Something about a camera has always felt safe and comfortable to me. I love my camera. I love taking photos. I do not, however, love being in front of the camera. I’ve always struggled with this. Sure, I can be goofy in front of a camera with my friends, but I’ve never been comfortable with posing or even being serious. I find this strange because I have taken so many photographs of so many different people. I know exactly what to tell them to do and yet, my mind goes blank when I step in front.
In most of my self portraits, there is a camera in front of my face. This is almost a comfort zone for me. I feel like it also represents me more accurately. I would much rather be, and usually am, behind a camera instead of posing for it. And if I’m not behind a camera in the self portrait, I’m with either my trumpet or a piano. Both of those are also places I find comfort, however, nothing compares to the sense of “safety” a camera gives me.
Another way I ease the pressure of self portraits in to position the camera to take an indirect picture. This can be done mirrors, shadows, and other techniques of that nature. This way, I’m not staring directly into the camera.