I’ve been feeling photographically uninspired lately and because of that, I’ve decided to give myself a 31 day Self-Portrait Challenge. While I like photographing a variety of subjects, and am really proud of some of the images that I’ve captured, I think some of my best have been self-portraits. And within my little photographic community, I feel those images have resonated the most.
I believe the reason for this is that when taking selfies, I can’t rush the shot. I’m forced to think a lot more, make sure the composition is right, fine tune as I go, etc. Because I can’t see what’s in the frame until after I take the shot, I end up taking a lot more shots of the scene. 75% of them are duds, but I eventually get the image that I want. As well, because the subject is always the same (me), it takes effort to keep the shots interesting—whether by changing up my environment, the overall mood of the piece or the concept behind the image. All in all, I’m working harder.
I do have a filter when I’m taking self-portaits (namely that I won’t take anything that I wouldn’t be willing to show my Mom & Dad), but I sometimes amplify whatever emotion I’m feeling that day, and pour my heart into the image. So sometimes the result feels intensely personal. Alternatively, sometimes I have a technical goal like improving my lighting skills or trying to capture motion.
I’m not sure where this month will take me, but I’ll be super happy if I end up with a small selection of images that are worthy of appearing in my next gallery show. As well, I’m going to do my very best to take an image every day, but if I miss one (I am starting a new job and all), then I’ll make up for it the next day by taking two. I may not post them to Flickr every day, but I’ll try.
One final note:
When I was doing my 365 project in 2010, I was still relatively anonymous on Flickr, so I often used my images as a visual diary. Now that I have a bit more of an online presence, I find myself nervous to post everything for all to see. Although I’m a Creative, I do need to remain professional. With that in mind, and so that I can push myself creatively without worrying about what someone will think, I’ll be posting so that only my Flickr ‘Friends & Family’ can see my images. Each week, I’ll post an update to my blog, but may not show all of the photos that I take.