I have always likened standing in front of a camera to standing in front of a firing squad, and anyone who hates having their photo taken would agree with me. It is an entirely foreign experience and not natural, or at least for me it certainly isn’t.
I know that selfies are now all the rage and the youngsters are experts at it but I think if you take away the control of the selfie and put someone else behind the camera then it becomes a new experience. You are entirely in the hands of the person pushing that button, the photographer.
Being vulnerable or trusting someone else does not come easy to me, so I get it and I know that capturing someone and making them look amazing is a skill I have developed over many many years.
I below to an international network of Portrait photographers and we have many projects each year aimed at letting loose our creative skills and pushing the boundaries. This May our Project was entitled Self Portrait.
As usual I had lots of ideas, but not enough time or assistance. I tried to get my husband to be the body double so I could create the set and get the lighting perfect before I jumped in front of the lens but thought it best for our marriage if I just let him get back to his TV program.
Whilst I have all the cable releases and mobile apps and ways to click the shutter it was still a challenge to get my expression and lighting right without the direction of a person behind the camera. I also found it hard to smile or interact with a lens, even though I love my camera!
So after much trial and error I settled on 4 images. The first involved a little hiding, I do like to hide occasionally despite what many think. The second I wanted to portray the feeling of being on the periphery, I often feel like I am on the edge of things not fully a part of anything. I have always had a fascination with the eyes and i think you can tell a lot about a person by their eyes, so up close and personal is one of my eyes. What can you tell about me? Finally I was frustrated, I wanted to tray so many ideas and was just not able to do them all, either limited by time, skills or lack of assistance so this photograph is a representation of that feeling.
I am going to be doing a few different projects this year, so if you would be interested in taking part in a photographic project as either a model or helper please get in touch ( email firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to hear from you.