Veronica & Brett
3 years of self-portraiture: our top 10 couple's self-portraits
As a self-portrait photographer, it's been really fun getting to shoot self-portraits with Brett on our various adventures. Since we started shooting together three years ago, I've enjoyed learning what makes a good couple's shot, trying different poses and – most importantly – documenting our travels and capturing special moments together. I will always be grateful that Brett is patient enough to be dragged into photos with me, even when there are other people around.
We've taken a lot of self-portraits together over the last three years. On digital cameras...
...and on film.
Armed with a camera and a tripod, we've been able to capture special memories across the countries we've visited. Here are our top 10 self-portraits that we've shot together over the last three years...
#10 Kasteel Duivenvoorde, Netherlands // March 2020
This photo is special because it is our first proper self-portrait together. Taken in March 2020, this was shot while we were both living at my parent's house in the Netherlands during the first COVID lockdown. We were allowed to go on walks in pairs, so Brett and I explored the nearby grounds of Duivenvoorde Castle. I particularly like the clear reflection and the delicate design of the bridge.
#9 John Muir Wilderness, California // July 2021
This shot was taken in Sabrina Basin on our first backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. We woke up at 5:45 for sunrise and as the sky began to get brighter, pink light crept down the side of the mountains, casting a warm glow over the valley. Leaving our gear at the campsite, we hiked up to Moonlight Lake, weaving our way around small streams that tumbled down the rocky terrain. We had the whole lake to ourselves. As the sun began to light the valley below the lake, we captured this self-portrait. You can read more about that adventure here.
#8 Desolation Wilderness, California // July 2021
This photo was taken just as we were finishing our 12-day, multi-stage camping trip in the summer of 2021. As we were about to exit Desolation Wilderness and head back into civilisation, we stopped on a lookout near Lower Echo Lake and shot this self-portrait with Lake Tahoe just visible in the distance. You can read about that camping trip here.
#6 & 7 Exeter & Amsterdam // April 2022 & July 2020
When Brett and I visited Powderham Castle, near Exeter, in April 2022, I wore my long red dress. Not only did it make me feel like royalty as we explored the castle, but it made for a perfect outfit to shoot against these red flowers.
Back in the Netherlands in 2020, we spent two nights in Amsterdam. On our final morning, we got up at 5 to shoot at the Rijksmuseum. With the city still mostly tourist-free, we had the whole place to ourselves as the sun rose. As I ran around barefoot taking self-portraits, I knew Brett was a good match for me.
#5 Voorschoten, Netherlands // May 2020
Probably the most fun of our self-portraits, this one was also taken during the first COVID lockdown back in Spring 2020. We stumbled across this yellow garage door in an industrial area nearby, and went back a few times to take portraits. Brett suggested this pose, which was a lot of fun to shoot!
#4 Lynmouth Beach, England // October 2020
This was a very special shoot as I had convinced Brett to bring a nice outfit with him on our camping trip to Exmoor. We got up before sunrise and hiked down to Lynmouth Beach, where the dark rocks provided a perfect background for some moody shots. I felt incredibly lucky to be with someone willing to take off his coat and shoes in 6 ºC weather and run around barefoot on the beach with me to capture some amazing shots. Although at first I was disappointed that the sunrise was blocked by clouds, the soft lighting worked really well and I love the results. (This was also my first shoot in the red dress I got off Depop for £15 that has become my iconic self-portrait dress)
#3 Menton, France // June 2022
The most recent of our favourite self-portraits, this was shot on a magical morning watching the sun slowly light up the colourful skyline of Menton. You can read more about our trip to this charming town on the southern coast of France here.
#2 Ansel Adams Wilderness, California // July 2021
This photo is a perfect example of why I bring my red dress with me on backpacking trips. As we emerged from the forest, this incredible vista opened out in front of us. While Brett and Mitchell were identifying features on their maps, I got out my tripod and red dress and started shooting self-portraits. Before packing up, I got Brett to join me for a few shots. I'm not sure we even realised how well my dress matched with Brett's sneakers! You can read more about this adventure here.
#1 Saunton Sands, England // March 2021
Of all of the self-portraits we've shot together, this is our favourite. On our last day-trip together before I moved back to the Netherlands, we visited Croyde Beach and then hiked the short distance along the South West Coast Path to Saunton Sands – a 3-mile long beach on the North Devon coast. As the sun set, I pulled on a dress and we danced together on the beach. I love how we are silhouetted against the dramatic sunset and its reflection on the wet sand.
So there you have it. Our favourite self-portraits together – so far...
Do you have a favourite?
I look forward to continue shooting self-portraits with Brett on many more wonderful adventures. I can't wait to see what we create together next!
Tips for shooting self-portraits with your adventure partner
If you've ever needed a sign to try shooting self-portraits with your adventure partner – let this be that sign! Here are some tips if you're just getting started:
Invest in a tripod – a solid tripod is essential for shooting self-portraits. We both have a SIRUI T-025SK Traveler Ultralight, which folds up small and is great to bring on adventures.
Set your camera to "interval timer shooting" – this will take shots at a pre-defined time interval (we usually shoot with a 3 or 5 second interval). This allows you to change your poses without having to rush back to the camera between shots.
Have fun! Don't forget to enjoy the moment!