The last time I did self-portraits was in 2003; considering that, I believed it was high-time to do it again. I’m not the type who enjoys being the target of a photo-session. Nevertheless, when I have a choice, I prefer to be the one taking portraits of myself. I think I capture who I am better than anyone, at least, thus far. That is probably because I know myself better than anyone else…right!
I went into this photo session with the following goal: To capture my expressionistic qualities. And what do I mean by that? I didn’t want to end up with a snapshot: I wanted to capture a glimpse of who I am, at least, who I am, part of the time.
I guess what I don’t like about a lot of the ‘corporate‘ portrait studios is that they are quite impersonal; they don’t even get to know who you are before taking your photograph. Has anyone else had that experience?
In my opinion, and coming from the perspective of a photographer, you should get to know your subject, at least a little. You need to know a little about your subject’s likes, dislikes, mannerisms, attitudes, etc. All of this knowledge helps (the photographer) communicate to the subject what sort of poses, settings and props will be best for the shoot.
I mean, you don’t have to spend all day on this, but for God’s sake, take some time to figure out what makes your subject ‘special‘ or unique and target those qualities when taking portrait/character shots.
With any luck, if there is a strong sense of trust between photographer and subject, the shoot should work fairly smoothly and automatic within a suitable environment, and with props targeted for each particular subject.
Alright, so ‘corporate‘ studios don’t have that sort of time to figure out the Psyche of their clients and what makes them tick, their likes and dislikes, and that is why people have a choice to go for the ‘quickie‘ or to go to a ‘shop’ that will spend more personal time finding out who they are as a person and what they really want out of a portrait photograph.
In my opinion, I want it to be personal…and I want the results to express who I am.
Taking a self-portrait is not an easy task, especially if you want to take a photo of yourself doing more than just sitting there. I want expression and animation in my photographs and that is a difficult task. I used a single, 600-Watt studio light with soft box. I set the white balance on the camera to make the images warm-toned. I chose my Canon G2 specifically because of its good remote control system…forget that it is a bit of an older camera, the remote works very nicely in this circumstance. The camera was set on Aperture Priority at f/5.0 and the shutter speed was roughly.6 of a second, meaning that if I moved, the image would be blurred. Sometimes I wanted to show motion, other times, I kept positively still.
Good luck and Happy Shooting!