The importance of self-portraits (a.k.a. the "beyond selfie")

Photographers and non-photographers alike frequently HATE having their photos taken. If you’re a photographer, you definitely don’t want to have to do a self-portrait. But having photos of ourselves beyond just a quick selfie is important. Hear me out.

Let’s start with the non-photographers. Aside from some of the obvious reasons involving today’s digital age, there are some other reasons why you should definitely go out of your way (i.e. hire a photographer) to get some nice shots of yourself. First of all, your family wants you to. Kind of a duh, but it’s weirdly overlooked when people hate the idea of having their photos taken. But do it for the fam!

It isn’t just about them though, it’s also about you! Photos are a great way for you to share your personality and look back and reflect on a certain point in your life. Even if you don’t have the budget for a photographer, having a friend snap a few decent shots of you is worth the effort. (And of course, you can send your friend to my totally free beginner’s program so they have some skillz for your photoshoot.)

It can be a huge confidence boost to do something like this for yourself. Find a photographer who will work with you to design a shoot that shows off your personality or design the shoot yourself with a friend. Pick out a couple of your favorite outfits and get to it!

The reasoning is similar for photographers too. It’s a way to showcase your personality. But for photographers, it’s especially important to experiment with self-portraits. Artists do self-portraits. That’s just how it is. And for good reason.

If you want to really understand your role as an artist and better relate to your art, this is going to be an important step for you. Do a few spontaneous, unplanned self-portrait shoots and also do a few that you really plan out. Experiment! With your wardrobe, your location, your themes, your props, your settings, your editing, and your personality! Step out of your comfort zone AND stay well within it.  And share some of your favorites.

My challenge to you: go out and get your photo taken or take it yourself. If you’re a photographer, make a challenge for yourself to make a new self-portrait every day, week, or month for a year. What do the results show you? Post them on your photography pages and write about your experiences during the process.