Creative Self-Portraits

As a photographer, I am rarely happy with photos of myself. I prefer to be behind the camera rather than in front of it. Perhaps that is a natural response.

So now that we are in the age of the selfie, I have to wonder if I’m alone in my feeling about having photos of myself? It seems that everywhere I go, people are doing selfies.

Not only are they doing selfies everywhere, but it would also appear that they don’t leave the house without thinking about being in front of a camera.

Is this Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame spinning out of control? And all for the sake of showing the world how fashionable you are on Instagram. Am I missing the point? Very likely.

Self Portrait in Soho
Double Me, New York City, August 2016

I on the other hand, have quite a few self-portraits that are either shadows or reflections. I especially like abstract self-portraits. It is possible that the viewer may not even be aware that the photo is of me.

If you are aware of a good reason for all these selfies that are going on everywhere, please do enlighten me. In the meantime I will label it narcissism.

Thoughts on Creating

Embracing chance leads to happy accidents.

Repetition leads to style and then boredom. Boredom leads to experimentation.

The process begins as clumsy missteps and moves into something akin to dance.

Brooklyn Museum Abstract Photography
It Was Never Yours, New York City, August 2019

I call myself a backward painter. Unlearning grammar. Skirting the edges.

Curiosity as currency and camera as paint brush.

A Backwards Painter

When I was about 12 years old, I took art classes from a well known art school. We were required to draw from a human skeleton in many different mediums.

It was a style of learning that was alien to me. I was completely uninspired and didn’t complete the classes. I thought that I must not have any artistic talent as a result.

It took me many years to realize that I just didn’t fit in to more traditional styles of art and that photography is one of my mediums of creative expression.

Multiple exposure photography in New York City
Cuddling, New York City, June 2014

So I call myself a backward painter. I rely on that which physically exists in front of me and my camera. It is always a combination of how I feel and see things on a given day.

It isn’t so much about thinking or having a preconceived notion about what I will create. Rather it is about observing that which is taking place around me.

This is true of both my abstract and street photography. They are a reflection of how and what I see in the world around of me.