self portrait at 29
After keeping my hair long for a year for performances, I finally decided that I should go back to my favorite short hair. Even though most people have told me that they like my long hair, but I decided that I got to be the first one that likes my hair, and the style I like is short. My hairstylist Yuki did a great job. She remembered exactly what my hair looked like over a year ago. How amazing!
I always take pictures of my new haircut, which is a tradition that started many years ago. I wanted to have records for Yuki if I wanted the same cut in the future. The trouble is this time, I got to take the picture myself with no one around. Since I didn’t have a remote, I couldn’t really use my tripod. So I resorted to my old technique of shooting the image in the mirror. It turned out to be harder than I thought. I’m using an SLR which requires me to focus the lens on my own face in the mirror, and then keeping the shutter button pressed half way, move the lens to a proper shooting position, and then try to look as natural as I can before I shoot the picture. It took a while just to get the coordination right. Most of the pictures were either out of focus (due to low light and not using a tripod) or had my head cropped to the side. Persistence finally paid off. I got a few OK shots with maybe only two in focus after taking around 25 shots.
This reminded me that at one point I thought about posting myself as an online dating profile portrait photographer. I was “inspired” by the many really unattractive photos that would just turn my stomach. This is definitely more a problem for guys than girls. I can imagine guys often don’t have pictures of themselves in general. Many are probably too shy and uncomfortable to ask their friends to help. They have to smile sheepishly at their friends without their friends giving them a hard time. So if you do want to take a self portrait, the whole ordeal is fairly painful due to a number of technical challenges. However, getting good self-portrait is not unachievable. It just takes some practice and experimentation.
Well, maybe the real answer to this self-portrait problem is not learning to take a self portrait. The real solution is a mirror that takes pictures.