I take my own pictures.
I'm not a model and I have no desire to be a model anyways, but I don't always have someone to stand in the rain or put glitter glue all over their face at 11 o'clock at night. My creative sparks come in random spurts and they do not contain themselves to normal hours or normal portrait poses.
I have done many shoots by myself that I wouldn't want to make anyone else do. I actually did stand in the pouring rain for a good half an hour, probably risking pneumonia, just so I could get a picture. I've painted all over my face with acrylic paint, because who cares if I break out? At least I'll get the picture. I've lied on muddy grass and bent over fences at dangerous angles and sometimes I ruin whatever outfit I'm wearing.
But at least I get the picture.
Sometimes it's hard to put someone else in that position. And even if they do end up doing whatever it is you've told them to do, they still don't always understand your vision. For my creative portraits, I usually have a feeling or mood that I want to convey. Not everyone knows exactly how to look into the distance the way I see it in my head.
And that could be my own flaw, honestly, because I don't know how to explain my vision until I actually have it in front of me and out of my own head.
Nonetheless, it's easier to set up my tripod, connect my camera to my phone, and shoot myself. Because I know exactly what I want the shot to look like.
Don't get me wrong, I love shooting creative things with my friends. It's a different experience than normal portraits for family shoots or senior headshots. I've taken some really cool shots with my friends even if it's slightly awkward for me to tell them to "look like erm, someone erm, just ditched you at homecoming to be with someone else," since it's oddly specific and makes me slightly vulnerable.
But everything is about getting out of your comfort zone sometimes.
Even getting in front of the camera could be considered getting out of my comfort zone, though. I don't like when other people take pictures of me. That's in part because I want to be the one controlling the camera. But being in front of the camera takes away that layer of security.
I do like the control that self portraits give you. If I mess up a shot, I can retake it. There's no pressure of blurring a photo too much for someone else and no trying to direct someone's hand to do exactly what you want. I like being in control of everything in the shot.
So how do I do it? Everyone is always so surprised when I tell them that I take the pictures myself. All you need is a tripod and a remote! The rest is all creative work.
Basically, a self portrait shoot starts with an idea. And that idea turns into a costume and makeup. And that turns into a location. And I set up my trusty tripod, connect my camera to my phone so I can control it, and jump in front to pose.
There can be challenges of course. It can be difficult to position the camera exactly how you want it, while if it was handheld, it would be so simple. It's hard to carry everything, mostly--tripod, phone, camera, props--and then even harder to find a spot to set it all down at. The elements aren't always kind either. It's difficult to protect your camera from rain if you can't stand in front of it with an umbrella.
Honestly, I think I've learned more problem solving skills taking self portraits than I have in all of my time in school.
I've compiled a small collection of some of my self portraits. Let me know what you think about them.