Lets get something straight – I love taking portraits. It’s not that I like it or that I think it’s kind of cool. I LOVE taking portraits. For me, the process is as much fun and as exciting and as beautiful as the result. Just before the session I feel the way I imagine one of those helicopter skiers feels just before being dropped on to the top of the mountain. During the session, my mind is going at what feels like 1000 miles an hour – balancing my own creative ideas and feelings, dealing with practical issues that have to be overcome, tracking the feeling and tempo of the session, Oh and than there’s that whole taking the actual pictures thing.
Taking a self portrait is a different thing altogether. For me, it was a challenge – a challenge I have been putting off for years. When you enjoy the interaction of taking other peoples portraits so much, sitting there by yourself and taking your own picture just seems to suck all the oxygen out of the room. A starker, more vivid difference in feelings is hard to imagine – for me at least.
Given that, why did I see fit to torture myself in this way? Um, because you need to extend yourself. Like that stretch that cats do – that makes you feel like your bones are slightly separating from each other. Stretching and shaking things up – That’s WHY!