Self Portrait Loathing

I could say, with a straight face, that part of what got me into photography was the fact that I hate having my picture taken. I do. I'm just not a fan. If you're the guy with the camera, then well, it's pretty easy to make sure you don't end up on the wrong side of the lens. This year though, and I hate to call it a resolution, I decided that this year I'd be doing more portrait work. More of a focus. I went so far as to refer to 2011 as Year of the Portrait. I alluded to this in January, but I guess—almost a full quarter of the way through the year—I'm actually calling it. I'm looking to do more portrait work. I've taken pictures of lots of stuff. But the ones that I keep coming back to are the ones of people. I'm not looking to go down the path of Olan Mills. No carpeted ramps for babies to pose on against "that" background. And you know the one I'm talking about. For me, I'm looking to take shots of people out in the world. Either theirs or mine. It doesn't matter. The average human body will regenerate most of its cells every 7–10 years. You're a fundamentally different person every decade—I want to remember who these people were, because in one way or another they'll be gone.

Of course, I also came to the conclusion that I should, go ahead and get it started with the dreaded self-portrait. The horribly contrived, over thought exercise of purposefully crawling out in front of the decidedly wrong side of the lens. Being something I dreaded doing it was easy for Things to come up. There were delays.

First the easy decision to wait until the move. A new house (with tall ceilings so you can get the lights as high as you want). A new focus should start in a new place. But once you're in the house, there's all that unpacking to do. And all that work that needs to be done. But then, the last day of the March is approaching. Something you meant to do in January. And then, certainly, no later than February. And it's the final bit of March circling the drain. It's sounding more and more like a resolution.

You've got to get right.

Yesterday was going to be a work at home day and be there for contractor questions. I hadn't shaved. It'd been a long week. And still the obstacles came. I couldn't find my light stands and umbrellas. That's fine. I can improvise. Yet to replace my main speedlite, I used one that is likely eligible for Smithsonian adoption. It didn't want to play well with the radio remotes. I'll improvise. Again. I navigated all the ready excuses and ended up with this.

It's me. In a way that's not trying to be clever by hiding behind a camera in the reflection of an old Buick's hubcap. It's just me, a bit tired and unshaven. On a Wednesday.

Winter Coat

Winter Coat

I need to find some other victims. Subjects rather. Perhaps doing another one of these exercises at the end of the year after focusing on portraits and see how things change. We'll see.