Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Watch the Birdie!

Hey Stana,

Have you ever considered a segment on self-photography?  You do an awesome job!


I take photos of myself nearly every time I present as a woman. I do it for two reasons:
  • To feed this blog. (The blog is hungry for photos and it must be fed.)
  • To see if the outfit I am wearing is good, bad, or ugly. (Photos are more revealing than a mirror. What I see in the mirror often looks different in a photograph. Photographing my fashion faux pas allows me to make adjustments, for example, put on a girdle so I don’t look so fat.)
Self photography is an art. I probably discard 4 out of 5 of the self-photos I take because there is something technically wrong with them (usually related to focus, framing, lighting, or worse, because I look fat).

Lately, I have been using my iPhone 5 for most of my self-photography. The quality of the iPhone 5 photos is very good in my opinion (good enough for me) and it is hard to beat the convenience.

The only problem is that the Camera app bundled with the iPhone does not have a self-timer and girls like us can’t live without self-timers! So I obtained other camera apps (Top Camera and Camera+) that do include the self-timer function. The former costs $3, the latter $2. And to do a self-timed selfie right. I also bought a small tripod ($4) that is designed to hold the iPhone while I get ready for my close-up.

I also use  a Canon PowerShot SD940 IS digital camera. It is full-featured (including a self-timer), takes excellent photos, and I thought it was the cat's meow until I started taking photos with my iPhone. Comparing photos taken during the same photoshoot with the Canon and the iPhone, I'd say that the results compare favorably. However, since I always have the iPhone in my purse, it is my go-to camera.

That covers the hardware, but what about the software, that is, the model in my selfies?

I learned that my best photos are ones in which I smile.

Over the years, I have seen thousands of photos of transgirls and I can never understand why some girls look so unhappy in their photos. They are living their dream although sometimes only momentarily and they should be very happy about it, yet some of them look like they just downed a spoonful of castor oil!

So, smile and smile naturally, not in a forced manner. I used to have a forced smile in my photos, but I worked on it and now my smiles look natural and the results are much better!

I am also becoming more adept at posing for my photos.
  • I tilt my chin up slightly and extend my neck forward to avoid the double chin.
  • Instead of a straight-on shot, I turn my shoulders slightly to the left or right. And pose with one leg in front of the other, for example, by crossing my legs at the ankle.
  • With legs crossed, sometimes I will put one hand on my hip. This elbow jut pose results in a ladylike ballerina effect.
  • To accentuate my legs, I thrust one hip to the side, stretch out my opposing leg as far as it will go, and point my toes.
Taking selfies as you pose in a mirror is tricky.
  • For starters, shut off the flash, otherwise your selfie will be nothing but flash and that is not the result you want unless you are Barry Allen.
  • Take mirror selfies while looking at your reflection in the mirror rather than looking at the trigger button on your smart phone. This is simple with the iPhone, because you can shoot a photo by clicking one of the iPhone's volume buttons, which is a lot easier than trying to click the virtual trigger button on the iPhone's screen.
  • Before showing off your mirror selfies, use photo editing software to flip the image horizontally so that you look natural and not the opposite, which is what a mirror displays.
I am a work in progress and so is my self-photography, but practice, practice, practice and someday my photos will do justice to a complete woman.

Source: Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper

Comedian Darren Trumeter (right) in television's The Whitest Kids U' Know (circa 2010)


  1. Stana, That was a great mini article about photos. I have a Samsung WB35F wifi camera that sends photos to my Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone and the photos are great. You go girl!!! Ms. Stacey Anne Smith

  2. Great advice Stana! Particularly the need to smile and how to avoid the double chin! Have you tried making a video of yourself? Though photography is my hobby I very seldom do selfies anymore. But I will do a video (which I usually don’t keep) with me walking, sitting and up/down the stairs, if I need to see how I do look in this or that outfit. I love your blog! Anna María

    1. I never did a video, Anna Maria, but I should and maybe I will!