I’m currently working through a weekly self portrait project over on Instagram, called #portraitsofme. My good friend Courtney, of clickitupanotch.com, and I would love to have you join in with us. Today, to go along with the images that I created in February, I’m going to share tips for 3 types of Self Portraits that you can create, as well.
The Art Portrait
Often, I want my self portraits to capture some part of my day to day, as a way of documenting what a particular stage in my life was like. Sometimes, though, I like to take advantage of the fact that I am my own best model and create more artful images. I take inspiration from paintings, other photographs, the light, an emotion, or any of a variety of other sources and use that as a basis for creating a portrait that functions as a piece of art, more than a straightforward documentation.
The Headless Portrait
Do you find yourself stuck in the trap of thinking that your self portraits must include your face? It’s a common belief, and it is true that including a human face makes an image instantly visually attractive to a viewer. However, extremely effective imagery can be created without a face. If you can’t let go of your whole face, start small by trying a creative crop that eliminates a portion of your face, leaving some to the viewer’s imagination. Alternatively, focus in on hands or feet. These parts of the body strongly communicate emotion and are easy surrogates for including a face within the frame.
Silhouettes are not one of the most common types of self portraits. However, they are a great way to include the environment as an important part of the image that you create. Often times, silhouettes outdoors capture beautiful sunsets or sunny skies. As a contrast, silhouettes indoors can be a bit more anonymous. They tend to distill an image down to the basics of shape, line and light.
Finally, if you have any self portrait questions, let me know in the comments.