What is it about self portraits that is so therapeutic?
I have been feeling a bit low this winter, it could be the SAD, it could be just the cold air outside, but I have not been feeling confident enough to get back on my self portrait train until just recently. All I needed was to say to myself, "okay, time to take a break. Grab the camera and put it on timer, see what happens". I didn't plan anything, it was just a brief moment for me to break away and do something purely for myself. I think that's why it works - it's not about planning grand shoots and hiring assistants and make up artists. It's just two minutes of your day where you feel like saying something, a brief visual entry of your life.
I did not really know what I want, I just wanted to remind myself that I am still positive, I am looking forward to what tomorrow brings, and I have not forgotten to look after myself. It's kind of like taking a hot bath and putting a face mask on - you don't do it everyday but it is a bit of self love and therapy. There is no judge or anyone else to please but yourself, and the picture certainly doesn't need to be 'perfect'. It's just a small fragment of you and your thoughts.
For me there are two types of self portraits that I do - the creative ones where I just want to play around and create something interesting and the moody ones. The moody ones are the ones where I may feel down, I may feel stressed or anxious, I may feel like the whole world is against me and most of the time it's just negative thoughts in my head. And, doing self portraits for me is one way of clearing those thoughts. I would certainly recommend any photographer to try self portraits because it can be your way of keeping in touch with your feelings. You don't need to look a certain way or produce images a certain style, just do it what feels right at that moment. There is no right or wrong. In fact, there is no wrong because whatever you create that reflects how you feel is ALWAYS right. Nobody can question your feelings.
So, let those feelings out.
Just recently I also did a Q&A about all things on self portraits. I can talk for days when it comes to this topic but here are my answers and musings: