I love browsing through my picture archives, looking for patterns. One of the patterns I spotted was my favourite way to start a new roll of film: the self-portrait.
I’m sure you all take the occasional arm’s length self-portrait. It’s easy, fun, and drives away boredom for a few seconds. You are your own best model: you look gorgeous and never get bored with the endless picture-taking (unlike, for instance, my number 1 guy, who tends to duck away when he sees a camera). Plus, how else to prove you were there when there’s no one around to take your picture, right?
Browsing trough my picture archives, I noticed that I have another very specific reason to take self-portraits. When you put a new roll af film in a camera, you always have to shoot a few pictures to get past the exposed leader. I realized that I often do this pointing the camera at myself. So I now have a nice collection of cut off self portraits, in all kinds of film. Redscale, color negative, black and white, tungsten…Only xpro-ed slide film has thus far escaped me.
Not all of them were taken at arm’s length, some of them were taken in front of a mirror. These self-portraits have the advantage of showing off the camera as well. Well, sort of. The Olympus Trip in the following second picture is not very recognizable, but the Pentax in the first is pretty clear.
I really like the burned, scratched look of these pictures, sometimes burning away half my face. It’s a kind of declaration at the beginning of the roll, saying: this is me, I made these pictures.
I think my favourite start-of-film self-portrait is the next one. It’s unsharp, underexposed, and my face is half gone. Still, I like the color, and the big smile that shows how I feel about photography.
So, do you have any start-of-film self-portraits? Do post a link in the comments, I’d love to see them!