In Defense of Self Portraits

I can say that I’ve been a hold-the-camera-at-arm’s-length-and-snap-a-photo kind of gal before the “digital-age”. A selfie hipster as it were. I was taking them when you still had to put actual film in your camera and you had to pay for the entire roll regardless of the outcome.

Vintage Plaid Sarah

For years and years, I would only take this style of photo of myself, my family and friends. It was something we did, always. And some of the results were pretty hilarious (read: hideous), but I love them, every single one. And I love them, because you gotta be close to take pictures like that.

And I like self portraits for the same reason.

When you remove the other people and things, and get up close and personal with yourself, you learn to appreciate and you learn to love. And that, is super important.

I believe the extraordinary is in the ordinary: a smile, a look, or a laugh. All of these things that we do, hundreds of times a day – they’re worth remembering. They’re interesting. My moments, and yours. I love seeing the moments people choose to preserve; I love seeing how people choose to capture themselves. I want to see that version of beautiful.

Why would you wait for someone else to capture you? Is it more authentic? Are those photos more worthy of being shared? More valuable? Yeah, no. Fuck that.

It’s your life; choose your moments.

End rant.

Rogue Bath Toy

Someone actually asked me for some tips on how to take self-portraits, so what follows are my ridiculous attempt at best practices. Just know, I don’t fancy myself a photographer, just a girl with a camera who wants to document my life.

1) Take a lot of photos;
2) Experiment with lighting, angles, camera settings, filters, make-up, hair and your face parts;
3) Edit.
4) Repeat steps one and two;
5) Post the good ones (and keep some terrible ones for a laugh).

The Android apps I use: Instagram, Pixlr Express, and Camera ZOOM FX.

If you want to see someone that takes killer pictures (including adorable self-portraits), click on over and visit my friend Jamie, she wrote a rad post on phone photography that people pin the shit out of.


8 Responses to “In Defense of Self Portraits”

  1. Miranda July 23, 2013 at 5:40 am #

    I’m Miranda and I’m a selfie-aholic. It started when I was pregnant with Joshua and spent half the pregnancy feeling like I looked terrible/fat/swollen/pregnant/insert negative something here. And then one day I was just like Nope. No more. And so from then on when I felt like I looked good, I snapped a photo. And now I snap them when I’m feeling however I’m feeling.

    Team Selfie.

    • Sarah Sinfield July 23, 2013 at 7:53 am #

      Exactly! I started taking all the pictures shortly after Attia was born because there were a multitude of photos taken where I thought, “I can do this better.”

      And because I’m on Team Selfie, I was able to take tonnes of touristy photos in London without being super obvious or relying on the photography skills of strangers!

  2. Cameron July 23, 2013 at 5:45 am #

    OMG that bathtub one of you is raaaaaaaaaaaad. Super rad. Loooove it! And you. xoxo

    • Sarah Sinfield July 23, 2013 at 7:43 am #

      Thanks Cam, it’s one of my favourites! Love you too.

  3. the grumbles July 23, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    I just posted a whole slog of gorgeous camping photos…. in which I never appear. Sad! But… But… no one can hold the camera quite like I do. I need longer arms.

    • Sarah Sinfield July 24, 2013 at 8:45 am #

      I loved your camping photos. Frog + Jude = my favourite. And man, Ohio! I never knew you were so pretty.

  4. Mary July 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    I too need longer arms! Sarah, I love your self portraits and all the pictures of you & Attia. I am so excited to be reading your posts again. I missed them.

    • Sarah Sinfield July 24, 2013 at 8:47 am #

      Thanks Mama. Here’s hoping the silent streak is done for a few weeks…