What’s in a self portrait?

So I obviously take a lot of self portraits! I’m actually not a fan of having my photo taken by other people, I’m a bit awkward. It’s much easier to take my own I find them therapeutic. I like the planning, I keep a diary of my thoughts and feelings so a self portrait is often just me working through something. They are not all artsy and brooding sometimes I will take something randomly just for fun!


I’ve started doing self portraits more seriously over lockdown because well I've have more time to spend with myself, and they are a great way to improve editing and learn new techniques. They are something i’ve always done from time to time but I didn’t use to have the confidence to post them or often even edit a lot of them! So many images just got deleted! Now I care less about what people think and more about why they are important to me. I just love art, and the process of creating something. I love music playing in the background while I do a shoot, my cats are often in the home studio with me playing around too. When I finish to self portrait I now feel lighter like I have less in my head.


Warning! I may actually sound like a grown up artist in this blog #deep.


here are my top 10 self portraits the reasons behind them and what artist inspire me!


Growth

I love this image, I like to look back at an image and remember how I felt while I was taken them. Good or bad. I remember being really happy (even if I look moody) while taking this, also covering myself in the paint was fun! Sometimes I get so excited shooting I just can not wait to edit, I love doing images like this, they make me incredibly happy. I wanted this to look like a painting, the lighting is quite flat but I like that about it. This was the start of a project where I felt inspired by growing as an artist, person and just becoming more confident. I do have some more plans for this project but for now I’m concentrating on other ideas!


Inside the frame- series

These were great fun to take and edit! I laughed at my self a lot making these. They are a mixture of long exposure and photoshop. I really love photoshop, I love taking an image and making it slightly off or a little weird. For example adding extra hands or another version of myself. I created these because I felt that I had over shared a little, like i’d put myself out there to much, showing a little to much vulnerability for my own liking. But I do want to be a artist and really progress with my work, so putting myself out there is just something I’m learning to be more comfortable with.



Skin

I often feel slightly off, I guess most artist do. We can be a bit strange, and people like to remind us of that. I’ll randomly get a weird idea for something I want to create, and I’ll mention it to people and they will just not get it at all. Some of the people closest to me really don’t get my work and thats ok. Art is subjective anyway! This was the first image of a series I started, all images were black and white and based on feelings and experiences. This was also the first series I posted on social media too where I felt it was ok for people to see what my thoughts behind my work was. When I started this series I also decided that I was going to go for it and open up more about my art and make the images that I wanted to make, for me not for others. I think it’s good for our mental health to be open, also I spend a lot of time working on these, so sharing why I create my work has now become part of the process.


Mirror Mirror

I have to look at my face a lot, that’s the thing about self portraits if you do them you’re forced to take in all your flaws and insecurities. I have a lot, but i’m ok with that I’m human. Fun fact about doing photos like this, you have to really zoom in and look at all the details because accidentally uploading a nip slip image at 10pm when your tired and rushed a final check is easy done… I haven’t done this, but it’s come close a few times. I now check about 4-5 times just to make sure!


Door way to darkness

Ok so deep one, childhood. Childhood is hard for most people, growing up is just tricky regardless of your upbringing. I have some nice memories, and some bad ones like most people do. When I was very young I grew up in a house that had mental health issues in from time to time. Then when I got older there were a lot of us in the house, it was never quiet. Arguments would often become heated. As an adults some issues have also popped up. Mental health and suicide awareness is something I really intend to incorporate more into my work in the future. What you see on the outside of people and what's happening in their heads or behind closed doors are two very different things. It’s so important to open up, also to be kind.


Velvets

So this is a fun one, not all my work is serous. My husband jokes that living with me is like living with two different people. I have a really goofy jokey side. So I created this, also this was the first time I worked out how to photoshop myself really close to myself. It’s easy to have a few of me in the photo but to have contact takes a little more skill and planning so it was a fun photo to make! This was one of my first lockdown photos.



Falling... asleep

This is from the same series as 'Skin' and again the first load of images I posted where I decided I would open up a little bit more. Sleep for me is tricky sometimes. I have a weird relationship with it, slightest inconvenience in the day time and both my brain and body just wants to go to sleep. I also really love a nap so it sometimes works out! But at nighttime my head likes to keep me up, but I can get work done so thats fine. I'm a lot more creative at night also. Lucky I managed to function on little sleep if needed. This was also great fun to take and edit! Spoiler It's photoshopped i'm not really floating...


Reach

I took this on a day where I felt completely defeated. I can't really remember why, I just remember feeling terrible about myself and wanted to capture something and ended up with this. There was no planning or sketches for this one just me. But I really like it, also it was really fun to do in photoshop! I remember editing it in bed with a cup of tea and cheering right up! I think sometimes i'm just dramatic and need something creative to do...


So they are my top ten portraits so far! I have so many, i'm keeping this project going (for how long? I'm not sure...forever?) I need to work on my editing and lighting more but I have really big plans and ideas, I'm planning to get out on location more! I'm excited! I'm also excited for when I can work with other people again!


Here are some artist that inspire me;

Brooke Shaden is my all time favourite! I do a lot of her online workshops, she's just amazing.

I also really like Lilli Waters, Alicia Savage and Sue Bryce.


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