Fun With Self Portraits in lockdown
Here in the UK those of us who work closely with our clients were especially hard hit by Covid and the lockdowns, and we didn’t have a work around. Newborn photography specialists can’t distance from their tiny clients so it means closing down completely.
So we spent months perhaps not touching our cameras at all. Some loved the break, and many struggled. We live and breathe our jobs, and it’s not been easy to just stop doing what we love.
In my Mentoring Group with nearly 400 photographers, we have kept ourselves busy with chat and fun, and learning of course, and also a few challenges, just to have a reason to dust off the kit occasionally.
One recent challenge was to try self portraits. I was inspired by a fellow photographer, Tianna. She did some amazing self portraits and l decided to have a go myself. I got so much from doing it, and realised that others could too.
I learned that using the app to trigger my camera from my phone was brilliant! I learned that lighting yourself is not easy. I also leaned that posing on our own in the studio makes you laugh…a lot…and is hard work!
But mostly for me, at nearly 53 and with self doubt and some anxiety about the ageing creeping up on me, I learned that I should not be so hard on myself.
Once I’d gone beyond feeing stupid about posing, hating seeing myself on the back of the camera, and a million epic fails, I began to simply see a woman….any woman…and was able to cast a professional eye, not a personal one, on the images I was creating. As time went on I made adjustments to my lighting and posing as I would while at work. I learned along the way, and began to see images I was happy with.
Then when I uploaded them to my computer I was actually delighted that the images were me. I was not looking as old and fat as I had convinced myself I did. It made me feel better about myself. Yes, it took confidence to even go there. To try it. To know that it wouldn’t upset me if I hated the results. But I didn’t do it for the boost…I did it to try something new photographically. I hadn’t expected the added benefit of making myself feel better about who I am.
Well of course I then shared my images in my Mentoring Group and encouraged my members to try too!
I was met with a whole variety of reactions. Some were eager and ran off to try immediately. Others needed time to consider if it was right for them. Many saw how it could be a good learning experience, and also a way to push themselves.
The response was amazing, and I loved seeing the images people created!
Some ladies are expecting babies so this was a great way to capture maternity images. A few used the opportunity to get new headshot images for their websites and social media. Others simply had some fun!
I got a velvet dress out that I bought for an awards dinner than never happened, and so had never worn. I also captured images of my Grandmothers fur coat that she left me when she died. I have lovely glamorous images of her wearing it when she was young, so it was lovely to add to those memories for the family.
Over all it was a great experience personally and also it was lovely to be back in the studio again. I think all those who took part took something positive from it.
Here are all those wonderful images! Do show them some love and click the links to explore their websites!