“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it. “
Why are you passionate about this topic?
I’m not sure, there is a certain freedom and beauty in self portraits. Time seems to slow, nothing is rushed. Countless ideas just pour out of your mind. While they are fun to create, it’s also a great way to take a break from the world. It refreshes. I can’t really explain why I love to do them.
I’ve done one session for a friend, I know what they are like. They are beautiful and amazing, I loved the new experience, but when I go out there alone with camera in hand, you feel the surge of creativity flow through you. Using yourself for portraits truly increases the beauty of your art. You would be surprised how you, yourself can be an amazing way to learn. You develop an eye for things that aren’t usually noticed, because when taking self portraits you have time to really examine your surroundings and take lots of detail into account while trying to include it in your portrait somehow. I taught myself everything I know, and 99.9% of the time they are self portraits. Try it.
When did you first learn this technique? Or, when did you first realize you liked this topic?
It was on a beautiful afternoon, the air was crisp and all the colors of fall drew me in. I went for a walk around the yard and saw a bed of wild grass that was gold like sunshine, behind it the sun gleamed while peaking through the trees creating beautiful bokeh. I had the perfect idea in mind, but it included a person. I wasn’t sure how to go about my photograph. I walked around and sat the camera on a rock, shoving the strap beneath the lens ring. I set it to timer, and ran over to the brush. Click. I fell in love! From then on, when I saw an area with divine light, I’d find some way to prop up the camera and set it on timer. Thankfully, I have a tripod now which made my heart ease knowing my camera would not tumble off the rocks or stumps that I would use to hold it up.
What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to achieve this technique?
-Try to tell a story. With every image I create, I try to give it a powerful meaning. There are countless ways to create a story.
-Get creative with clothing. Pull out a few dresses, or go thrift shopping for a vintage gown.
-You can’t have a beautiful portrait without some item or object putting the whole image into to place. Make a headpiece, gather flowers from your garden, pull up bunches of brush or find a book. Sometimes you will need an object to focus on for a few shots, with you being in all of them, you don’t want to run your fountain dry, meaning let your ideas regenerate while taking images of a certain object.
-Study your surroundings. The backdrop is important. Find a wall, bushes, trees, etc. something that creates a intriguing space while you are still the main focus.
-Point of view.. Shoot through a tree, try to frame yourself with flattering angles.
-Do you really want to create a beautiful portrait? Let your poses ooze emotion and passion. You can’t just smile and look at the camera, that isn’t really what a self portrait is about, unless you’re taking head shots for business reasons.
-Last but not least, study the light.. Light is where it all comes together. Study study study that light! Where it falls certain times of the day, how it seeps through the trees, finding shadows and searching for pockets of light.
About the Photographer:
I’m a 15 year old girl living in the foothills of the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains. I’m a photographer, graphic designer, and blogger. As a child, I always loved creating things. The love for photography was first discovered when I was about eight years old.. years later, it eventually turned into what it is now, a passion. It is something I love to do with all my heart. And it has opened a way for me to do what I’ve always loved to do, create with my heart, share my work for the good of others by inspiring and encouraging them and being closer to God than I ever was before. It has been an amazing journey and I am excited to continue with my passion for years to come.