Over the last year I have racked up more than 50 self portraits, for the less mathematically inclined of you that averages at more than 1 a week ;-)
So, why do I do it? Is it simply because I love the sight of my own face, or is there another reason? Read on to find out.
I am without a doubt, not the most photogenic of individuals! Once I was referred to as “As ugly as a bulldog licking piss off a nettle” So there must be a reason for all of my SP’s, because it certainly isn’t because I’m trying to launch a promising modelling career. (Unless someone wants to model a clothing line for bulldogs who are fond of piss covered nettles) One reason is for Practice! It allows me to practice set-ups for lighting, poses, techniques The images below are good examples, one is an exercise in using available window light. And the other was a to practice my “Low Key” portraits using a rim/hair light.
Doing this allows me to experiment, and know exactly what a given technique will produce. Weather it’s a shoot for someone else, or another SP, I can now clearly picture in my mind what an image will look like, and set up the necessary equipment a lot faster.
As well as helping me practice new techniques, they allow me to develop the style I like, the two images below are both “Standard” portrait set-ups, but I much prefer the dark low key shot. More of my SP’s are in this style than any other, mainly because I much prefer them, and find them very easy to envisage.
The second reason is kind of a side effect from doing SP’s in the first place. Some of my self portraits are far from the “Normal” posed portraits. Since doing so many, I have become far more comfortable in front of the camera, which in turn has allowed me to release some creativity. I probably wouldn’t feel comfortable asking other people to do some of the things I have. The images below are shots that would have cause strange looks if I had asked others to be involved.
And that’s the final point about selfies. You are working with a model who knows exactly where to stand, doesn’t mind how many times you cock it up, and doesn’t cost a penny to have on hire for several hours whilst you get frustrated and drink several gallons of coffee. :-)