Framing The World Through My Photographs
Creative Workshop 1: The Self Portrait
Pre-visualize and produce a self portrait [using only available light*] unrestricted in theme
and technique yet still supplying a message to the viewer. You should spend time ﬁrst
understanding what it is you wish to convey before then looking at the composition and
mechanics of the image and ﬁnally production.
When thinking about how I wanted my self portrait to be, I had already decided that I didn’t want it to be just a photo of myself, as what does this tell me other than this is what I look like, or the generic ‘here me holding a drink – I like to party’.
So What is a self portrait?
Google defines a self portrait as: ‘a portrait that an artist produces of themselves.’
Self portraits today are more often known as selfie
Google defines a selfie as : a type of self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone.
Does a self portrait have to include you? Self portraits don’t have to show your self as such but things that can represent you for example.
Michiel Spijkers- Spijkers has made a collection of work photographing everything he has owned since his teens, bellow is an example of some of this collection.
My first idea was to photograph my insecurities. Particularly body insecurities. After watching an episode of One Tree Hill, the idea of using a mirror in my image. I look in the mirror everyday at.and don’t always like what I see. There has been countless times I have looked in the mirror and highlighted to myself where I don’t like. For the first idea I wanted to use a full length mirror and have myself stood in front of it with my back to the camera and draw onto the mirror where I don’t like on my body. However I thought about this too much and talked myself out of doing this idea, I am not ready to show my body to people I don’t know.
For my second idea I wanted to focus on the ideas of my fears. For as long as I can remembered I have been terrified of the dark. The fear of not knowing what is there is what scares me.
For inspiration I looked Joshua Hoffine, who did a series of photographs highlighting his daughter fears. See below.
My final image
I set up my image in my bedroom. I shot this just before I went to bed. I sleep with a nightlight therefore I used this as my available light. I never fully close my blinds as well as there is a street light just out side of my window, this allows some light to get through.To create the shadow on the wall, I stood becky in a cape in front of the nightlight. I wanted to have Becky ( the fear) in the frame also.
I am fairly happy with the outcome of my image, as it is photographed at night there is not much available light apart from the street light and my night light. There is enough light cast onto my face so that I am still visible.As a lover of the studio I found it hard not to add extra lighting into the image. However i am tempted to crop this into a square.