Just because someone takes photos of themselves doesn’t mean they’re conceited. Ok, so sometimes it does. But when a photographer does a self-portrait, I tend to think it’s for one of two reasons:
1. They’re testing out a new photography technique (or new camera gear).
2. They’re telling a story about themselves (describing their personality).
By “self-portrait” I’m not talking about someone holding their little point-and-shoot camera in front of their face and snapping a shot for a new Facebook profile picture. What I’m talking about is when someone busts out the tripod, works with angles and lighting, and actually puts thought into the desired outcome of the shot.
When I do self-portraits it’s usually for the first reason. I don’t have willing subjects at my beck and call, so I’ve taken to snapping photos of myself when I want to try out a new idea. This has become much easier to do since I got a new tripod. And with every shot I learn more about the best way to position the camera, what settings to use, etc. It’s kind of like being homeschooled all over again.
I do eventually want to take self-portraits that tell my story and describe my personality. I’m terrible at making myself smile though. I have the best cheesy fake smile in the world. But according to the people I know, I (genuinely) smile a lot. So I’ll have to find a way to make myself genuinely smile when it’s just me, the camera, and no one else around. This could take a while.
In the mean time, I’m going to do a series of self-portraits. Every week here on the blog I’ll be posting a new self-portrait. I don’t know how long it will go on for, but it sounds like a fun project and a good way to challenge myself and broaden my expertise.
What I like about this one is how the light hits my left eye. I was experimenting with shooting profiles in low light and got a few nice shots out of the session. This one is my favorite. :)