Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ode to the Self-Portrait

Don't ask me why I choose to torture myself and take my own maternity photos, aka "belly shots" - no not the kind that involve jello - but I do, and I am at it again.

Something about being a photographer lures me into thinking that I can take just as good of photos of myself as anyone else can. Ego, coupled with frugality, has taken me down the self-portrait path yet again. I have to admit though, by sheer luck, my maternity photos with my first pregnancy turned out really well, so I have convinced myself that I can do it again. Here's a shot from the first time around:

My first pregnancy at 35 weeks
with our dog. 
There were a couple of aspects of this photo shoot that were a gamble. First, I was in our bathroom with very little space to do much of anything and secondly, I was using film, pretty much making educated guesses on my camera settings and hoping like heck that the photos turned out!  

Much to my chagrin, they turned out better than I had expected.

Photo Tips:

Search your house high and low, near and wide for good light. At the time, we had a large frosted-glass window in our bathroom and I waited for the afternoon sun to filter through it to take the photos. That's the tip part, the luck part is that because of the lighting situation, it ended up blacking out the shower door, which believe it or not, is directly behind me.  

Invest in a tri-pod for this very reason. I would also recommend getting a small, what I am going to refer to as "counter-top", tri-pod. I see these in most all electronic departments and most come with flexible legs so that you can manipulate them in order to get just the right angle for your shot. 

Most cameras come with a self-timer, and that's all that I used here. On higher-end cameras you can also add a shutter-release. This eliminates the need for you to push the button and run like a mad woman, position yourself just right and hope you get there before your time is up!  (The latter can be quite comical and I have a family "portrait" that illustrates this perfectly - although, I don't know if it qualifies as a portrait when one member of the family is only half-way in the photo.)

I'm not done with my photos yet, but here is what I like the best so far with this pregnancy:

Silhouette at 28 weeks.

For a little bit of inspiration, I googled maternity photos and then added them to my Pinterest account to keep track of them. Check them out!

As you may be able to tell by now, I am a do-it-myself kind of girl. I throughly enjoy the creative process of having an idea, in this case inspiration for a photo, and seeing it through to the end. The process is very satisfying. 

I do run into frustration with this approach to life and there are times when I really need to just hand the reigns over to someone who knows what they are doing. 

To illustrate this quandry, I have an upcoming post that involves a tangled mess of yarn, a crochet hook and a not-so-happy hooker - no not that kind - that makes this point perfectly! 

In the meantime, be creative however you see fit, even if you're the only one who appreciates the outcome!

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