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