Sunday, May 20, 2012

Before and After Self-Portrait

I'm participating in a photo-a-day challenge ( and today's challenge was "You". A self-portrait. Ugh. I am much happier behind the lens than in front of it. But, in order to have a passable excuse to procrastinate folding laundry, I endeavored to create a good "selfie".

I put some goopy stuff in my hair to amp up the natural mess into wavey curls and clipped it up in the back. Then I put on full face make-up. Not the eyeliner+powder blush=I-made-an-effort usual. I set up the studio lights in the Clamshell configuration because I learned on a webinar that it is a good method for "glamor" portraits. I put my camera on a tripod, set the 10 second delay on the shutter and proceeded to spend about 20 minutes running from the camera to my posing spot and getting my face into the spot the camera was focused on before the shutter clicked. Over and over and over. I got an aerobic workout, lots of out-of-frame and out-of-focus shots with really lame facial expressions, and a couple that are actually quite nice. Yay!

You know the feeling when you try something that someone told you would work, having doubted you would get said results, and then, "Huh! How about that! It DID work!" -- that feeling? That's how it felt. The right camera settings, the right lights, some hair and make-up, results in a lovely portrait that I don't have to wait five years before I can look at it without gagging.

But take that and massage it ever so subtly with some Photoshop magic, that's a portrait any client would love to buy. (A portrait of them, not me, of course.) Left Brain and Right Brain are both happy today.

Here are two more I liked followed by a collage example of failed attempts. Go ahead, point and laugh. I understand.

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