This month was a bit different than other months. I was late with the first self portraits of the month and decided to make it a bigger project. I wanted to make it personal and have a deeper meaning. So I thought of 5 concepts that I wanted to visualize in my self portraits. Even though I did not take them in the exact weeks I am mentioning here, I wanted to keep the original organization going. Besides taking self portraits and writing this blog about it, I also made a vlog of the process of taking all these photos. You can find that all the way down below once I have finished it.
Week 22: Invisibility
Sometimes I feel like people don’t see me. Like I just blend in with the surroundings. That is what I used as a concept for this first self portrait shoot of June. I know I am just one of all the other people on this earth and it does not revolve around me. But sometimes, I just feel invisible, which sucks. For this concept I tried to become invisible, I found a painted wall and matched my clothing to it and became invisible. Or at least blended in.
For these shots, I set up my camera on my tripod and used a self timer to get in front of the lens. I used an aperture of F/8.0, shutterspeed of 1/200 seconds and an ISO of 800.
Week 23: Fleeing reality
The title says a lot about this concept. I (used to) like to flee reality. I don’t always like my life or I take comfort in made up problems bigger than mine being solved. That is why I like to watch a lot of series or read books. Nowadays, I am aware of the problem and while I still struggle with it, I aim to make my reality better than the made up ones in television.
For this concept I have chosen to visualize it using a book and some photoshop magic. The idea is that parts of the fantasy book come to life. In the background and some light coming out of the book.
Below, you can check the before and after of photoshop. But first let me tell you what I did. I used my aputure light in the book to light my face. I enhanced the effect of that by using a brush to add some sparks, which come out of the book. Besides, I used the photoshop skyswap tool to replace the sky and some more custom brushes to make it a bit more interesting.
As it was getting dark, I used a bit more of an open aperture for this shot, namely F/4.0. I also bumped the ISO up to 3200 and uset a shutterspeed of 1/320 seconds.
Week 24: Hold your own light
The concept for this shoot is that I have found out that if you want to be seen, you have to be the one to shine a light at yourself. I struggled with that mostly this past year in terms of sales for my store. I find it hard to promote myself or my art because I feel very salesy and that does not feel like me. Which is why I have accepted that sales might not be for me, I’ll try something else to make money some day. Before this year, and this year too, it also applied to me as a person. If I want to be seen, I have to become visible, stand out.
In my earlier years, I used to be very introverted, but since my mom died and I decided to take her as a role model for my life, I have become more extraverted. I guess this is something I learned from her. If you want someone else to pay attention to you, you have to make them pay attention. Or shine a light on yourself, because you are important.
The visualization for this concept is quite literally. I got a light in the dark and aimed it at myself. Literally, me holding my own spotlight. For this, I got a small light and an umbrella. You could use your phone if you want to try this out. I put my camera on self timer and had it take 3 photos each time after 5 seconds. I tried a serious and a happy pose and could not decide which I like better, so you can see three of my favorites from the shoot below.
As it really was getting dark at this point, I upped my ISO even more to 6400, kept my aperture at F/4.0 and slowed down my shutterspeed to 1/50s.
Week 25: Imposter syndrome
For the third self portrait of this month, I shot on a different day. I had multiple ideas of visualizing this concept but in the end I chose for the one you can see below.
Imposter syndrome is something I feel almost everyone knows and a lot of people struggle with. As do I. I often feel like I am just doing something and sometimes it works out and people think it is great. Or when I am writing these blogs, often I have to look things up myself, but I still pretend to be able to teach you all something. I know it might still hold value to bundle all the information up. But yeah, I feel like an imposter and I am afraid that people catch up on it. I know I am sharing this all now and that might seem contradictory, but sharing this is a big step for me. And I think it will help me in my journey to get rid of the feelings.
The visualization I chose was to show myself in a raw version and some hands pointing me out to the world as an imposter. I used a tripod and took several photos which I later combined in photoshop.
Week 26: Choosing the hard way
For the last self portrait of June, I chose to visualize something I am quite proud of that I have done. I chose the hard road, stepped away from the safe common path. That was a big step for me and I am very proud to have taken it. This was a simple visualization process for me and you can see the result below.
For this photo, I set my camera on F/4.0, ISO 800 and 1/1250 seconds. The photo is nice and sharp and I do not move in the photo. As that is the goal of the settings for this photo, yay it worked 🙂
If you want to see some behind the scenes footage and some more explanation of the concepts, as well as an insight into taking the self portraits, I also made a vlog about the whole project and you can see that here. I will add it as soon as I have finished it.