52 : Self Portrait

SelfPortrait.jpg
 
 

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Ugh. The dreaded self-portrait assignment.

STOP! Just hold it right there. Do NOT click delete. We know what you are thinking. "I do not want to photograph myself. What is the point of that? Who wants a picture of me? That's not why I am taking this class. I will look horrible."

This week, set aside any self-doubt, self-consciousness and body image issues. You can do this assignment. You need to do this assignment. You will 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 shares some thoughts about her self-portrait above. "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."

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

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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!

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Share your images!

As always, we look forward to seeing your images in the Facebook group! If you have never posted a picture, it's fine to start any time. The Facebook group is a positive, no-judgement zone. We also hope that reach out for advice or help if you need it!