For the past few months, I’ve been working on a self-portrait project. I like to be focusing on a project or overall theme with my photography as it helps me to be regularly shooting as well as working toward something. Choosing self-portraits as a project was certainly a departure (in the most literal sense) from where I typically aim my camera lens, yet that was a primary reason for choosing this theme as I wanted to tackle something new. At the same time, I realize that everything I shoot is a self-portrait project in the figurative sense. The focus of our camera lenses does tell us something about ourselves, no?
I didn’t choose a particular slant or theme for what I wanted to shoot regarding these self-portraits. I just knew I wanted to take photographs of myself engaging in activities I like doing or photos showing aspects of who I am. I didn’t want to adopt a different persona or get involved with make-believe or fantasy set-ups. These photos then represent slices of my life and aspects of who I am and what I’m about.
From the playfulness of Chucks, to the reflections about my life, to the enjoyment of nature. These photographs invite you into my sense of self as well as my perspective and point of view as a photographer. These images give you a sense for my love of getting in close as well as basking in shallow depth of field. Thus, the way I composed each shot and the choices of photographic elements tells another story of who I am.
I also aimed to take photographs that many people could identify with despite the photos being about me or being my self-portraits. My hope was that viewers could see themselves in these images although the viewer isn’t in the frame. This is a critical part of my photography – or it seems to be an emerging one – to take photos that are intimate and personal, yet universal.
This was a challenging project to tackle, and I have a new-found respect for the many photographers I know who engage in 365 self-portrait projects (WOW!). I am grateful I stepped into this project as I learned the courage it takes to do so, as well as the patience and acceptance it requires. I hope you enjoy these images and that you not only see me, but also see parts of yourself reflected in them.
Have you tackled any new challenges lately? Are you a photographer who has taken the leap into self-portraits?