On Self Portraits…

Shelley-Banks, Self-Portrait, 2013
Self-Portrait, 2013

A friend recently e-mailed about the photograph I’d been using in thumbnail on my blogs. She wondered when it was taken — five years ago, I realized, so time for a refresh.

As I’ve been putting other people through the fun (or annoyance?) of portrait posing, I decided it was also time to start taking pictures of myself.

Self-portraits are an exercise in patience, a meditation on the self, an illustration of the gap between what we’d like to see in the mirror and the face we wake up to.

They are also a way of seeing what’s it’s like on the other side of the camera. And I know which side I prefer. (Hint: I like testing the light, squinting into the viewfinder, planning the shot…)

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Shelley Banks

Writer, editor, photographer.