The true method of knowledge is TO

experiment

WILLIAM BLAKE

MYSELF
A PORTRAIT OF

A PORTRAIT OF MYSELF

A FREE PROJECT TO HELP THOSE
FACING MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES

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EXPERIMENT AND HAVE FUN

What do crisps, chocolate chip cookies, cornflakes and ‘the slinky’ all have in common? I added that last one so you couldn’t say food.

One of the great things I like about photography is that gives me a creative outlet and allows me to experiment with what I would like to achieve. Sometimes I am able to work out how to do what I had in mind. There are other times though, through experimenting, that I came across something that is actually better than what I originally had in mind. 

The main thing to remember as you are taking your portraits is you are not going to get the photograph that you have in mind first time. It will take time and practice. This though is a great time to have fun experimenting and trying out different things. You never know you might end up with a photograph that is better than you imagined.

Oh, and the common thing that crisps, chocolate cookies, cornflakes and ‘the slinky’ have in common. They were all created by mistake.

You've got to experiment to figure out what works.

Andrew Weil

EXPERIMENT

When you start taking your portrait it is the perfect time to experiment. Before you start make sure that you have enough time to try out different things. Don’t go into this stage giving yourself just enough time for one shot, allow yourself an hour or two. You may even want to spread this stage over a few days. 

If you have a location in mind try visiting that location on different days and at different times. Pick a day when it is sunny or a day when it is cloudy. If you are indoors try the light coming from different directions or taking your portrait in different rooms. Try putting your camera at different angles, closer or further away.

Experiment with different backgrounds, different locations or different poses.

It may be hard but don’t check your camera after every shot. Leave it until you have taken a few shots and then check to make sure you are getting the focus right. Have a look at the lighting for your portrait and make any adjustments and then go back and start taking photographs again. The great thing about digital photography is that you are not limited by the number of photographs that you can get out of a roll of film so keep going.

Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won’t work.

Thomas Edison

ERRABILITY

This may be a word that you don’t know. If you don’t know it, don’t panic because I think it is a word that I have made up. The word is a combination of ERROR and ABILITY. Put simply it is the ability to make errors.

Knowing that you are able to make errors is a key factor. Most people will be afraid of making mistakes, we hate the feeling of getting something wrong. Mistakes though are an important part of learning. The strength or our character comes from not giving in and being able to learn from each mistake. Each error that we make takes us one step closer to where we are going, or not.

An error may be just what we need to take us off of the path that we thought was meant for us and to find the adventure that waits when we find a new route to follow.

While creating your portraits expect to make mistakes along the way. Look at each mistake so that you can either find a way to correct it, or more importantly use it.

MY PHOTOGRAPHY on the blog