self portraits

February Self-portrait Behind the Scenes by Emily Margaret

Hey guys! Earlier this week I blogged my self-portrait for the month of February. This one was really fun to shoot and I took a few behind the scenes type shots to give you a look into the process. (Click here to see the finished portrait.)

February Behind The Scenes | Emily Margaret

As I wrote in my last post, I was going for a warm, soft, and dreamy-esque look in this portrait so I shot it in the late afternoon close to golden hour. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted the finished photo to look like, but getting the angle of the camera right took a couple tries. I wanted the light to come from behind me but still have the mirror frame in the shot, so I angled the camera where it was shooting over my shoulder into the mirror (so technically it was a mirror selfie, haha).

February Behind the Scenes | Emily Margaret

I used manual focus to get the soft out-of-focus look, because auto-focus would have been too sharp for what I wanted. With my camera on a tripod, I used my remote shutter in one hand while I sprayed the hairspray with the other, being very careful to not spray towards my camera. No hairspray on my lens, please!

And here's the final image! For you shutter bugs, here are my settings: f/2.0, 1/60 shutter, and ISO 125.

February Behind the Scenes | Emily Margaret

What do you think? Would you like me to include behind-the-scenes shots with my future self-portraits?

February Self-portrait | personal photography project by Emily Margaret

{This is the second portrait in my ongoing photography project, the Self-Portrait Series, where I create a portrait for each month of 2015.}

February Self-portrait | Emily Margaret

February's portrait was taken on Valentine's Day afternoon when I was getting ready to go out to dinner with my family and some friends. I had recently watched the movie Divergent again and one of the opening scenes, where Tris' mother is cutting her hair, has really pretty warm colors and soft lighting.  It's one of my favorite parts of the movie and gave me some inspiration for this month's photo. (And yes, the image is out of focus but I did that on purpose to get a more soft and dreamy look.) I'm sure my sister thought I was nuts, setting up my tripod in the bathroom, but hey the things we do for art, right? 

Check back later this week for some behind-the-scenes of this portrait!

The Self-Portrait Series | Personal Project by Emily Margaret

At the start of this year I had been thinking about starting an on-going photography project. Of course, I had several ideas, but picking just one to start? That's a hard call.

January Self portrait | Emily Margaret

One afternoon in late January I was experimenting with my new tripod and remote shutter (thanks mom & dad!), when I had the idea to do a self-portrait series. As a photographer, I'm most comfortable behind the camera and feel absolutely ridiculous taking photos of myself. So what better than to do a self-portrait project? *insert sarcasm*

Really though, I've read countless articles on personal projects and the self-portrait series has been touted as an excellent way to challenge yourself creatively in a completely different way. When you're in front of the camera instead of behind it when you hit the shutter, you have to pre-set up the shot, which is much more difficult that it seems at first. So throughout this year, I'm going to shoot one portrait for each month and I'll write a bit about how it came about, how I set it up, etc etc.

This image was shot in my room against a blank white wall, with late afternoon light coming in from two windows-one in the front and one to my right. I used my 50mm f/1.8 lens and my camera settings were f/1.8, 1/60 shutter, without flash. It took several tries to get my focus set where I wanted it on the necklace I was wearing. Setting the focus on auto resulted in the focus in the wrong place, so I set it to manual, took a shot, and then adjusted until I got it where I wanted it. Post-processing was done in Lightroom 5, where I converted to b&w, bumped up the exposure and contrast, clipped the blacks for a matte effect, and added a radial filter to increase the vignette. I thought about keeping it in color, but the vibe I wanted from it came through better in b&w.

What do you think? Have you ever done a self-portrait project?