The idea of taking my own portraits scared me at the beginning. Then, I started doing it and found a few things that made me decide that it's a good thing to do.
First, it made me look at me in a good way.
I don't know about you, but when I walked by a mirror I'd go by it as quickly as possible and without looking at my own reflection. If it so happened that I looked, I'd crunch my nose and mumble something like, "I'm fat" or, "I'm ugly." This also happens when I use the phone's front view camera to put on lip gloss. I'd try to look only at my lips. Should I see the rest of my face, I couldn't help but criticize my features. "Oh no, I've got zits," "Yuck, look at my skin," or, "How I wish my ..... would ......" The last one is normally followed by a sigh.
Naturally, as a photo artist, I want the subject of my art to look good. When that subject is me, though - from force of habit - I saw myself with a critical eye. Soon enough, though, that all changed into a positive approach - "Let's see where my good side is," and "Let's bring out my best features." From doing this a few times, I've come to realize that I don't look so bad after all.
Second, I see me as the world sees me.
Really. Do you know what others see when you react to things you like and dislike? I thought that I always had a soft smile on my face, but when I soft-smiled at the camera the person who looked back at me seemed cold, distant, and unapproachable. No wonder I'm not popular, haha! Time for an adjustment!
Third, I get to change what I don't like and keep what I like.
... And I do all that from striking different poses. One outcome after another, I now know what makes me feel good also makes me look good!
Fourth, I connect with myself; and by this, I mean really connect.
It's amazing what a small project does to me. I self-search and redefine who I am at this moment in my life. I find. I accept. I then do what I want with things I don't like or like. True, we change every few years, and for some - every year, or perhaps as often as every six months!
Portraits reflect who we are at the moment in time. One may want to do a portrait shoot every once in a while. I'd say go for it. Every moment is precious, and you want to keep it on record.
Do your own if you have a good eye for taking photos. Even with any decent cell phone camera, you can adjust light and focus and have good portrait photos. If you have a little bit of photo-editing savvy, you can clean it up and add even better quality to your photos.
Hire a professional if you want very good quality portraits. A photo artist will work with you on finding yourself and bringing out your best features. Let her or him handle the artistic and technical parts.
The original photos in this set, "Cordially yours", were taken on my outdated Android phone camera using the front lens, and then they were flipped horizontally to the correct side during processing.