by Chris Fisher
This weekend I decided that it was time to execute a new self-portrait. This project has been on my list of things to do for a few months now, but always seemed to get pushed off. With most of my other projects complete or nearing completion I bit the bullet. Being a photographer it's easy to get used to the photo process from one dimension. We get used to that one-sided nature of the process and forget what it's like to be in front of the camera. The process winds up being challenging, not only because I'm a one-man-band, but because I have to stare down the barrel of my own gun as well.
During the time I've spent working on other things, I thought about just what kind of self-portrait I wanted to create. I knew that the image would live it's life almost entirely on the web as a profile picture for various social media platforms as well as here on my website. Planning for a black and white, I wanted a fairly dramatic lighting setup that would lead the viewer into the image, and bring a high level of contrast.
I hadn't thought a lot about what kind of facial expression or pose that I wanted to use, just that I wanted the look to be camera conscious with a more neutral facial expression. The neutral expression is a mirror—the viewer will see whatever they put into it. Ultimately, 'neutral' came out with a bit of a smile, which is fine by me.
In the end I think that the months of percolation and consideration for the project paid off. A little time devoted on late Sunday morning produced not just a good looking black and white self portrait, but a solid color version as well.
These days everyone needs a good looking headshot—not just photographers. If your current smartphone selfie just isn't cutting it for you anymore, allow me to remedy that.