How did you first get into self-portrait work?
I first got into doing self-portraits when I had A client that needed some headshots done. I wanted to test out the lighting and needed someone to stand in. But I was in the studio by myself, so I stepped in to be my own lighting tester.
What is the motivation behind your self-portrait work?
The big motivation for me comes from needing to take a step back from taking photos for other people, being told what to shoot and being under deadlines. The self-portraits have given me an opportunity to take a little control for myself and do something a little weird and completely different.
There’s also the thrill of doing something way, way outside one’s comfort zone. Then skirting the lines of what’s acceptable and pushing those boundaries in a creative way.
Where do you find your inspiration for your photos?
A lot of what I find inspiration in is the simple acts of living life. Trying to see something from a unique point of view. But I definitely find inspiration from other photographers, especially those who do a lot of self portraits. For me a lot of the interest is how do I get different shots with no one to assist me. It’s a lot of fun setting up a remote camera and just playing with lighting, exposure and the composition.
Please tell us your secret, how you take your self-portraits. Including what equipment you use.
The big secret is just getting creative with what you have available to you.
As far as my equipment, I use..iPhone 12 ProCanon 1Dx mkiii Canon 16-35 f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8Lensbaby double glass and plastic lens’Gaff tapeTripodPocket Wizards.
I use the iPhone for more selfies and random stuff that I’m just playing around with. More like documenting whatever it is I’m doing. I also use my Apple Watch as a trigger for the iPhone so I can walk away and be able to preview what the image will look like and then just shoot without having to go back and forth. Or tape my phone to the ceiling or in the shower for a different perspective.
When I use an actual camera it’s more self portraits. I have an idea of what I’m wanting to shoot. Setting something up and shooting with intent. Using the pocket wizards as trigger/receiver I’m able to focus on taking photos and not running back and forth. Lens choice is all based on what location I have to work in or a specific look I’m going for.
I have heard that women are sent unwanted advances for posting self-portraits online. Have you had any?
I’ve not had any unwanted advances with anyone telling me how or what to post. But I know what you’re talking about. I think it’s a problem that goes deeper into life where men feel the need to tell women what to do or to mansplane something to women. Just stop guys!! It’s not our place to tell someone who‘s just trying to explore the creative process what to do! If she wants your advice, she’ll ask you for it!!
If you could arrange your perfect location for a self-portrait shoot, where would it be and why?
I’d love to do a more risqué shoot in the middle of one if the little alley off of a square you see in so many European cities. The ones you see with the old stone road ways and shops on either side. I’ve done photoshoots on location in Germany with other people at places like that, but a self portrait series would have been really cool there.
Outside of that, I love walking into new places and just winging it. Going in with no plan and letting the area I’m in dictate what I do.
So what is your normal day job (If you don’t mind me asking)
Not at all.. I’m a photographer.
What advice/guidance would you give your fellow man looking to get started in self-portrait photography?
Avoid the dick pic!!! Yes, the male anatomy is going to be seen if you do nudes, and hell, you can even do some pretty cool and creative dick pics. But as a whole, try to take a different approach. There’s a lot of “sexy” things you can do that leave things to the imagination. Beyond that, it’s the same advice I’d give anyone getting into photography. Learn how to use your camera. Shoot in manual mode so you have more control over what you want the viewer to see. Play with the exposure, aperture and with your lighting (ambient or artificial). Once you understand that, the rest of it’s all about creating something beautiful and unique. A lot of times the best results are just a byproduct of you enjoying the creative process. And always think quality over quantity.
What do you like to get up to when not in front of the camera?
Well, mostly I get behind the camera for work. Haha. But I also rock climb pretty regularly, cycling, hiking and camping is always fun.
Do you have any goals that you want to achieve in the next 2 years?
Over the next 2 years I really just want to keep on doing weird photos that let me explore the creative side and to keep having fun with self portraits.