Are self-portraits narcissistic?

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by Senor Hound, May 19, 2008.

  1. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,425
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    La la land...
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I want to do some portraits, yet the only willing model I have is myself. I really have low self-image (I have some issues in that arena of my life, not to get too personal), and I feel very ugly and narcissistic whenever I get in front of the camera. Is this normal? Some people on here post a lot of self-portraits. This seems like a bit much for me to do for myself, cause even if the composition is good, I hate the photo cause I think the model is ugly.

    I posted my one self-portrait, even though I hated it. My strong feelings almost made me not post it.

    Also, does the tone of the self-portrait make it any more or less narcissistic if indeed it is? Most of the time I find my ideas to be somewhat dark and twisted. But I want to make sure that if people know I'm photographing myself, it won't change their opinion of the photo, good or bad.

    Anyway, if anyone could give me some help I'd appreciate it. Also if some of you people who do post self-portraits could tell me how I could learn to become okay with doing so myself, I'd appreciate that alos.
     
  2. Samriel

    Samriel TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Fukuoka, Japan
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I actually never though of it being narcissistic until somebody pointed out to me that it might be, and that I seem to like myself, or at least how I look. I've been thinking since then, but I'm still not sure if it's true.
    For me, photo's are expression of myself as often as they are impressions of the world around me. Being my own model, I rediscovered myself in a new way. The problem is how much of yourself are you willing to let others discover. If you don't want them to see YOU, than just don't make a portrait - make another type of photo where the model is used to convey a message about something else than herself (in this case yourself). If you want to make a portrait, you should be ready to show (or at least see) yourself, sometimes even the parts you dislike.
     
  3. Crosby

    Crosby TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    When you meet a new friend and they say, "Tell me about yourself" do you say 'no'?
    Do the words you use or the experiences you tell sound boastful or humble? Its personality that makes us different.

    Can you tell someone with pictures?

    Does my avatar look narcissistic or does it say what I like to do or explain a little about me?

    It's normal enough I think. I would guess that it shows your personality.

    Everybody is selfish to some degree and want to show off a little. I think the motive of our actions is what counts. What you see is someone showing off, when their intentions were to tell you something about themselves.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. MyaLover

    MyaLover TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Here and There
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Speaking as someone who does a lot of self ports, no I dont think they are! I started out doing them so I could learn about lighting, composition, etc. Now Im doing them because I have an idea and I know exactly how i want it to look but sometimes I have trouble translating that to a model. Also doing self ports, I dont have to worry about whether or not people who hired me are going to like them, but with self ports, if I hate them, no one needs to see them. I also like the aspect that I get to be someone Im not for a little while, or portrayed in a way that I definatly do not think of myself as. As you take more self ports, you learn what works for you and what doesnt work for you. But you also learn your own style and you learn about photography in general. So for those who think they are narcissistic, they fail to see the real reason some people do them. I take a lot of "seductive" or "revealing" self ports because thats not me in real life. Im a "throw my hair in a pony tail, jeans and teeshirt" kinda girl, so its fun to play around. As you take more and moreself ports you become more ok with your body image. if you notice, i dont post many of my modeling shoots that I am hired by others to do. Thats because when I do self ports, im usually trying out new things and would like to get feedback on them. I have learned a lot and am always willingt o share my "secrets". but if I could offer you one now, dont be shy, no one needs to see them if you dont want them too. Try things you wouldnt normally do. Some of my best photos have come from trying new things.
     
  5. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,425
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    La la land...
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I usually tell them they don't want to know about me, and move on to them. I find people are primarily interested in themselves whether they admit it or not. When you shift the conversation back on them, they're more than happy to oblige, even if you haven't said a word about yourself.

    This is why I don't show people my photos in real life unless they ask. I'm sure they don't care about my photo of a hood ornament or a field that I took on my day off, no matter how good or bad the composition is. To think they would is silly. The only photos I show others are of them if I took some of them at an event or something.

    And MyaLover, it sounds like you don't have much of a self-image problem if you're already a model. I think my problems are different than yours in this respect. But I do value your response greatly.
     
  6. MyaLover

    MyaLover TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Here and There
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    No no no.... I am not a model silly! I meant the shoots that I am hired for as a photographer!
     
  7. Crosby

    Crosby TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Why don't people want to know? I'm am very curious about people, that's the fun about meeting people. I think most people are. Give yourself a chance.

    Well, I'm asking...

    You won't know until you show them. Give them a chance to appreciate your work.
     
  8. doobs

    doobs TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Whatever, who cares if it's narcissistic. Do what you want.

    I do self portraits to experiment with gear, lighting setups, and cause nobody wants me to take pictures of them.

    I just hardly publish them or anything.
     
  9. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Messages:
    2,104
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Far beyond the bowels of human existence...Minneso
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    If you want to post a self portrait, go for it. I dont think its narcissistic in my opinion, especially if you want feedback on technical aspects like exposure, focus, contrast, sharpness, as well as artistic aspects like expression, pose, composition, etc. in order to improve your photography skills.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

scared of people who do self portraits