3 Myths About Self-Portraits That Are Holding You Back
I’m always encouraging others to jump in front of the camera and participate in some self-portraiture. Over time, I’ve come to hear the same protests echoed back to me as to why people don’t participate in this photography exercise.
So today I’m going to bust these three myths wide open and share why you should be stepping in front of the lens yourself.
1. People will think you’re vain
In my experience, people’s reactions to my self-portraiture has been quite the opposite. I’ve been called brave and courageous for putting myself out there, especially because I share my self-portraits in public (on Instagram and my blog).
Here’s the thing: self-portraiture is extremely vulnerable. Taking a selfie with your iPhone is one thing, but posing in front of an often unforgiving DSLR seems to up the ante. Add in all the extra factors (setting up the tripod, adjusting your settings, nailing focus, etc.) and the process is one to be respected.
So when others see you stepping up to that challenge, it’s often inspiring. I’ve received nothing but thanks from other photogs for inspiring them to step up to the challenge as well. So remove yourself from that mindset that others will think you’re vain and step in front of the camera. You never know who you’ll inspire.
2. You’ll nail every shot
If there’s NOTHING else you learn from me regarding self-portraiture, please make sure you absorb this: EVERY SHOT WILL NOT BE A KEEPER.
On average, I keep about 10% of the shots I take during a self-portrait session. YES, 10%. And that’s probably me being generous. There will be shots where you look awkward or feel like you look ugly… and that’s okay. That’s a part of the process.
You might be mortified by those shots in the beginning of your journey, but the more you do self-portraiture the more you come to accept those as a part of the process but truly accept those shots you absolutely NAIL as the true you that others see.
The unflattering ones where you look constipated and cross-eyed are just anomalies. But the ones where you’re glowing and you’re smizing and you look gorgeous? THAT’S you.
3. You have to be super self-confident to take self-portraits
FALSE! If anything, self-portraiture has helped me to build my self-confidence. Through self-portraiture, I’ve become more accepting of my flaws. I’ve also realized that things about myself that jump out at me don’t even register with others half of the time.
Even now, I wouldn’t consider myself the most confident person in the world. Not by far. But when I step in front of my camera, alone, I feel brave. And that makes me feel beautiful. And it reads as uber confidence. And as you continue to “fake it til you make it” with your confidence, eventually you will become more confident through the process. Try it and see.
I hope me debunking these 3 popular self portrait myths helps you overcome some of your doubts regarding self portraiture and jump in front of the lens yourself. If you have any questions about self portraiture, feel free to drop them below!