Jeannie Thiessen’s Approach To Creating Stunning Self PortraitsPosted by Katrina Kennedy on Nov 8, 2013 in Blog, Photography | 37 comments
If you’ve ever contemplated taking a self portrait you know the worry, stress, and hesitation it can create. Each month the 365 Photo List includes a self portrait prompt as a challenge for us to overcome those worries.
Creative Team Member Jeannie Thiessen has taken on the self portrait challenge with complete energy and amazing creativity. Each month I look forward to seeing her photo post to the gallery. Through the last eleven months she’s created an amazing collection of photos.
Jeannie shared with me some of her process and what she’s learned in that process.
Me: Jeannie, you take stunning self portrait with such creativity and great technical quality. How do you get such great shots?
Jeannie: I always use a tripod. I have learned a great trick that makes my tripod a must.
- I decide where I will be standing.
- I place something on the ground to mark the spot.
- I set up my tripod.
- I take my camera back to my spot which is marked and use auto focus. I focus on the tripod.
- Then put it on manual focus and return my camera to the tripod. Now the distance for focus is set.
- I set the 10 sec timer or I use my wireless remote and take the shot.
Me: What a brilliant technique! I love that you move the camera to get the focus distance. So creative! What else have you learned in your eleven months of taking self portraits?
Jeannie: I’ve learned to be much more comfortable in front of the camera. I also have learned to be less critical of myself and the features which I don’t love.
Taking self portraits actually gives me a great deal of control over what I want in a photo and what I don’t want in it. We are all beautiful.
Me: You are right. We are all beautiful. That’s such an amazing benefit of taking thoughtful, self portraits. What’s your best advice for someone who wants to give self portraits a try?
Jeannie: My best advice is to start by taking a self portrait of a part of you or a feature that you love. We all have something we must like about ourselves. Try to focus on that to start to help you to be more comfortable in front of the camera. It’s amazing how much less conscious you become about your flaws as you practice self portraiture. It actually can be fun and creative. After practicing self portraiture for almost a year I can say that I have decided to love myself more and worry less about what people think of me.
It’s become very freeing.
Me: Wow! You are truly an inspiration. I have loved watching how your photos sometimes include your face, sometimes they are just your hands or feet. I can see how working in small parts helped you to gain the confidence to include more of you in a photo. I love when you include your beautiful smile!
Here is just a taste of Jeannie’s beautiful work. You can see more in her CY365 Gallery