The art of the self portrait

Have you ever taken a self portrait?

My own self portrait images came out of my lack of models during my studio time. I work in the studio during the day when everyone else is at work, caring for children or doing their own thing. I somehow felt weird asking people to pose for me (although that tune has changed–thank you to the muses who came through) and I simply turned to the one person in the room who was willing to pose: Me.


At least I didn’t give myself any lip in the picture-making process. I didn’t ask her to shave off 10 lbs with Photoshop and I certainly didn’t complain that it was taking too long. I was respectful of the photographer’s creative process.


…especially when it involved suspending awkwardly on a chair (falling off said chair several times), only to be manipulated into a second image for the finished product.


It’s so tempting to want to Photoshop the crud out of one’s own face. I admit there might have been a little “softening” of the fine lines involved, but I tried to keep my face as my face in these artsy portrait projects. Kinda defeats the purpose of keeping track of the aging process if I overdo it, doesn’t it?

Sometimes concepts come in dreams, or morning pages…or as I’m standing there in a bit of a haze in my studio just trying to will the creative muse to show up.


….or sometimes someone I admire and respect gives me a challenge and I create the image to accompany the writing.


It’s all good.

It’s all creatively fulfilling





I know now that I don’t do it nearly enough.

‘Need to work on that.

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I adore looking at self portraits of other photographers. It’s so fascinating to me to see how others portray themselves…how their images speak words about them that they would never be able to say out lout.

Brooke Shaden is my favorite of favorites. She has the perfect combo of dreaminess and photo manipulation magic. She is the master at creating metaphor in images.




All images copyright Brooke Shaden

Wow…I’d love to sit in on her psychoanalysis sessions :)

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Love, love, love Heidi Lender. So funny how just half of her can speak such volumes.


She’s brilliant in her styling and raw and honest in her various photo projects. I love raw and honest more than anything…we need more of that in the art world..we actually need more of that in all parts of life. Spending an afternoon with her on a roadtrip would be the ultimate.

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Sam Taylor-Wood’s  stuff is so pleasing to me.










‘Might be disconcerting to some (the falling in various directions thing), but I love how fluid her imagery is. I think it helps that she’s also a film maker—the movement she incorporates into her imagery is the best part.


 All images copyright Sam Taylor-Wood

Movement that can be learned & perfected and then transferred into into stills is genius.

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Cool tips for shooting your own self portraits are here and here.

Interesting article about Cindy Sherman, a famous (and wild!)  self portrait artist.

Self portrait project of a woman scared to turn 40 who documents the year leading up to her birthday. Why didn’t I think of that?

If you haven’t ever tried a self portrait, I recommend it. Even your iPhone will do the trick. I’d love to see what you come up with!

Happy weekend, Lovelies~



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2 Responses to The art of the self portrait

  1. Elaine says:

    great photos lara…so creative and glad the model cooperated!!!

  2. joyce janes says:

    OMG! How do you do it! They are stunning! You are one talented lady and I can’t wait to be taught by the best in the business!

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