Self Portraits: The Ultimate Challenge

I used to always think that one of the greatest perks about being the photographer at an event was that you were behind the camera, not in front of it. I honestly haven’t met very many people who actually enjoy their photograph being taken, even though it might be an enjoyable experience when it’s all said and done. Even most people who are very photogenic and are comfortable with themselves would rather be doing something other than having someone take their picture. I often tell clients in a joking manner to try to lighten the mood “Photographers are like Dentists: Nobody really likes us but all we want is to see your beautiful smile!”

One day I was home alone, bored, raining outside and no models to shoot. So I decided to set up my camera and try shooting myself. Now I’m hooked. With self portraits, you get the best off all worlds. You can be creative with hair, make-up, and costume. You get to learn what it really feels like to “hold that pose!” when it’s oh-so uncomfortable. You understand how to explain to clients “Yes, I know it feels like you’re about to fall over and your legs are burning, but I swear, it’s gonna be an amazing shot!” Not to mention, you will try more things with yourself! You won’t feel crazy asking yourself to do an awkward pose, and if you don’t like the outcome, nobody knows the better!

This is something I’m really hoping to step up going forward: my own self portraits. I live in a rural area and don’t have the finances for hiring a model. Lucky me, I am now a photographer, model, make-up artist, hair stylist, wardrobe coordinator, and editor. I love every minute of it.

Below are a few shots from my last session. I had this idea for a while, and was really wanting to dress differently for it. I was stir crazy and the sun came out for half an hour (this IS Washington State), so the shoot was with my street clothes. I guess this is more the “real” me. 🙂


  1. #1 by Paul "pabloconrad" Conrad on October 14, 2010 - 2:51 pm

    Not bad. Not bad.

    Excellent self portraits.

    I think the best one is with the umbrella.

    Nice work Sierra

    • #2 by Sierra on October 14, 2010 - 5:26 pm

      Thank you! That was the one I intended to get. 🙂 I think I’m going to try it again with a different outfit… this shoot was spur of the moment… I was bored, and the sun came out unexpectedly. lol! You take what you get here in W. Washington!

  2. #3 by David Robbecke on May 28, 2011 - 8:20 am

    I like these photos. Actually I like all your photos! Even the ones of the old banjo player!

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