The Art of Self-Portraits: Expressing Yourself through Photography

A course by Laura Zalenga
Photographer. Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Joined October 2019
, Photographer

Learn how to use photography to delve into your thoughts and feelings

  • 100% Positive reviews (69)
  • 2117 students
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian
The Art of Self-Portraits: Expressing Yourself through Photography

Learn how to use photography to delve into your thoughts and feelings

  • 100% Positive reviews (69)
  • 2117 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: English
  • Level: Beginner
  • 18 Lessons (3h 19m)
  • Available from the app
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian
  • Unlimited access forever

Our most reliable source of creative inspiration comes from within. So when a photographer becomes the subject, a more challenging, introspective form of expression takes place. Self-portrait artist Laura Zalenga claims to have learned everything she knows about photography through this artform. What began as a way to experiment with different techniques and explore her emotions quickly became a full time career for Laura, with clients like Adobe, Disney, and Sony relying on her expertise to communicate a visual message.

In this course, Laura Zalenga takes you on an intimate journey of self-discovery and experimentation through the art of self-portrait photography. See how to develop a strong concept, find unique outdoor locations, and use natural light creatively. She shows you her process, from the initial idea to final editing techniques in Lightroom and Photoshop, by creating a self-portrait that tells a captivating story.

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Preparation
  • U3
    U3. Practicing and Examining: Technique, Posing, Light and Composition
  • U4
    U4. Shooting a Self-Portrait
  • U5
    U5. Post-Production - How to Select and Edit Your Photos
  • FP
    FP Final Project
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Begin the course by getting to know Laura and her journey towards becoming a renowned portrait artist. She also explains how self-portraiture acts as a type of therapy for her, helping her heal and accept herself.

Learn about the history of self-portraits, some of the artists that Laura admires, and how self-portraits can help improve your photography technique, as well as a means of exploring our inner thoughts.

Laura shows you different ways of finding your concept, going through six of her most popular photographs to explain how she found the concept for each. Using Laura’s tips, venture into your neighborhood to find inspiration in unexpected places to express your visual concept.

Once you have seen the equipment and camera settings that Laura uses, it’s time to learn about Laura’s self-portrait techniques. Begin practicing different poses and learning what they can express, paying attention to proportions and seeing how your location can influence your pose. Next, get to know different lighting techniques and composition styles to transmit your message through your photos.

Next, get started with your photoshoot by setting up your location and doing test photos until you find the right light, angle, and pose to capture your final images. Finally, Laura guides you through her post-production process, showing you how to select the best shots, edit them in Lightroom, and make the final edits in Photoshop.

What is this course's project?

Conceptualize, prepare, and shoot a self-portrait in an outdoor setting with natural light.

Projects by course students

Who is it for?

This course is for beginner and intermediate photographers looking for simple techniques to experiment and expand their creativity through self-portraiture. Also for anyone who is interested in learning Laura’s methodology for creating self-portraits.

What you need

To take this course, you will need basic photography skills, such as knowing how to use ISO, shutter-speed, and aperture. Basic editing skills in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are not required but will be helpful. All you need is your curiosity, and a willingness to express yourself.

As for materials, you need either a digital camera or a phone with a camera, a computer with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, a tripod is ideal but not essential.


2117 Students
69 Reviews
100% Positive ratings
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Laura Zalenga

A course by Laura Zalenga


Laura Zalenga is a German freelance photographer with a passion for creating self-portraits filled with emotion. She started taking photographs at eighteen and although she went on to study Architecture in Munich, she always found the time and inspiration for photography, publishing her work on Flickr and Facebook, where she first started to get noticed.

Laura’s visual language is captivating and clear, narrating an intimate story in every image she produces. She believes photography to be a type of therapy and one of the motivating factors behind her work, capable of healing both ourselves and others.

In 2018, she was one of the seven international artists selected for the Adobe Creative Residency and has worked for companies such as Adobe, Artemide, Disney, Lufthansa, Sony, and more. Laura also teaches workshops and gives inspirational talks relating to photography throughout the world.


  • U1


    • About Me & Self-Portrait
    • Influences
    • What We Will Do in the Course?
  • U2


    • Where to Find Inspiration
    • Two Ways of Finding Your Concept or How I Found the Concept for 6 of My Portfolio Images
    • Scouting Locations
    • My Equipment
  • U3

    Practicing and Examining: Technique, Posing, Light and Composition

    • Practice Self-Portrait Technique
    • Practice Posing
    • Examine Lighting
    • Examine Composition, Crop, and Ratio
  • U4

    Shooting a Self-Portrait

    • Setting Up the Location
    • Test Photos - “Trial and Error”
    • The Final Photos
  • U5

    Post-Production - How to Select and Edit Your Photos

    • Lightroom - Selecting Images
    • Lightroom - Basic Editing: Game of Trial and Error
    • Photoshop - Final Touches 1
    • Photoshop - Final Touches 2
  • FP

    Final Project

    • The Art of Self-Portraits: Expressing Yourself through Photography

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The Art of Self-Portraits: Expressing Yourself through Photography. A Photography, and Video course by Laura Zalenga

The Art of Self-Portraits: Expressing Yourself through Photography

A course by Laura Zalenga
Photographer. Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Joined October 2019
  • 100% Positive reviews (69)
  • 2117 students