Class and Portfolio Review: The Modern Day Self Portrait


To celebrate "Self Portrait Day" (May 1st) (, we will be doing a Self Portrait mini-class and photography review.

You can participate NOW by uploading your personal Modern Self-Portrait to this HPW Photo Album today (

Free Stuff!

This event is sponsored by Bare Naked Beauty Products (, a leading supplier of Eco-friendly cleaning products. Each person who attends this class receives a free trial size bottle of glass cleaner.

Self Portraits Class

Self Portraiture has always provided a way to excercise artistic skills. But more importantly, it provides the opportunity to leap into the next modern form of artistic expression.

And just like artists of the past, MODERN photographers and artists are capturing their lives using modern techniques.

The Modern Self Portrait

Self Portraits give you the opportunity to practice new, more modern techniques without needing to have a model.

Self portraits also allow you to create large bodies of "throw-away" work, photographs that are great practice, but provide no practical long term value.

Often, we take self portraits that we would NEVER **(or should never)** share with other people.

Modern Self Portraits are also not limited to large, expensive cameras. A point-and-shoot or camera phone can take great self-portraits under the right situations.

Self Portrait Class

We will focus on two main subjects: Creating a Self Portrait and Critiquing someone else's self portrait. This includes how to set up a great self-portrait environment, how to take the picture, key hints-tips for a great portrait posing, and how to "critique" the portrait of others.

Critiquing a Self Portrait:

Appropriate terminology for describing the self portrait ("Great use of leading lines.", "Amazingly accurate rule of thirds.", "Love the way you direct the eye to your subject", etc).

We will also discuss how to measure your "Degrees Of Separation" to guide you in a non-confrontational critique.

Critiquing a co-worker's self-portrait:
"What a pretty dress for your special occasion! Contrags!" - Appropriate
"Wear that to work sometime, I have a pencil to drop!" - Inappropriate

Your parent's self-portrait:
"You look great mom!" - Appropriate
"OMG dress your age and stay out of my closet, I'm so sure." - Inappropriate

A mother-in-laws photo:
[private email:] "Hey, think you have a wardrobe malfunction! :((" - Appropriate
[public comment:] "EPIC NIP SLIP!!!!" - Inappropriate

An old high school BFF/BF/GF:
"You have some really pretty wallpaper." - Appropriate
"OMG girl you let yourself go. Eat much?" - Inappropriate

Your Brother-in-Law's photo:
"You look great, Bill, those glasses look great on you!" - Appropriate
"So glad Dave is only your half-brother, it would be super icky if he got that bald." - Inappropriate

Your cousin's photo:
"What a cute dress, you haven't aged a day since we moved away!" - Appropriate
"Wow, can't wait to see you at the family reunion, you should wear that little dress for me." - Inappropriate

A friend-of-a-friend's photo:
"Nice pic." - Appropriate
"I'd hit that." - Inappropriate

A bosses photo:
"Wow, looks like you guys had a great time last night!" - Appropriate
"Well, now we know why you came in blurry eyed and been cranky all day." - Inappropriate

Critiquing your 12-year-old Niece's photo:
"You're looking great, you're getting so big!" - Appropriate
"Gurl you're looking hot, they're getting so big!" - Inappropriate

How to Create Great Self Portraits

The class will discuss how to make great Self Portraits by using example photos. Upload your personal Self-Portrait to this HPW Photo Album today (

Self portraits are an interesting way to express yourself artistically. For example, you can photograph yourself next to an expensive car, but crop out the dealership signs. If you are photographing yourself inside your car, you can enhance the appearance availability by not having a child seat in the shot. And if you are concerned about your weight, crop in to just a head shot.

Here are some examples of Modern Day Self Portraits

Before taking your Self Portrait, making sure your work area is prepared (free bottle of window cleaner provided)

Preparing yourself mentally for your Modern-Day Artistic Self Portrait, what face expression do you want to capture? EXPERIMENT!!

If you plan to post your Modern Self Portrait on-line or use it for a profile picture, make sure you DRESS TO IMPRESS!!

Use your Modern-Day Artistic Self Portrait to show off your hobbies or interests.

Removing unwanted distractions from your area such as unneeded props, sprays, cans, hygine products, people, etc.

Don't show more than you need to in your Modern-Day Artistic Self Portrait; focus on your BEST assets!

Make sure your best assets are in full view, hide areas of distraction. Practice your posing and cropping techniques!

Modern-Day Artistic Self Portrait always gain interest when you have multiple people. Experiment with your friends and family -- and strangers.

Experiment with the latest technology, use Self Portraits to learn your photography gear!

Don't Underestimate the usefulness of PROPS!!

Experiment with Unusual Poses

Go easy on the photoshop unless you really know what you're doing.