52 : Self Portrait

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It’s Your Turn

What an amazing year! We are soproud of your participation and growth throughout these past 52 weeks...

We will end our year together with one last important skill:the self-portrait. We are asking you to set aside any self-doubt or self-consciousness this week, because you can do this assignment. In fact, we would go as far as to say that you need to do this assignment.

Here's why:

  1. First and foremost, there are people besides yourself who may want a picture of you, like say, your children. We all love looking at the precious few images of our grandparents when they were younger. Make those images for your future grandchildren now and have a sense of ownership about how you are depicted.

  2. You aren't getting any younger. Excuses like, "I'll wait until I lose 10 pounds" or "I'll do it after my next haircut" just don't fly.

  3. Self portraits aren't actually about looking fantastic. The most powerful portraits show something about the you that goes beyond beauty. It gives insight to the viewer about your personality, and that will be what is most cherished when your family looks at these portraits in the future.

In closing, Heidi and Amy share some thoughts about their self-portraits, above and below:

Heidi: "One day while working at my computer I felt compelled to get up and photograph myself. I felt a little stuck, creatively, at that time. I figured that if I could not photograph myself satisfactorily then how could I possibly be expected to photograph other people. It was a challenge to prove to myself that I could complete this creative assignment. Without giving myself the chance to get too concerned about my appearance, I set up the camera on a tripod and did a series of self-timer exposures, running between the camera and the sofa each time. (Not very gracefully, to be sure.) In the end I was happy with this portrait because I felt it showed that creative frustration I was feeling as well as my determination to move past it. Prior to this image, the last time I took a real self portrait was in college, when I thought it was important to load my pictures with all sorts of symbolism and meaning. This felt a lot more honest for the age I am now, and I could see my growth from that point in college."

Amy: “I had just wrapped up my final shoot of a very busy fall season at my studio. When these busy seasons come to a close, I often find myself needing some time filled with… absolutely nothing. As in, stare-at-the-ceiling, stop-thinking-altogether kind of nothing. I decided to capture this sentiment as well as a self-portrait that shows me after this short breather and ready to move forward into the next (less busy) season… a bit wiped, but calm and determined to make the most of whatever comes.”

Amy Self Portrait.jpg
Amy Self Portrait 2.jpg

We encourage you to share your self-portrait in the Facebook group. Let's see you!


Creative Prompts

  • Let's talk logistics. This is not a selfie, so you will need to set up your camera then use the self-timer function or get someone else to actually snap the shot. You can also use a remote trigger.

  • A self-portrait does not necessarily have to include your face.

  • Location can play a big part in your self-portrait. What does your chosen location say about you?

  • Try different setups. There is not one, singular way to definitively capture yourself. Try different approaches on different days!


Share your images!

We hope you take the opportunity to share your self-portrait this week in the Shoot Along Facebook group! We’d love the chance to see you and wish you well as you move forward with your new set of photography skills!

We wish you the best of luck as you continue to capture your beautiful family through photography!