We are so excited to welcome Maryanne Gobble, the First Place Winner of our March 2012 “Beautiful B&W” Photo Challenge! Her winning image was an incredibly creative self portrait that was absolutely stunning! We invited her to share more about taking beautiful self portraits in a series of photography tutorials on I Heart Faces this month. This is the first of a 3-part series. You can read the other parts here:
In 1839 Robert Cornelius took what is considered the first human portrait photographed in history. Did I mention it was a two minute long self portrait? Oh how far we’ve come and how much easier the job at hand. There is an allure, a challenge, and a value to self portraiture. It can also be intimidating, cumbersome, and just plain awkward at first. But a little awkward never hurt anybody. Let me lay out a five fantastic reasons why I think artists should give self portraiture a try. Come on now, it’s for your own good!
1. Capture Memories
With your face in them. Using the tools I’ll outline in the next week’s segment, you will see how easy it is to capture natural photos of yourself with your loved ones. Once I hid the camera near a sunny window during story time. All the while I was reaching under my leg periodically pressing a remote shutter release. Other times I choose a more staged approach. It’s a little work but I want to be part of my families’ visual memories.
2. Create Art
Not every self portrait has to be traditional portraiture. You can shoot fashion, conceptual, abstract… Anything really. One of my favorite things is placing myself in a landscape to create perspective. I’m in the photo, but is it really about me?
3. Creative Control
Anytime, anywhere, anyhow. That’s how I roll. And that’s when things start getting creative. You can’t use the excuse of not having a model or not wanting to ask someone to wake up at 4 am. Powder yourself in flour, roll in the mud, jump in the ocean baby, because you’re in control. There is nothing stopping you but yourself!
4. Advance Your Photography Skills
With photography you never stop learning. At this point in my life I have an unpredictable schedule, making it hard to plan structured photo shoots. I get so much more photo time in if I supplement my in-between moments with self portraiture. I try to use my time wisely. Make a point to step outside the box and try new things.
5. Self Discovery
I have learned so much about myself and my artistic style recently. Once you start making yourself vulnerable and putting yourself out there something happens. Making a self portrait will free you as a person and an artist. I challenge you to give it a try!
Maryanne Gobble is a fine art photographer located in Redding, CA. Not only does she heart faces, but also waterfalls, redwoods, the Pacific Ocean and Sasquatch. You can browse her portfolio or follow her on Facebook if you heart these things also.
Stay tuned during the month of April as Maryanne comes back to teach us more about the art of self portraiture.