Let’s Shoot Some Self-Portraits! {Photography Education, Life Prints Portrait Design}

Posted on March 11, 2011. Filed under: Articles, Education | Tags: , , |

Yesterday, I wrote about how important it is for photographers to have a picture of themselves on their website.  I mentioned finding another photographer to do a photo session swap with, and then today I had another idea.  I’d like to take this one a bit further though.

Have you ever done a self portrait of yourself?  I have.  I’ve done them when I need to test lighting and I’ve even done one when I didn’t have anybody else to do it for me and needed an image for my website.  It’s been a while since I’ve done that, but it was fun and garnered some interesting images for me.  So I thought I’d throw a little challenge out there.  I want everyone, whether you’re a photographer or not, to do some self portraits.  I don’t care if it’s a picture taken at arms length from your point & shoot camera or a fully staged studio shot.  Just get out there and start snapping away

Why would you want to do this?  First, it’s fun… really.  Are you goofy, fun, outgoing?  Then try to capture that in some creative way.  Are you shy, introverted and this sounds painful to you… especially when I tell you that I want you to post it online?  That’s okay.  Break out of your comfort zone a little bit and see what you can come up with.  Let’s see shy little ol’ you.  Here’s a picture I did of myself a few years ago when I was testing how to use a hair light in my makeshift home studio…

(I think this was before I learned to pluck my eyebrows!)

Here’s what we’re going to do… for the next week I want everyone to start working on your self portrait.  Then next Friday (March 18th, 2011)  I want everyone to post one of their images over on our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/lifeprints).  We’re going to have a contest and give away some prizes ( I don’t know what they are yet because I just thought of this, doh!)  But we’ll have some fun with it.  I think we’ll do different categories.  How about these:  most original, most professional, goofiest, best lighting and best smile?  I’ll announce what the prizes will be next week and then once you’ve posted your self portrait, we’ll use likes to vote.  You’ll only be able to receive one vote from a person (we’ll double check usernames) and whoever wins with the most votes in each categoy will receive a prize.  This is going to be fun!

So start thinking about ideas for your self portrait.  Tomorrow, I’m going to post on ways to come up with ideas.  Feel free to chime in if you have any great ideas now that you’d like me to include.

Alrighty then!  The ideas I come up with at one o’clock in the morning.  Yipee!!!!!

Can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with  🙂

Lora

P.S.  If you have a website or blog and you post a comment here, make sure you put a link to your site so that you can get some incoming links going!  It doesn’t have to be obnoxious, just finish the comment with your name and put the link under that.  No problema mis amigos!

 

And don’t forget to come visit our main site… http://www.lifeprintsportrait.com

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A Picture On Your Page {Photographers Education, Life Prints Portrait Design}

Posted on March 9, 2011. Filed under: Articles, Education, For Photographers | Tags: , , , , |

I was inspired yesterday by a fellow blogger/photographers post regarding going in front of the lens to have her own portrait done.  So I thought I’d share a little pet peeve of mine that I talk about in my workshops for photographers.

Why don’t photographers put a picture of themselves on their own website?  Seriously!

We who are people photographers are dependant on people valuing… photography.  We ask them to hire us and pay us money to take their pictures.  We want them to buy prints from us to display in their homes, offices, purses and wallets.  It is implied by the very nature of our jobs as photographers that we value the power of pictures.  So what does it say to a potential client who goes to your website, looks on your about or bio page and finds no picture of the photographer?

What they find instead is a bunch a text about the photographer or the studio.  They may even see a picture… of somebody the photographer has photographed.  Cute as that person and their adorable little kid is, it’s still not the photographer.

I don’t get it.  I really don’t.  Okay, I understand all of the “reasons” we can come up with to not get this done… “I don’t have anybody to take MY picture”, “I’m a photographer.  I’m more comfortable behind the camera instead of in front of it”, “I’m trying to lose weight first”… really?

So here’s the two reasons I think it is really, really important for photographers to have their own picture on their website:

  1. We believe in photography.  We don’t just love taking pictures, we understand why pictures are important for people in their lives.  Because of that, we lead by example and show potential clients what we want them to do.
  2. A picture is worth a thousand words… literally.  You can have all the text in the world on your bio page but if you put your picture on there, you let potential clients get to know you.  They are going to take that first step towards feeling like they know you. As portrait and wedding photographers, an important part of our success is building relationships with clients and potential clients.  They need to trust us and they start that process with the information they get about us… and a picture tells them a whole bunch about who this person is on this anonymous website they’ve just navigated to.
  3. We need to understand how our clients feel in front of the camera.  We’re no more perfect than they are in terms of how we feel about ourselves and they need to see us putting ourselves out there like we are asking them to do.  That way, you can honestly say you know how they feel when it comes time to overcoming objections to why now isn’t a good time to get their pictures done.

So there you have it!  Photographers, go find a photographer friend to do your business portrait for you.  If you don’t have a photographer friend, go find one.  Look up some photographers in your area and call or email them and propose a portrait session swap to do each others portraits.  Don’t wait until you’re the perfect weight or feel great about your hair, skin, smile, nose, butt, thighs… whatever!  It will never be the perfect time….

I take that back.  NOW is the perfect time… go get it done and let your personality shine through!!

P.S.  If you’re in the Portland, Oregon area I am going to be doing a workshop on business basics for photographers and one of the things we’re going to do is business portraits for each other!  I’ll be putting some info on here soon about the dates for the workshops.

Take care everyone!

Lora                                  

    Lora Phillippi_photographer_portland oregon

Childrens photography_portland oregonCome visit us at www.lifeprintsportrait.com

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    Musings of an eternal optimist on all things photographic, business and well… life in general

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