Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Self-Portrait | August 2011

Is August seriously almost over? As I was typing in the date above, it took everything I had not to type in July. Where oh where has this summer gone?

As I mentioned, I'm going to be making some changes to the blog in the coming weeks, and one of those changes is to include a monthly self-portrait.

Why a self-portrait?

Lots of reasons!

For one, I thought it was high time I stepped out from behind the camera and showed my face on the blog. As I was doing some recent edits, I realized just how few photos there are of me and I thought it was about time to change that.

For two, I wanted to do a better job of documenting my own life in photos. It's about time that I start practicing what I preach!

For three, I'm really not a big fan of using a tripod. I tend to find it frustrating and I usually avoid it when at all possible - even resorting to hand holding the camera for slow shutter speeds that really would do much better on a tripod. The best way to overcoming something is to do it, right? And it's pretty much impossible to take a self-portrait without a tripod.

For four, I wanted the challenge, and the life lesson.  I think that taking a self-portrait is much more difficult than taking a portrait of someone else. We are always so much more critical of ourselves than of others, and taking your own photo is a double whammy. Not only can I criticize myself in the photo, but my photography is also up for critique.  In recent weeks, I've started on a path toward greater acceptance of who I am.  I'm concentrating on trying to realize that I am enough, instead of always zeroing in on my perceived short comings.  I'll probably share more on that eventually, but for now... my desire for greater self-acceptance is also fueling my desire to take my own portrait every month.

August's self-portrait was taken with me sitting in the chair in the living room of our rental house in Phoenix. I seem to have adopted this as "my place" in the house, and I almost always sit there any time I am in the living room. I opted to photograph myself sitting in this chair, with my computer on my lap, because when I look back over the month of August it is nothing but a blur of day after day spent working on my computer as I updated my website and blog.

As I was brainstorming for this month's self-portrait, I had an idea of how I was going to take this photograph. On a whim, I decided to reposition the camera and I ended up liking the composition of the image much better than in my original idea. I have a feeling that taking my portrait every month is going to be a wonderful learning experience. Trying to imagine what a shot is going to look like with a person in it is very different from actually seeing it with the person already there!

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at michelewhitacrephotography.com. Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.

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