Pictures of You: Importance of Self Portraits

a portrait of an artist produced or created by that artist.


“Roll your shoulders back. Lift your chin just a tad bit. Tilt your head a little. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Release. Smile.”…is what I usually tell my clients when taking a portrait of them. I had to remember all of that when I stepped into the world of self portraits yesterday.

As many photographers tend to, I dreaded being in front of the camera. My comfort zone is looking through a lens. But I learned the importance of a self-portrait recently: Self-portraits engage with your potential clients, and it displays your character and style to your viewers. We all know how important expressing character is.sp004

Self-portraits also display a photographer’s confidence, which leads to trust. Therefore, if you’re confident enough in your own work, you’ll be confident enough to take a portrait of yourself. And, believe me, your clients will sense that.

As portrait photographers, self-portraits also help in developing our directional skills.

Peter Hurley  said it best, “That’s what a photographer’s job is; You have to be the mirror.”

When I sat on the chair with the lights facing me, I heard my own voice directing my clients. My first thought was, “This is what they must feel like”. So I now have a better understanding of what and how my client is feeling. This includes the very common urge to view the image immediately after the photo is captured. I paid attention to my every “flaw”.sp008 I learned that my “good side” was not as good on a DSLR camera as it is on my phone when I take selfies (self-portrait is NOT a selfie – but this is a topic for a future blog).

So, if you haven’t explored self-portraits yet, my advice to you today is to please do so. Play with different lights and light temperatures. Pose differently. Be creative!


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