Assignment: SELF-PORTRAITS

Taking a self-portrait is the perfect way to express yourself through photography. Also, looking at other artists self portraits may tell you a lot about them.

Shooting pictures of yourself can be a good way of experimenting with lighting, camera angles, and learning useful technical skills. Self-portraiture is perhaps the best form of self-expression there is. Artists have been doing it for centuries. As both the model and
photographer, you control every aspect of the image.


Where to start – set up the scene using a stand-in – you can also get the meter reading this way. Most cameras have a self-timer and this is an effective way to fire the shutter. If you want more control over when the picture is taken, use a remote release.

Cindy Sherman, Film Still #21

Please take at least 50 exposures using a self-timer and a tripod (if needed) keeping the following in mind:
_Effective lighting – remember what creates overall, even lighting versus hot lighting creating a silhouette.
_Composition – check your edges! Create interesting use of positive and negative space.
_Angle of view/perspective – work with some close-up shots as well as a shot with a purposeful environment (background, set-up or natural surroundings).
_What kind of emotion/meaning do you want to convey?
_Props – will this tell us more about you? Could it assist in composition?

Take risks! TAKE A LOT OF PHOTOS!

ARTISTS TO LOOK AT: Cindy Sherman, Chuck Close, Lee Friedlander, David Hockney, Jonathan Coplans
*spend some time looking at self-portraits on-line to gather some ideas and influences. Please make sure you look at master artists. **