Self Portrait Shoot: In Pursuit of Knowledge


I don’t like pictures of myself. I don’t like taking photos of myself. But I secretly want to be Fashion Santa.

Gotta practice on someone and I’m always available at the drop of a hat. I spend a LOT of my down time watching YouTube videos: photography, studio lighting, reviews, tips and tricks (plus camping, bushcraft skills, mountain biking, snowboarding, skateboarding, making beats).

I like these photos for technical reasons. I wore that hoodie sweater the other day and when I pulled the hood up in the cold I saw the hooded under-lit image in my mind. The mood that was in my head is in the photos.

Photo Dec 22, 1 18 59 PM.jpgThat’s a win, especially considering my set up. In my cluttered living room with a black, wrinkly backdrop draped over the bedroom door.

I ordered an Alien Bee lighting kit on eBay. It would have been so sweet. I had plans, man. The seller had many complications of business and personal natures and ultimately a week or so later – I was starting to think I was getting scammed but that wasn’t the case — let me know that it wasn’t available. I was crestfallen and stressed about the money but It was refunded. The seller had a Murphy’s law kind of week.

A good set of studio strobes would be phenomenal but the truth is I’m not taking enough photos to justify the cost. I took these photos with my Sony speedlights (one firing down through a 24” Octobox and one firing up from the floor with a Magmod grid), fired remotely via Phottix wireless triggers, plus a Last-O-Lite reflector.

That qualifies as a professional setup but lacks the power and action-freezing capabilities of much more powerful and versatile strobes. I want to be able to take that power on the road but it comes with a cost, of course.

I’m having a hell of a time finding anyone to photograph, though. I’m thoroughly frustrated. Craigslist has turned into a complete cesspool. I got really lucky with Audrey the first time I tried that. Model Mayhem … maybe I just need to learn my way around. I guess networking would be more effective.

Ideally, I’d like to have a working relationship. So when I get an idea I can ping someone: “Hey, I have an idea I want to try. You free tomorrow?”

And bing bam boom. Photo magic.

This is an age-old issue with the arts, of course. When you want to do your own thing – chase after your ideas – this is how it goes.

But when you get in the groove … it is so worth it.

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