of your hair thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverbleed View Post
    I am currently using red crosses of tape placed on my wall and floor. This way I'll always be able to place the tripod on the right spot and I'll be looking at the red cross to make sure my head is not tilted or anything c:
    This is an incredibly smart piece of advice. I need to get around to doing something similar. I've just been avoiding taking photos of my hair because I don't want to be disappointed lol.... Thanks for sharing!
    ◊∞◊ lady seren, charter of the stars in the order of the long haired knights ◊∞◊
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    last box dye: 10/2015 || last cut: 04/2016 || last henndigo: 08/2016 || last henna: 07/2017

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    Stealth wavy school of fish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Self portraits - The how to take great photos of your hair thread!

    EXCELLENT thread idea! Yes I yelled that because it's just so EXCELLENT!!!
    ▪daily washing▪sulfate shampoo down to the ends▪coney conditioner up to the scalp▪combing from the top down▪hair worn down and loose▪

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