John DeMato - NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Photographer

NYC Branded Lifestyle Photographer - Blog

NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Photography Blog | Hi, I'm John DeMato, and I collaborate with thought leaders to create powerful, purposeful and authentic images. This is my blog where I talk all about the magic behind the portraits we create.

DIY selfie portraits made simple


Creating authentic, selfie portraits for your social feeds...



Who says you need a professional lifestyle portrait photographer to shoot portrait pics that will resonate with your followers?

I mean, I normally do, duh....

But, not every photo that you post needs to be created by a professional with thousands of dollars worth of equipment.  

In some cases, all you need is your cameraphone and a gameplan.

On one of my recent Instagram posts, I talked about the importance for thought leaders and entrepreneurs who conduct one-on-one sessions with clients to post portraits of these moments in order to give prospective clients a feeling of sitting in that chair, working directly with you.

This caption sparked an idea for @dr.annlouise.lockhart, a Pediatric Psychologist, who commented:

Yes! Great shot. I’ve been thinking about this and how I would go about posting a picture of me in action.....on the floor playing with a child (model), while I’m doing a play therapy session (with Operation or Candy Land or painting).

Hmm, her thinking got me to thinking.

I mean, yeah, she already knows she could just grab her phone and hold the camera out with her arm or use one of those god-awful, selfie sticks (sorry, selfie stick owners!), but, then it’s just another selfie.  Ann-Louise wants to capture herself in action in order to paint the picture for potential clients, and allow them to see what working with you looks like.

As a result, she needs her hands in the image and not working a camera, so, I came up with a step-by-step, selfie portraits for her:

...Well, if you have no one around who can take a photo of this for you, this would be a great time to use the 10-second timer on your phone.

First, pick a spot in the room where there is good lighting, preferably facing daylight through windows (avoid camera phone flash, if you can). Set up the board game and place the child next to it.

Now, set up your camera. Move the camera back so that you can fit everything you want in the shot. While laying the phone the long way (landscape) on the ground in front-camera mode (so you can see what you’re shooting as you’re setting up), lean it against something - a water bottle or a thick book so its fully upright (and parallel to you).

Once set up, head back to the scene and make sure you can see the board game, child and you. Once you know you can see everything, set your timer, run back to the scene and wait for the magic to happen...

After one, not-quite-there-yet attempt (no child in shot), she then posted another round of selfie portraits to Instagram:

Cool shot!  Not only does it offer a glimpse to parents on what a session with her looks like, but, it also gives her a solid piece of image content that she complemented with an informative story in the caption that clearly presents her knowledge and expertise.  

Apparently, the creative bug has bitten her a couple more times.  Here’s some of the other selfie portraits that she’s posted.

When I asked her about the process of creating these selfie portraits, she responded:

I’m in the helping profession. My goals are to educate, inspire and support others in their quest to attain a more meaningful life that has value...I realize people do like to see pictures of me in action and I get a lot of positive feedback when I post these types of pictures. I plan on continuing to expand and integrate other posts (like video).

So, what about you?  

How would you take the bull by the horns and create some interesting selfie portraits taken in this way?  Please share your best ideas below, I’d love to see what you come up with!


PS - Are you planning on investing in a session and are in need of some direction with the types of image content that you need?  Want help when selecting your final portraits?  

Schedule a call with me here and let’s see if we’re a good fit to work together.