Why do self portraits, you ask?

Self Portrait, Michael Willems

We do self-portraits first because we are there. After all, I am my most available and most patient and most understanding subject, all at once. I can try a portrait 100 times until I am completely happy.

There are, however, other reasons to do “selfies”, too:

  • I am not critical (“that makes me look fat!”)
  • I know the importance of making photos to document my life. I am always telling my clients to please have photos made: today is yesterday’s “those were the days”, and I believe that thoroughly.
  • I know my thoughts, so photographer and subject are always on the same wavelength.
  • I keep in practice.
  • And probably most importantly: I do not always want portraits that make me look great. Like yesterday’s “unhappy” photo. Or today’s, which I just took, where I am showing extra contrast in the skin tones. So I emphasize wrinkles. So? God knows I earned them!

I made the above self portrait this afternoon, in my bright living room:

The camera, on a tripod, was set to f/8, 1/125 sec, 100 ISO (that is why the photo is dark even though the room is bright), with the flash set to 1/4 power (that is why the subject is bright). Like yesterday. Including the 1/8″ Honl Photo grid on the flash.

I am on a roll, and will do some more. But first, one of these:

Enjoy your weekend, everyone! Happy 4th of July to my American friends, and Shabbat Shalom to my Jewish friends.


4 thoughts on “Because…

  1. Hi Michael,

    Well that is interesting… I thought “Cool, let’s do some respectable selfies tonight like those!”. But no no no, Mr Flash somehow does not cooperate! I cleared my flash settings, have fresh batteries for the flash, using the remote controller, my pop up flash controls my remote flash (like we did before during the workshop)… but the flash doesn’t fire. The flash emits light when the pilot button is pressed… so I have no clue what I am doing.

    Hmmm. I love problem solving and I’m stubborn!!! 🙂


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