This week I decided to shoot a new self portrait. As I went to work on it I realized just why it has been so long since I did one. It is so much harder than you would think.
Technically it’s not that tough. Lock focus, remote release or timer, even setting the lights isn’t too tough. The hard part is getting a good photo. Without someone to interact with I found it very difficult to look relaxed and natural.
I tried placing a mirror behind the camera and that resulted in eyes looking way off where they needed to be. It did help a lot with posing though. After reviewing the photographs I have decided that I will have to give it another try. The photos were good, they just didn’t tell the story I wanted. But at least now I think I know what was missing.
The experience did remind me of how tough it is to be on the other side of the camera and how important it is to have a good rapport with your clients and provide them plenty of feedback. With no one to give me feedback, I had no idea how the photo was looking. I can only imagine how a client would feel without positive feedback. You must talk constantly with your clients to keep them at ease, which in the end will result in better pictures.
I challenge other photographers to take some time and shoot a self portrait; you might just learn a thing or two about being in front of the camera.
If the next attempt doesn’t work I might just have to bring a fellow photographer in and have them shoot me instead.