Posts tagged self portrait photography
Self Portraits in My Studio

A few years ago I did a 100 Day Self Portrait project.  I made the commitment to plan, produce, shoot and edit one self portrait a day.  I would say that project pushed me into an entirely different realm of photography and art.  

Periodically I enjoy revisiting this novelty of the "self portrait".  Here's a few from a recent self portrait shoot I did in my studio in Durham, N.C.

Best Self Portrait Photography - Durham, NC

This past week I took a break from other folks and turned the camera on myself with another self portrait photo shoot.

I shot these at 930am-1030am and positioned my screen to create the interesting angle of the sunlight coming through the window.  Honestly I didn't plan this.  It just happened.  

Shot with 50mm lens at 1.2 .  Edited with VSCO FILM 06. Mostly Porta. 

Please leave a comment below on which one is your favorite!

My Biggest Struggle with Photography and Lesson Learned

We all have struggles.  We all wish things were different sometimes.  

The thing that makes us special is our passion to connect with others.  The goal with all of my portraits is to somehow connect human beings.  

Here's the problem though.

I use photography to disconnect myself from others sometimes.  It's very easy to be the "the guy with the camera" and not have to talk to anyone.  I often use photography to create a barrier between myself and social situations.   As someone who continually struggles to keep my emotions "under control" this is difficult especially as a photographer. 

This is my biggest struggle with photography. 

The interesting thing is that since I have been shooting more portraits of people, my ability to connect to others has increased.  I am able to talk to others with less anxiety.  I can give an authentic smile to someone and I can leave a shoot with a sense of fullness having met my goal of not only connecting other humans, but also connecting myself. 


LESSON LEARNED: Sometimes the thing we are scared of the most is actually the thing we need the most. 


100 Days of Self Portraits and the Lessons I Learned
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For the past one hundred days I have shot/edited/posted one self-portrait every day. I'm not done by any means. In fact, I'm actually going to be doing 365 of them.  I will be taking the month of August off to reflect and regroup though.

So I wanted to share three lessons that I've learned over the past 100 days:

LESSON 1.  Not everybody likes my style and that's okay.

When I began this self-portrait project I knew that everyone was going to love all of my photos.  Wrong.

After I came to the realization that this was a ridiculous notion (which took about a month) I began to see a change in my work. This change was very welcome because it liberated me to make photographs that were specifically my style and not what other people wanted my style to be.


LESSON 2.  I can ALWAYS become a better photographer.

I walked into my good friend Riley Maclean's studio in Durham, North Carolina (www.rileymaclean.com) just after I finished my first 30 days of self-portraits.  I was excited to get his reaction on my project and my work.  His reaction surprised me and caught me off guard. "You've gotta step up your game " he said.  Riley's words have run through my mind almost every day since then. It was a challenge to push myself to get better every day and to take better photographs every time I shoot.


LESSON 3. Think less. Do more.

For most of my life I've been a pretty creative guy. I've had at least what I felt like to be really wonderful and original ideas.  The only problem is I've never done anything about it.  I have wasted my energy on thinking about game changing projects that are eccentric and complex.  "it also turns out that 'doing stuff' counts a hellvua a lot more than 'thinking about doing stuff' ". Chase Jarvis (www.chasejarvis.com) said this during an interview with Dan Schwabel at Forbes.com where he was talking about some of the lessons he has learned. Find it here.  This quote was actually the catalyst that caused me to do this project and has challenged me to shoot more photos and to stop worrying so much. 

You can follow my journey through my 365 day self-portrait project at: 

www.markmayaphoto.com 

www.Facebook.com/Markmayaphotography 

www.instagram.com/Markmayaphoto

www.Twitter.com/Markmayaphoto

Here is the first hundred days of my 365 day self-portrait project. Cheers!