I did a self portrait challenge for one of the photography groups that I am. I have taken selfies before, but never a self portrait.
It was a true challenge because I did not know where to start. Well I knew that I needed a tripod. I found an old one standing in the corner of my office. I can't even remember why I had a tripod in the first place. Next I had to find the manual for my camera to see how to set the timer. So I have two options for the timer setting, 2 seconds or 10 seconds. I also learned that I can purchase a remote for the timer.
Now, I have the tripod set up and, I know how to set the timer on my camera, I set up one studio light and go in like I know what I am doing. Whew chile, was I disappointed when I downloaded the pictures and saw how blurry they were! In the camera they looked fine. I did have a few that were in focus so those were the ones that I submitted for the challenge.
After I posted the pictures, I noticed that my lighting was off and I had a hotspot right in the middle of my forehead that made me look greasy. I had the nerve to make it my profile picture on Facebook and Instagram. It is still my profile picture because I put in some sweat and tears for that challenge! I will change it soon. I just want to be stay humble and remember my starting point!
I did some self reflecting and critiquing and I knew that I could do a better job with my self portraits. So I hunkered down and reviewed a lighting course that I invested in. After viewing the course, I saw what my mistake was in my lighting setup that caused the hotspot on my forehead. I pulled out out my second studio light and set it up.
My next area of correction was those blurry and out of focus pictures. I needed a stand in for my camera to focus on...I did not want to use my child, so I pulled out a stuff animal. Yep, I used a stuff frog sitting on top a crate that was sitting on my posing stool so I could see that when I hit that self timer, my picture was going to be in focus. I did some test shoots with the frog and they were in focus, I was on top of the moon happy!
Me, with my extra self, picked out an outfit, did my hair, and makeup and I did proceeded to do another self portrait challenge just for myself. I am so happy that I did. I am ecstatic with the results and I know that I am a better photographer this week, than I was last week. I pushed myself and I am better for it. I got frustrated and wanted to quit, but I am not a quitter.
That first challenge made me uncomfortable, and I was scared to do it. Now I know to do it scared because I was able to grow in my discomfort and move to another level with not only doing my self portraits but also with learning my camera and setting up my studio lighting. I will forever be grateful for that challenge and the ones that follow.
Do you see the difference? Leave a comment letting me know what you think!