There is such a stigma around loving photos of yourself. It's hard enough to capture an image you actually like, but what happens when we do snap a good one? We tend to shrug it off, chalk it up to luck — diminish its magic. We find this cycle exhausting. There are many, many other things I would rather have occupy that same space in my brain. At SPS, we believe you are your best subject. We invite you to begin your self portrait photography journey and to finally forget all about selfies.
Made by a woman for women, the Self Portrait Studio is as singular as the individuals who take part in it. It is an educational membership that redefines how our stories are told through the camera lens. Scroll down to read about the studio, see self portrait photography examples from members, and read a list of frequently asked questions.
The Solution to "Photogenic"
It's our goal to create movement around that loop you are in. You've already identified the problem; not loving your photos and really wanting to put that self-criticism aside. We are here to help alleviate the parts of the problem that are coming from your own mind, as well as the parts of the problem that are socially-oriented (like playing down the magic of a great photo).
"Let’s just say, when I found Lisa, I’d rather clean toilets than be in portraits. Lisa’s confidence spilled right over into me, and I decided to give it a go - Not only did I start it outside my comfort zone, but it has expanded my comfort zone to such an extent that I landed smack in the middle of being….well, comfortable!
Comfortable on camera, sure, but mostly comfortable in my own skin, in my own body, with being seen as ME. And that confidence has supported me as I launched my first program, refined how I work with clients, as I’m building my website and showing up on social media, as EXACTLY MYSELF. Lisa’s guidance (from prepping the shoot, to posing, to editing), alongside the support of the community she’s growing, where each woman is encouraged to let more of herself show up and shine through, is PHENOMENAL. Not only did I not know that I’d enjoy the process of taking self-portraits, I had no idea I’d actually be able to love photos of myself. I feel like this course and studio community are like a magical chrysalis, where you go in a as caterpillar and emerge as a butterfly.”
— Abby Arrizon, Self Portrait Studio Member
Self Portrait Photography Tech & Tips
We do this in a very practical way, through the back camera lens, using only natural light, tripod, and the camera in our mobile phone. No need for expensive equipment or studio lighting. We've pared it down to the basics, keeping the setup simple and do-able, with the focus on you. When you see a photograph you love, it's easy to immediately credit the gear — oh they must have a really expensive camera, you say. We just can’t help assuming whatever they are doing is out of our reach.
Yes, gear matters. I have loads of it. But it isn’t everything. Taking the time to set your intention, create your moodboard, sit for self portrait sessions (back camera only), and really look at the photos is where the magic lies. And yes, even you can take creative self portraits you'll love.
“I struggled with having my pictures taken for a while because in my mind, taking pictures of myself was narcissistic. Lisa really opened my mind to why I felt this way and helped me heal my harsh self judgment. I am softer now, more forgiving.”
— Sarah S. Self Portrait Studio Member
The Self Portrait Studio
A membership by The Golden Brand, here to help you find fulfillment, healing, and community through self portraiture.
For those who pick themselves apart, photo after photo.
For those who can’t post a picture without opening FaceTune.
For those who struggle to connect who they see in the mirror with who they see on their screen.
For those who believe they’ll never be photogenic.
For those who avoid the camera (and the hard feelings that come with it).
Enough is enough.
Here’s what The Self Portrait Studio will help you achieve.
Finding your best angles and incredible light
Being more genuine in front of the camera
Feeling deeper sense of connection to yourself
Crafting a self portrait shoot from mood board to post-processing
Overcoming fear in front of the camera
Honoring yourself with quality time in front of the camera, or learning self portraiture as a spiritual practice
Letting go of the weight of expectation from yourself and others
Respecting your imperfections
Finding the blueprint to channel your inspiration whenever it strikes
Posing with confidence
Self Portrait Studio Founder, Lisa Haukom
Fall Self Portrait Studio Schedule
October 6 — 27: Self Portrait Course, Live Thursday's 9am PST.
Module 1: Guidelines, Intention, Tech
Module 2: Understand psychology of the mirrored lens, Asymmetry
Module 3: Inspiration, Resources, Mood Board, Styling & FAQ's
Module 4: Practice (first SP session on your own), Light, Angles, Location
Module 5: Post Production, Lightroom, Editing Images, Selecting Images, Tone
Bonus Content: Professional Photography Shooting & Editing Tips
October 31 — December 23: 8 week photo Challenge
Weekly creative prompts to hone and expand your self portrait photography skills. Weekly calls with Lisa to view and receive live feedback on your images.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I'm not sure when to join. What is the difference if I join now vs. joining for the October Challenge?
A. I highly recommend joining at the beginning of a challenge like the one happening on October 6th where I will teach the Self Portrait Course live first, then move the group into a new 8-week photo challenge. This is perfect for you if you know you need extra accountability.
Q. When do we start taking self portraits, during the course or during the 8-week challenge? What if I have questions and need help?
A. Not only will you have weekly access to me on Zoom calls, you will have access to the entire SPS community hosted on Mighty Networks. I like to keep the groups small (usually less than 10 women) so you'll have plenty of access to me for help.
We will meet once a week as a group to cover the course highlights in more depth and answer your individual questions as you move through the course material and homework. By the final week of the course you will have already done your first self portrait sessions and you'll be ready for the creative prompts in the 8-week challenge.
Q. What is the 8-week challenge?
A. These challenges are so much fun! At this point you'll be comfortable with the camera & tech plus you'll know the other SPS members (and me) well. Weekly creative prompts are posted to the group along with plenty of resources to inspire your sessions. You'll have a week to shoot and share your images to the community. We will review these as a group live every Thursday, 9am PST. I'll provide feedback, trouble-shooting tips, and often offer/demonstrate editing suggestions using Lightroom.
Q. Do you provide tips for things like make-up or tips for editing out dark under eye circles?
A. Our goal is to show you how to find and use the most even and flattering light for your sessions avoiding the harsh light responsible for casting the shadows in the first place. Knowing how to find lighting goes a long way. We also talk about the angles and planes of your face in relation to how the camera will actually read them. You'll love access to the SPS Library of workshops for extra resources.
Q. Do I have to share my photos on social media?
A. Not unless you want to. These early sessions are just for you. I encourage you to remove the pressure to share them or make them “on brand." Again, these are for you. This experience is just for you. Share when you feel excited to share what you have learned. That being said, many of our members are proudly sharing their own self portrait sessions on social media and their websites!
Q. Will my images look Barbie-plastic? I've had experiences in the past where they over edited my images and it left a bad impression.
A. We edit for aesthetic not to mask/cover-up/hide. One of my biggest joys is watching members evolve their own editing style. I go into great technical detail, teaching you all the Lightroom tricks I use on my client's images. From there you'll know what looks good or feels natural for your images. If you look at members photos, they are all very distinct from one another with unique editing styles, tones, and vibes. Your style will be unique too.
*Members also receive access to our resource library with over 30 recordings of workshops, masterclasses, open studio hours and its photoshoot content.