Self Portrait

Creative Workshop 1.

Self portrait

“Pre-visualise and produce a self portrait ( using only available light) unrestricted in theme and technique yet still supplying a message to the viewer. You should spendtime first understanding what it is you wish to convey before then looking at the composition and mechanics of the image and finally production.”

(Assignment brief)

What do I wish to convey?:

I want to look into insecurities and how people over think. Their lack of confidence becomes them, and they look at them selves with self doubt. I want to display my own insecurities. When I was first given this brief I hated the idea of it, as I don’t enjoy being the other side of the camera. I feel I belong behind the camera and not in front. I want to cover myself up and make myself unrecognisable as I don’t want others looking at a photograph of me. When I look at photographs of myself I scan them over and only see what I am unhappy with. I see all the bad bits in the photograph and not my attractive features. I feel thast everyone does this, everyone wants to hide their insecurities.

My first Idea:

I want to take a self portrait of me looking into the mirror. I imagine the image being taken from behind me, so that I can get both my body and reflection in the frame. I remember seeing eating disorder adverts where the girl sees something different in the mirror to what she actually looks like.


I wanted to touch on this, but to demonstrate that I am not comfortable in my body and that I see all the faults that others don’t. I then came across this image below and decided that I wanted to physically manipulate my body. I came up with the idea of possibly using a morph suit and balloons underneath to show my illusion of myself I see.

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 19.56.37

However this idea didn’t work as well as I wished, as I came across a few issues in production. Firstly I couldn’t get hold of a nude tights suit, so had already fallen back upon the morph suit idea. The morph suit was red and opaque meaning that it wouldn’t work as well as the nude transparent outfit as this appeared more like a new skin. Secondly I struggled finding a large enough room with a full body mirror in that I could get the right angle on for the shot. With all these problems coming up I decided to change my idea and possibly come back to this one at a later date.

New idea:

I wish to look at the idea that people want to cover up their insecurities. This sparked off an idea of masking the face. I felt more comfortable in front of the camera if I hid my face behind my hands.

Research and inspiration:

Building security through insecurity…

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 15.05.24 Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 15.04.48

‘        “Building Security Through Insecurity.” That’s the tagline of photographer Steve Rosenfield‘s “What I Be Project.” Each portrait in the ongoing series is one in which the subject uses some text to reveal the issues and insecurities that he or she struggles with.      ‘


Self portraits by Lex Wilson…

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 15.04.35 Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 15.04.20

The idea of masking ourselves. Covering our face with our hands or shaping ourselves a completely new face.


The lines before plastic surgery and physically constructing a new face, people wishing to be insecurity free…

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 15.03.59

Insecurity and a new face to an extreme level that leads to plastic surgery.


The idea of drawing facial features onto the hands…

by Rachael Cameron (click to see link)

by Rachael Cameron (click to see link)

Hiding the face with our hands…

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 15.03.45

Can we hide from our insecurities?

It was this question that finally gave me my conclusive idea..

I wanted to show the idea of hiding my insecurities with my hands, however can we really create a false confidence by doing so? I wanted to illustrate the idea of masking my insecurities whilst actually highlighting them. Instead of writing the insecurities I have of myself (Steve Rosenfield) I wish to draw them on and highlight them to the viewer. I hope that by highlighting my insecurities and showing them at an extreme that others will realise that their insecurities aren’t as bad as we make them out to ourselves. In fact, most of the time they are unseen by others, and it is only our lack of confidence that is seen.

Final Image:

by Jenny Stonely

by Jenny Stonely


One thought on “Self Portrait

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