What is the difference between a self-portrait and a selfie? Dictionary definitions aside, I think a selfie is All About Me whereas a self-portrait focuses much on the viewer. Think about most selfies you see, they’re not all bad. I always have room in my feed for a friends healthy pick-me-up showing off her new ‘do or his perfect beard. And the funny, goofy selfies always make my day. But does the selfie taker want you to be inspired by her new hair color or moved by his beard? Probably not. We love to give our friends compliments and we love to receive them as well. In my mind, a self-portrait is of course about the photographer, but also about what they want the viewer to think and feel. A good self-portrait should generate an emotion, any emotion. I’m usually asked what I want viewers to feel when they see my self-portraits. My response is to get caught in a moment, laugh at the ridiculous things in life and go back to exploring like you did when you were a kid.
With those things in mind, I was very excited and honored to be among the talented artists featured at the current exhibition Self Portraits, not #Selfies at Panopticon Gallery It’s there until March 8th so don’t miss it!
Photographers that I have admired for years are in the show, work you may have seen without knowing who the artist was. They are: my former teacher and master of self-portraiture Stephen Sheffield, Alicia Savage, (I had her work on my pinterest board forever, it was like meeting a celebrity), Alexa Torre (check out her body of work Humanizing. Trust me.), Bill Franson, (who once showed me the incredible app Massive Dev Chart, a must have in the homemade darkroom), Agnieszka Sosnowska, whose intimate self-portraits gave me the courage to try it myself, my fellow classmates from nesop Laura Knapp and Cori DiPietro, one of the best TAs Greg Norstrom, Orianna Reardon who has been part of the Impossible Project and Meredith Abenaim whose self-portrait is the face of the show.
Comment below on what you think makes a good self-portrait!