A word of caution: This article involves excessive amounts of shameless self-promotion. If you are a person who cannot appreciate a healthy dose of narcissism, do not proceed. If you can, brace yourself for an influx of me, myself and I.
Self-portraits, a lot of artists do self-portraits. Even Vincent Van Gogh had a painting of himself. The formerly unknown street photographer, Vivian Maier took a lot of self-portraits as well. Question is, why? For one, the closest subject to us would ourselves, such that, when there are on other interesting subjects around, we easily turn to what we already have. Likewise, everyone generally have positive self-concept; hence, a certain amount of self love motivates us to take a photo of ourselves from time to time. Another possible reason would be to simply finish a roll. When you are on your 34th frame, and you are itching to dispatch you roll for developing, we point the camera to our faces and fire away; then off to the nearest lab.
Looking back, here are some other reasons why I take self-portraits, a lot them.
I usually take a photo of myself when I am testing something new. A new camera perhaps; sometimes I take photos of myself to see who strong the flash is. Also, if I am testing a new technique, such as my recent labrat experiment, I want to know if my face would look good in it.
The act of taking photos has always been equated with freezing time. So, if there are significant moments involving feelings of happiness or despair, I want to freeze that moment by taking a photo of my facial expression.
Mirrors are potent cues to take a picture of myself. I am not normally aware of myself, as many of us are, but with a mirror around self-curiosity arise and with a camera in my hand, taking self-portraits are just a natural thing for me to do.
I also take photos of myself right after a get a new haircut. People look best when they are neat and fresh looking. I want to takes self-portraits knowing that I look good (at least by my standards).
When I feel like striking a weird pose, or when I am wearing some odd clothing articles, I feel as those they deserve to be photographed too.
Sometimes, when I am in the middle of some special event, such as a road race, I want to remember that moment by taking photos of myself busy with the said activity.
One should never allow the opportunity to be lit by gorgeous ambient light to pass. I always take self-portraits when I am beside a window where light falls nicely on my face.
I also take self-portraits to try out different techniques, from colored flash, to dipicties, to doubles.
Sometimes I do get bored of taking photos of my face, so I turn to my other features, such as my hands and feet, and of course my shadow.
Lastly if I want to take a photo of me, in the context of a lovely background or foreground, and such will not be captured at arm’s length, then I simply ask a companion to take the photo instead.
How about you? When do you take self-portraits?