Self Portrait: Canvas

One must practice one’s craft. Self portraits may be the best way to learn how to photograph people. It’s also a great way to let off steam when subjects are scarce.

Models can be canvases.

Models, I realized, aside from being photogenic people who can project attitude and emotion and throw shapes, are canvases. For this concept I needed a human form and skin for an experiment with “tattoos”. Tattoos were too hard to design on my own so I got a “tribal” design from Adobe’s stock photos.

I don’t like pictures of myself for the most part. I’m not entirely unathletic but I am overweight. Stout. Just turned 44 yesterday, which is to say I don’t have the  burnished complexion of a twenty-something. It took a lot of shots to come up with something that’s not embarrassing and there’s a reason why these photos are from the chest up. The Dad Bod trend didn’t last long enough. Can’t wait ’til I’m buff again.

I did a lot of skin smoothing and editing — a lot — in Lightroom and Photoshop. (The tattoo is photoshopped, although I’d like to do some artful body painting or henna someday.)

A good photographer will capture you at your best if you can relax a little bit just long enough to let out the real you. Just for a moment, however brief. Other than that, it’s all about light and shadow, form and space.

  • Two Alien Bee 1600s
  • Using the kit metal cone thing and grid for the rim light. I still haven’t managed to get that rim light sliver I was looking for.
  • One 24″ Fotodiox Octabox (with a 36″ grid because I’m a doof and ordered the wrong size)
  • Phottix Odin remote trigger
  • Lastolite 5′ x 7′ black/white reversible collapsible backdrop

I can’t decide which ones I like better: color or black and white.



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