Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Art and Challenge of a Self Portrait

As most of my faithful blog readers will know, I've gone a little crazy with studio portraits lately, asking everyone from nieces and nephews to former classmates to take time out and let me photograph them. It's been a great learning experience... and I know, now more than ever, that there is so much more to learn about studio lighting then I ever could have imagined.

I apologize to those who are sick of these photos, springtime is upon us, and I'll soon move on to something else :)

A few years ago while looking for pictures of mini-bangs (yes, the very same I sported for about 3 years now), I stumbled upon a wonderful portrait photographer who has an amazing gift for taking portraits of herself. Her blog is listed in my favorites under Sara's Journal. Check out her stuff, it's fantastic.

Anyway, I thought to myself when I first started looking at her work, "how hard is it to take self portraits, really?" So I tried, and failed, numerous times. The photos ended up blurry and tense with awful, awful lighting. It's hard to take a photo that you don't see in front of you, especially in the studio.

So, I'm still practicing... learning how to take these kind of portraits as I go. It's been awesome for my facebook and myspace (new profile picture every once in awhile), but even better for me as a photographer. I've learned to have more patience in the studio, found flattering ways to pose and learned how to predict lighting without chimping it (term for looking down at the camera with every frame). I think it's made me more confident to take another person's portrait when I know I can take an okay picture of myself. Most of these pictures are pretty straight forward (as I think most of my portrait work is), so, I really want to start pushing myself to think more creatively when taking portraits.

Anywho, here are a few photos I took recently in the studio. My hairstylist (Kristy and Salon Why in Fargo) wanted some photos of my new hair, which, proved to be more incentive to take some self portraits.








Jacqueline DuBois said...

Oh, I dont' remember the last time I took a self portrait. You've inspired me! I'll have to get around to that some day soon.

One of my favorite self-portraitists can be found at:

Check out her Main Gallery.
Many of them can be considered a little "nasty" but I think she's pioneered something here with her combination of photo technique, styling, and processing.

Al said...

Awesome hair and photos? You're spoiling us, Britta.

How the hell did you do the second to last one? Did you have someone throwing the pedals (or leaves, or whatever those are)?

Britta said...

I took that photo with a self timer... so, right before it took the photo I threw a handful of rose petals in the air. It wasn't quite what I imagined, couldn't quite get the timing right, but it worked out ok.

Anonymous said...

WOW. Those pictures are amazing (actually, I don't think you've ever taken a horrible photo). I especially like the second one. You have flawless skin, and it looks luminescent in the pictures (I had to look on just to spell luminescent right). I'm excited to have another photoshoot with you again sometime. That was so much fun. Can't wait!