It's Week #1: Self Portrait

red-bird-blank-sign see the album

 Well here we are, the very first challenge of 2017!! Selfies! Self Portrait!

This is honestly my favorite challenge of the year!

Firstly, it’s an opportunity for all of us “Framers” to introduce ourselves (also a good idea to write a quick introductory text as your photo description!)

But more than that, it’s an opportunity to let go. 52Frames is very much a place of vulnerability. You’re crafting together a creative piece of work (and you only have 7 days to do it…aaahh!), and then you are showcasing it to the world.

Well, I personally believe that creativity lies in this space of vulnerability. In order to achieve full creative self-expression, I believe one must surrender themselves to this vulnerable process.  Let yourself go.

Create a photo that truly exemplifies your essence. Too ambitious? Why not at least give it a try? Don’t go for safe. Don’t shoot your “good side”, or make sure your hair is perfect. Go nude. Shoot super close up. Shoot yourself doing something crazy in public. Or maybe exhausted, pumping milk at 11pm, gently bathed in the refrigerator light. Capture your essence, the way you feel, not the way you feel you should be seen.

#THIS IS NOT A SELFIE!! In fact, this is the opposite of a selfie. A selfie is a relatively thoughtless shot, solely meant to boost one’s ego. A Self Portrait should be crafted, in order to communicate one’s essence.

What’s your essence?

PS – to those just joining us, please don’t take my anti-selfie rant as a knock on phone cameras. Here at 52Frames we encourage creativity, through whatever medium you can get your hands on, and people have taken fascinating photos with their mobile phones. If that’s what you’re shooting with, more power to you, just shoot with intention!

Tips and Tuts for this week:

  • Tell your story. What makes you you? Incorporate some of the things that define who you are into your photograph, let the world see who you are!
  • Go for the non-obvious. Shoot from a unique angle, change your perspective.
  • Know your equipment! Check out this handy dandy article with great tips for taking an awesome self-portrait.
  • Need some more visual inspiration? Check out this awesome “selfie” project, or these neat examples for some seriously cool self-portrait ideas.
  • Be a model. You have the most patient and willing model at your disposal, and that is you! What would you want to do if you had a model that would do anything you tell them to? Now go do it!

Looking for more inspiration? Check out “Self Portrait” from 2014, 2015, and 2016! And of course, The Googles! Oh you sweet Googles.

Extra Credit: “Face Your Fear

For some extra credit joojoo, think of the first thing that you would NOT want to do, and then use that as your submission. Take a nude portrait (you don’t have to actually show anything nude!), take a portrait with a stranger, try a lighting or style of processing that you have been too scared or have felt too under-qualified to try. Be vulnerable.

Check out The Googles for more inspiration!!


Remember, it is not necessary to keep this Extra Credit challenge in mind while shooting. It’s extra credit!

*Please note!! You can only submit ONE photo per week, for the week’s challenge. This photo can include the “Extra Credit” part of the challenge, or the “regular” challenge, but you can never submit more than one photo!

Past Challenges - 2015