Project 52: Self-portrait

posted in: Headshots, Personal | 10

For 2015, I’m starting a photography project called Project 52 with a group of wonderful ladies from the Clickin’ Moms photography forum.  I’ll be blogging my photos with this project and participating in a blog circle with other members, so please enjoy and follow the link at the end of the post to see what others have done.

To kick off the year, this week’s theme was “You” and we were tasked with taking a self-portrait. You’ve probably taken a “selfie” on your phone before – they’re quick and fun. But if you’ve ever gotten out a tripod and set the timer or used a remote to try to take more intentional self-portrait, you know how frustratingly difficult it can be. Some people just love the camera, and smile perfectly whenever a camera is pointed at them, but most people are at least a little tense about being in photos, myself included.

On my first session, I got some “nice” images. But I was a stiff and little too serious. And that’s not who I am. I actually really like the color one below for a professional business headshot. But I wanted something a little different for this – something that truly conveyed who I am. Besides the P52 project, I wanted to use this photo for my web site’s About Me page, and so I wanted to make sure it really showed web site visitors a little more of my personality.

Self-Portrait Photography Project

So I went back to work. But being both the photographer and the subject is tricky! When I’m shooting a session, I have all kinds of tricks to make clients relax, smile, and even laugh. But it’s hard to tell yourself a joke, and there was nobody behind the camera acting ridiculous as I’m known to do during a session. So I just tried to laugh about how funny the whole setup was with me inside the front window of our house, all alone, with the windows open a tripod in front of me. I thought about how crazy I would look to anyone outside who might look in as they drove by. And then I started laughing. I love infusing my portraits with joy and laughter, so this was much more “me” than the first set of pictures.

Self-Portrait Photography Project

Once I got myself relaxed, I started laughing pretty much every time I looked at the window, and then genuine smiles followed.

Self-Portrait Photography Project

After some tedious culling on my computer to choose my favorites (and some helpful input from friends), I finally decided that I got the shot I was going for. One that says, “Hi, I’m Kelley. I’m fun and easy-going and even little silly, and I would love to get to know you and take your pictures.”

Self-Portrait Photography Project

Thanks for looking! If you’d like to see self-portraits from some other Clickin’ Moms members (both hobbyists and professionals), click here to continue on in the blog circle.

10 Responses

  1. It was fun to read about your process. Your final shot definitely says what you were going after. You even have sparkle in your eyes.

  2. You look so happy in all of these! Nice to meet you!

  3. Thanks for sharing your process! All the photos are great, but I think you definitely got what you were looking for in the last one. You look so relaxed!

  4. I love your description of the challenges of a more formal self portrait and your description of the project. And you ended up with such a nice portrait!

  5. I love the ones of you laughing, and your final choice is perfect.

  6. Great pictures, but my favorite is the last one. This is the Kelley I know and love. Even though I know you, hearing your thinking and the process you went through made the pictures more interesting.

  7. What a great set of photos. I love it.

  8. Love that you’ve shared the whole series! I’m imagining you with your fit of the giggles in front of the tripod!

  9. i love seeing all of these. i love the head thrown back laughing and infectious smile shots! wonderful. and my apologies my link to you wasn’t live, oooops.

  10. You did a great job – all of these are beautiful! I really love the laughing shots.

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