When Olivia Gatwood shared a self-portrait while in self-quarantine, little did she know that it would go viral on Instagram and become the beginning of a photo series. “I posted a self-portrait in quarantine a few days ago & about a dozen girls sent me their own versions — black and white photos of themselves in their bedrooms, kitchen, backyard,” shared the writer.
“So I posted yesterday asking girls to send me their self-portraits. What I thought would be 50 photos to turn into a collage, ended up being 500. So I made an Instagram (account). The goal of @girlsofisolation is to curate the self-documentation of girls around the world in their isolation spaces,” she added. Now, thousands of girls from across the world are submitting their self-portraits to Olivia.
Even celebrities are photographing themselves. From Twilight to The Batman, Robert Pattinson has come a long way. He turned cover star for GQ’s June/July issue and clicked a beautiful collection of self-portraits for the magazine. Naomi Campbell and Sobhita Dhulipala also clicked their own photos in recent times.
So what’s different about self-portraits? They are realistic and even leave you feeling empowered. And while you’re at home, why not get to know yourself better by photographing yourself? “Self-portraits are empowering and a good way to express yourself. You become the art and artist. Their beauty lies in making them look natural and candid,” says Kaleem Shaik, a fine art and fashion photographer known for his self-portraits.
“Self-portraits are a great way to express yourself when you have limited resources and limited space. I click them quite often, especially with mirror as I like to experiment with reflections,” adds photographer Vamshi Bhasham.
“The best way to click self-portraits is to do it in front of a window where you have ample amount of light on you. Set the camera on a tripod, and set the self-timer or control with a remote, making sure you’re in focus,” he suggests.
Kaleem had even started a ‘Self-portrait Challenge’ on Instagram asking people to share photos of them having their morning coffee/tea. “If you don’t own a DSLR, you can even use mobile camera. Adobe Lightroom and After Light are some editing apps you can download,” adds Kaleem, who is conducting a workshop on self-portraits on instagram.com/_kaleemshaik_.
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