Tools for At-Home Selfies (Self Portraits and Videos)
For self portrait photography and video, there are tools that can be very helpful. Below are some specific product recommendations, but any well rated equipment will work.
If you want to use your phone as your camera, you will need:
Phone holder that mounts on a tripod (often called "tripod phone mount"). You can get a phone holder that is permanently attached to a tripod but this option is a bit limited in that it can only be used for a phone (not a camera). I personally prefer a classic tripod so then you can switch between using a phone or a camera.
Any well-rated tripod will work, just make sure it is your height or taller, and that it can support the weight of your phone or camera. You can use a new or old tripod as long as the tripod mount holds your phone or camera well, you are good to go!
You do not want it to be unstable or possibly fall over and break your phone or camera.
If you will be shooting outside, in windy places, heavier weight tripods are helpful or you can use some sort of weight or "sandbag" (a DIY version is a pillowcase with waterbottles inside).
If you want to use a camera:
If you want to take self portraits, I recommend to choose a camera with flip screen so then you can see yourself as you shoot.
Small Point and Shoot Camera with selfie mode (flip screen)
- Sony RX100 VII is usually considered the most advanced small camera with a flip screen. It is similar to the size of a smartphone, and can often fit in a pocket so it is very portable. It can be controlled with a remote or the Sony phone app.
Mid size camera with selfie mode (flip screen) option for different lenses (Shown in photo above.)
Other helpful tools
A mirror can be very helpful, ideally that can be positioned at face height. Full length is especially nice. You can prop against something like a chair or wall.
Any editing apps will work on phone or computer. I would just find one that you enjoy using.
The camera app on your phone has editing capabilities.
Most pros use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop which are $9 a month for computer version (month to month subscription) and have free phone versions.
When I am editing larger numbers of photos, I usually use a laptop or computer with a larger screen. A study done by Microsoft showed higher productivity with complex tasks on larger screens.
For video, you will need a few extra things:
- Light - I like lights that you can adjust the brightness and also the tone (white versus yellow color, etc.). My current favorite for headshot type of photos and videos is the Lume Cube Panel. It is about the size of a phone.
- Microphone. You can choose a shotgun microphone (connects to your phone, camera, or to a recorder such as a Zoom recorder), or a microphone that you wear, attached to your clothing or body, which is called a lavalier "lav" mic. You can choose a lav mic that has a wire that goes into the camera so you are attached to the camera, or you can choose one that is wireless so you can move around. If you want one with a wire, make sure the wire is long enough to connect and cover the distance between you and the camera. I like the Rode Go wireless system and the Rode Lav Mic.
- Often professional YouTubers and videographers will have a structure that attaches to their phone or camera, which holds the lights and microphone. This is often called a bracket or cage. My personal favorite for phones and small cameras is Vello CB-510 Dual Shoe Bracket with Silicon Rubber Grip.
If you are not sure exactly what equipment you want, you can rent it before purchasing, so you can test. I recommend to rent from LensRentals.com. They offer an option to rent and if you love the equipment, you can buy and they will give you part of the rental fee toward the purchase price. I personally use LensRentals and it is also what the camera company Sony uses for their corporate and press rentals.
Here is my discount link for $25 off your rental: https://share.lensrentals.com/x/YFj6Rp.