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The Power of the Self-Portrait - part 1 of 1 2

by Larry Lourcey Published 01/12/2013

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It is no big secret the world of photography has changed drastically over the past decade. Long gone are the days when having a 'pro' camera set you apart from the amateurs. We used to arrive for the session with our medium-format camera and the clients would oooh and aaah as we loaded the roll of 120 film. They would order a portrait and we would magically have it printed onto canvas and framed.

Now our clients have professionalquality cameras and the ability to go online and print whatever they want. Now, more than ever, it is up to the artist to set themselves apart with their skill - not their equipment.

Goals and challenges help to stretch us artistically, but where do we start?

A great place to start is with personal projects - and what better project to choose than a self portrait? I know, I know ... you don't look good in pictures. Well then, that just makes your project all the more challenging!

The good news is, the more challenged you are - the more you will grow.


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Let's take a closer look at the concept of the self-portrait. Artists have been creating self-portraits for hundreds of years. You have a model available to you 24/7. No need to schedule a session or work with someone else's calendar. No need to worry about the client not buying into your creative concept. No worry about creating an image with enough commercial appeal. Of course, one of the most appealing aspects of the self-portrait is safety. You have a built-in escape route from failure.

Robert Schuller once asked, 'What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?' This quote really rings true for me. How many projects have been skipped over because we were fairly certain that they wouldn't work?

That is one of the great things about a self-assignment. Fear of failure is greatly reduced by the fact that not a single soul will see the images unless you choose to release them.

The downside, however, is that there is no one to hold you accountable.


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1st Published 01/12/2013
last update 06/11/2019 11:07:57

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