Practicing the Art of the ‘Advanced Selfie’

I’ve always been a huge fan of photography and videography. Back during my senior year of high school, I was permanently attached to my camera. Constantly filming my friends, taking photos. The result of that is a whole bunch of tragic videos of me and my friends being super, super tragic. Nerds, represent!

But I am beyond grateful to past Bronwyn because I have those hilarious memories forever.

As I grew up, I continued my interest in both. Whenever I went travelling, I took a ridiculous amount of photos and videos. Upon returning to reality, I would make a video of my most recent trip. Nothing special, I’m not expert. But it was my way of commemorating the amazing adventure I had just experienced.

My bestie Ash and I went on an adventure holiday a few years back. We cycled in Ireland, hiked Hadrian’s Wall and explored Iceland. The memories are… embedded in my brain forever, but I am still so glad that I made a video to remember it by! Whenever I get the travel itch (often), I will watch one of these videos.

Ash and Bron’s adventure 2014

In 2016, I hiked the Western Steppes of Mongolia. I can’t even begin to explain how amazing it was. My photos don’t do it justice. So I made a video – using our tour guide’s drone footage (so thrilled that he had a drone!) and the result below. The drone footage actually does justice to the incredible landscapes I saw.

But I never took my photography seriously. Not really. I had an alright camera and I’ve taken some cool photos in my time (well, at least I think they’re cool) but I never set out to practice the art of it.

I travelled in Europe for 6 months and got a lot of photos out of that but there were very few that I was proud of. And since I travelled alone for much of that time, getting photos of myself was difficult. I’d do the whole: set a timer and run kind of photo. I like being in my photos, so this was always a problem for me but I never considered exploring my options further.

Until I stumbled across a woman called Sorelle Amore. She doesn’t have 517K followers on Instagram for no reason. She created this idea called the #advancedselfie – which is basically just taking photos of yourself, right? But the photos she takes of herself look as if someone else took them. They are so professional, so stunning, so brave. The kinds of photos that make you stop scrolling and go ‘dayyyymn that’s good’.

I was inspired. I wanted to become an #advancedselfie student. With my upcoming move to Scotland, I figured it was the perfect time to invest in this passion. I bought a new camera, lens, tripod and downloaded a very important app.

How does one take good pictures of themselves, you ask? Connect your phone to your camera via an app called Imaging Edge Mobile (note this is the app I use as a Sony camera user, it may differ). This app allows you to connect to your camera and see on your phone screen what your camera is seeing. It also allows you to change some of the settings on your phone too.

So I set up my camera, link my phone, step in front of the camera and voila. Instant #advancedselfie.

It’s more than just taking a photo. You have to understand your camera, understand photography and have an ‘eye’ for what makes a good photo. These kinds of things you can learn and I’m still teaching myself. It’s also about having fun with it! Don’t always do the same boring pose, do something wacky and bold. I’m still building up to that – it definitely takes a certain level of confidence to be as incredible as Sorelle Amore!

So far I’m loving the photos I’ve been taking. The great thing about photography is that you can keep learning, keep improving, keep experimenting. The more places I travel, the more I’m inspired to stop and take a snap.

These are the kind of ‘selfies’ I used to take… back before I understood my camera or how to edit or knew anything about #advancedselfie…

And these are the photos I’m taking today with but a tiny amount of effort and just a dash more consideration…

If you’re a budding photographer or someone looking to try a new style, I highly recommend trying #advancedselfie. Maybe it seems vain to some of you but I like being in my photos… simple as that. I’m not going to apologise or feel embarrassed about posing for a photo. I’ll have these photos forever and every time I look at them, they make me smile. Not just because of the memories they bring, but because I can see how I’m improving as a photographer. One day I hope to be as amazing as Sorelle is!

Check out my Instagram for more photos and check out Sorelle’s for more information about the #advancedselfie phenomenon.

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter for more updates – from publishing my first YA fantasy series to ramblings about travel and photography. Plus giveaways and other fun stuff!

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~ Bronwyn xo

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