Self-portrait photography, since the beginnings of the industry, has always been popular among photographers. I mean what is there not to love? Finally you get to work with a model that does exactly what you ask of them!
Aside from the ego obvious elements, It’s also great for learning how to get to grips with a new camera, practicing newly taught skills and various other photography fundamentals. But it is the practices unique advantage of pushing ones creative envelope, and stimulating that creative pool of original ideas, that we all have waiting for us inside of our creative minds, that appeals the most!
Self-portraits are too often over looked by photographers. Which is a huge shame as they’re excellent ways to practice and due to the fact that you’re on your own; they’re exceptional at fueling your creativity as you have complete freedom to do whatever you want without judgement or the annoying restrictions of a models ego!
How to set up
Setting up is easy. Source all of your props, position your camera, setting it to all the right options, and either using a portal trigger or timer, position yourself within the frame.
Top tip: Making sure that the camera is focused on your eyes can be tricky, the best way to do this is to set up your position first with a few practice shots. Then on the cameras screen zoom into the eyes to make sure that focus was achieved, it is also worth setting up the focal points within the viewfinder where you best guess your eyes to be. This is something that with practice is easily overcome.
Thanks to the internet, we now have access to many of the world’s greatest photographers whenever we need inspiration. All we have to do is punch their names into Google and low and behold; an entire treasure trove of creative ideas! But of course, like any artist, you want to be original, and who can blame you!
Sourcing original ideas is tough. Best way, allow them to come to you. Opening your eyes and minds that little bit wider to the world around you will enable these ideas to flood out of your subconscious. There are many objects, situations and stories that offer a whole wealth of inspiration. You just have to look at everything differently and imagine the potential of everything.
You need to ask yourself questions
Being prepared to push the boundaries of your imagination is the key to accessing your own original content. But getting there you have to ask yourself:
- What do I want to say in this image?
- What do I love?
- What do I hate?
- What confuses me?
- What am I good at?
When an idea comes, write it down, draw the scene, then wait for another one to come, write that down and so on. Then pick three and combine them, removing the worst elements and see what you’re left with….
The best way to creative original ideas is to push yourself and there really is no better way than to do it with a self-portrait, as with so much freedom, comes so much fun!
Below you’ll find a few more from my portfolio, some I’m proud of, others… well I’ll let you guys decide! Then further down you’ll find some from the true masters of photography!
Now some from the masters!
Self portraits are extremely popular, even among the worlds most renowned photographers and artists. Take a look at some of their experiments below and see if there is anything there that stands out…
I dare you to do better!
There are within my portfolio around 10 or 12 extra ones that I’ve left out from posting here, not because I don’t want to share them, or because I’m embarrassed, but because these images are mine, each of them is personal.
Each photograph you take is for you, and you alone
We’d love as always for you to share your experiences with self portraiture; perhaps you’ve never done it, or have many images saved on your hard drive, either way, I’d love to see them, and to hear your thoughts.