Cool Selfie Ideas Using Shadows You’ll Just Love

selfie ideas
Image by Mabel Am. Essiah

Arm Yourself With Cool Selfie Ideas

Let's face it, selfie photos aren't just for teenage girls anymore. Just about everyone who has a Smart Phone is participating in the selfie photo craze. You may only be snapping an occasional selfie when you're at the ballpark, on vacation, or maybe at your favorite restaurant, but selfie shooting is soaring everywhere.

Image by Bruce Lovelace

I just read an infographic on selfies that estimates that 1 million selfies are taken EVERY DAY by the 18-24-year-old population around the world. Selfies though, have been around a long time.

Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Da Vinci all made selfies with their paint brushes. In the 1920s in New York, the first photo booth had almost 300,000 takers in the first 6 months alone.

Smart Phones and digital cameras with rotating LCD screens have made taking selfies easier and more convenient than ever!

What about taking your selfie portraits to pursue an actual creative level of photography? Rather than just the casual snapshot to share on Facebook or Instagram, why not challenge yourself to get creative?

This article will focus on taking shadow selfies and will hopefully inspire you to improve your photography skills in the process.

If you're at all like me, you'd rather be behind the camera than be the subject of the photograph. Well, here's your chance to be both photographer and subject, but with a twist.

Your true identity will be hidden. You can now exercise your creative mind by making images that don't reveal who you are in the normal way.

Ok, amongst this useful stuff for you to take away about using Shadows for selfie ideas, it's important to recognize the importance of light.

Be sure to check out this guide to help you develop further as a photographer with some more advanced understanding: “Understanding Light” by pro photographer and author Kent DuFault.

Creative Selfies
Image by Bruce Lovelace

Where To Find Shadow Selfie Ideas

The selfie ideas featured in this article were all taken by the author, but if you search around a bit for selfie ideas, you'll see these weren't my original ideas. I found ideas for shadow selfies on Flickr, 500px, Google image search, and a few other online galleries.

Try copying an idea, but add your own personal twist to make it a little different.

So, Why Take Shadow Selfies?

One of the interesting aspects of shooting these type of photos is that the images become less three dimensional and much more two dimensional.

The composition of shapes, colors, and patterns become even more dominant in this format than in your typical photo. Shadow selfies often become more about the compositional elements and become less about a literal capture of the subject.

creative selfies
Image by Bruce Lovelace

Shadows are flat and two dimensional. The subject becomes less about you and more about how the environment affects the image. The creative challenge for you is to explore the topic of only shooting shadow selfies and come up with an interesting image.

Just like a professional golfer might spend an entire day practicing uphill putts, you get new insights by limiting the scope of your photographs.

creative selfies
Image by Bruce Lovelace

Tips To Get The Best Photos From Your Selfie Ideas

All of these photos were taken at my home or within 2 miles of it. They were taken either early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun was fairly low in the sky and gave me longer shadows to work with.

  • I used a tripod and the camera's self-timer on all but one of the photos shown here. If you're using your cell phone camera, you can “hide” it within your shadow when you take the photo.
  • You can also create your own shadows at night with automobile headlights or a flashlight, or even play around with a direct light inside a dark room in your home. The farther away your light source is from your subject, the more distinct the shadows will become.

More Selfie Ideas Using Shadows

Have fun with it! I wrote up a long list of possibilities, jumped in the car, and scouted around for opportunities.  When I first imagined what this article would be about, I drove around on a cloudy day for some ideas, but had to return to those locations when the lighting was better.

creative selfies
Image by Bruce Lovelace

Shooting selfies photos may seem a bit narcissistic at first. I admit that I felt a little self-conscious when I started taking selfies myself. I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and let your true photo nerd shine through.

Shooting shadow selfies is a way to grow your creativity and improve your craft.

Have a blast!

Ok, so from this we got ourselves a ton of useful stuff to take away about using Shadows for selfie ideas. However, understanding light is the key skill in all of this.
Be sure to check out this guide to help you develop further as a photographer with some more advanced understanding: “Understanding Light” by pro photographer and author Kent DuFault.

Further Resources

About Author

Bruce Lovelace has been a professional portrait photographer for over 30 years. He also enjoys shooting landscapes and abstracts when he has time. He teaches photography through his website.

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