Have you ever tried to take a self-portrait? It sucks. Okay, I know for some of you pros out there it’s a piece of cake and say, oh it’s not that bad, or, I love getting my picture taken, but to take your OWN portrait, in my opinion, is a pain in the you know what. Let me begin by saying I had some extra time today to work on some of my photos I haven’t had chance to get to, and once I was done with that I pondered what my next project would be. I’ve been putting off (dreading) the ever-so intimidating “self-portrait” project, which I truly believe can teach you a lot of things if you’re going to be working with other people’s portraits down the road. I really had no excuses why I could put it off today, so I set up shop in front of a window in the living room.
I didn’t use any fancy lighting; I prefer to use natural lighting for anything I’m shooting if possible. I began to think about what type of self-portrait I would start with, and that left me thinking for a solid five minutes, so I thought the heck with it, I’ll just start firing off some photos. I put it on “rapid fire” in an attempt to get some natural looking facial expressions, but more often than not I was looking like a statue (not a pretty one). Staring off into the distance, smiling directly at the camera, trying a different angle, then the lighting would be completely horrendous, all snowballed into a big disappointment. And some people can pull off the “serious, but I’m not so serious look”… not this girl. It got me thinking that people who sit in front of the camera for a living must have to stare at themselves in the mirror for hours to get those faces down. I mean, I feel like I’m making one face, and then when I see it on my camera’s playback it appears as though I’m in mid speech, having stomach pains or I just woke up.
Then I thought, ‘why don’t you just be yourself?’ I closed my eyes, opened them, flopped my hand under my chin, which caught some hair in between, half laughed and smiled, and BAM, that’s my self-portrait.
Check out this site if you want some great tips on taking your own self portrait.