Self-portraits are important to me. Sometimes I need a subject to test film on; other times I want to record myself in a specific place. Whatever the reason, self-portraits allow you to be both photographer and subject simultaneously – a rare treat!
There is a certain amount of vanity required in taking a good self portrait. I am a narcissist, so I enjoy taking my own picture if I’m having a good night out; with my girlfriend or have a new haircut. I like that I am in charge of taking the picture. I can control factors like framing and focus in a way someone unfamiliar with my camera may not.
The wait between shooting a roll and processing adds an element of excitement to a self-portrait. Who I am when the photograph was taken is not necessarily who I am anymore.
Many of my self-portraits are done purely on a whim. I feel like taking a photo so I do. These are amusing to me, but maybe not to others.
Other self-portraits surpass my expectations and turn out to be photographs with great merit in their own right. Some of the most surprising shots I take turn out to be self-portraits. If the framing and decisive-moment are pleasing then these photographs can sometimes appear the most effortless and easy.
Self-portraits are great fun and worth shooting: you never need to worry about not having a model and I’m certain you’ll be happy with the results.
Note: Make sure you don’t hold you camera too close to your face if you have a fixed-focus lens – the shot might be way too soft!