Inspired by this article from Courtney Slazinik from the Click it up a Notch blog, about creative photography projects ideas, I defined some photography projects I am going to work in 2019, and one of them is a self portrait project.
I will share the journey through these projects here in the blog, so you can follow along with me and also learn through it. I will write about difficulties, successes, technical aspects, the results and all related to the projects.
In this article I will talk about the “Self Portrait” project, where I will be, of course, the subject in the photo.
So let’s start with the reason I chose this project.
The challenge of doing a professional self portrait
One of the reasons was the technical challenge of photographing myself. I need to take care of everything behind the camera, what I normally do when photographing other people or subjects, but in a self portrait I also need to be in the scene.
I have to take care of focus, composition, light, while not being in place yet.
Another reason is that as a photographer I feel comfortable behind the camera, so to be in front of the camera would also be a challenge for myself.
How the project was defined
I decided to do one portrait a month in the day from my birthday. So I will be making one self portrait a month during 2019.
Here my first self portrait
I am going through my latest cookbook acquisition “The Nordic Baking Book”, from Magnus Nilson. I am flipping through the book and looking the recipes.
Going through my cookbooks, reading them, searching for some new recipe to try, learning something new about food is one of the things I love to do. So, I decided this would be the scene for my first self portrait of 2019.
What I found the most challenging doing this self portrait?
How to focus on self portraits
The focus part was definitely the most challenging. Focus on an object that is not in the frame was challenging. I used the 10 seconds timer from my camera to make the portrait.
So, in order to focus, I put some books in the place where I was going to sit and focus on the books. Then I release the shutter with the timer and run to sit. I managed to get one photo in focus.
But there are some tools to help with that that I am planning to experiment with in the next session and tell you about the results here:
- The Canon app for iPhone
- Remote shutter
I will first work with the Canon app because yeah, no purchases involved. But I might also decide to purchase a remote shutter. I am still thinking about. If you have experience with remote shutter I would love to hear your opinion.
Light, the challenge of photographing indoor with north winter light
Second challenge was the light. Winter time in The Netherlands can be very challenge to photograph indoor. I took this picture in the morning around 11am and it was pretty dark. I put the ISO very high (3200) and the aperture very open (2.0), so the shutter speed was at 1/250.
We can see the grains from the ISO but this doesn’t bother me. I think it adds texture and style to the picture.
I am researching and planning to invest on artificial light. I do also food photography and, together with my husband, Daniel from Ducs Amsterdam, we film for our YouTube channel. So, I am looking for a continuous light solution that will help me on photography and will help us on filming.
Facing these challenges is part of the joy on running a photography project. I am happy with the first self portrait and looking forward to the next ones.