Self-Portraiture

The advent of cheap photography has led to an inconcievable number of people taking pictures of themselves. These pictures tend to be divided roughly into two catagories.

1. I am beautiful. Model poses, pursed lips, uncomfortable angles.

It looks rather silly.

2. I am silly. Making faces, funny poses, etc. Can also be construed to include many digitally edited shots.

Yes, you are.

Other than the photo editing (which is more easily construed as art, and who am I to define art?), I don’t particularly see the purpose of this ceaseless self portraiture. Do they want to see how their looks change over time? I doubt it. Plus, that would take one photo a day (or week, or month) not fifteen in a row.

The vast majority of these photos simply seem to be taken while bored. I want to make a face and see it. I have a camera. Boom.

Maybe this is just me. Maybe only I am dissatisfied enough with the way my face looks that I don’t particularly want it preserved unecessarily. It’s not that I don’t like it, but I’m not overly fond of it either. It’s just my face, not a work of art. If it was a work of art, I would demand a refund. The chin is wrong.

Still, when I need to know what I look like (rarely), I do have something I use. I would recommend it to all those amature self-portrait makers as well.

The mirror.

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2 thoughts on “Self-Portraiture

  1. I have a tendency towards the self portrait. I don’t really do model shots that fit into the first category, but only some of my photos fit into the second. Sometimes I do it to express some sort of emotion, but mostly I do it because I am learning to use my digital SLR camera and am too shy to ask one of my friends to pose for me. If I do it myself, I don’t have to ask someone, I don’t have to direct them which is very hard, and I can get delete of as many crap photos as I like without hurting anyone’s feelings. I find it both a cathartic and learning experience most of the time. Certainly narcissistic, but a mirror just won’t do, it doesn’t have settings to play with.

  2. wouldn’t it be cool, though, if we could figure a way to capture ourselves when we “don’t know a picture is being taken”? a truly candid picture of ourselves taken by ourselves. i’ve no clue how it could be done, but it would be cool. because i’m with you on the contrived look of the ‘planned’ self portrait.

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