The Art of the (DSLR) Self Portrait

They might call us the selfie generation. First it was flip-phones in bathroom mirrors; now it’s front-facing cameras and selfie sticks.

Every day I see some article about how selfies make us narcissistic, immature, or self-conscious. We are too self-absorbed by taking photos of ourselves and carefully curating those images for our online presence.

My phone’s camera is absolute shit. I rely on my Canon for everything, including selfies. I don’t know whether the time I put into staging each shot- setting manual focus to the right depth, pressing the 10 second timer, getting into position is more or less narcissistic than a quick button tap on my phone. Does enough time put into it make it art, or pathetic?

For me:

Sometimes, selfies are about memory. I traveled alone so much this summer that I usually didn’t have someone who could take a picture for me. I’d set my manual focus, and prop the camera up on the bumper of a truck or the dash of a mini van.



Sometimes, the reflective surfaces around you offer too much of a fun challenge to resist taking a self-portrait


Sometimes, it’s only about preserving who you are in a moment, because our identity and our mood are constantly shifting. It’s about telling a story about yourself in that point of time.

IMG_0940rs IMG_2663rs

Ultimately, there’s an art and process to taking selfies with a DSLR. You have to put in some time and energy to figure out what pose works, because you don’t have immediate feedback. It ends up being some quiet ritual to finding how you want to remember yourself.

I genuinely like seeing all selfies my friends post for that reason. They chose to share something that makes them feel good about themselves, and that’s pretty damn great.


6 thoughts on “The Art of the (DSLR) Self Portrait

  1. Well done compositions. More than just selfies. 🙂

    You may enjoy strata of the self – ” using the broadest possible definition of “self portrait”: regardless of medium, a piece is a self portrait if, by its author, it is considered representative of themselves, or of a part of themselves, and/but also those images where the author considers themself a model. ” Many contributors.


  2. Hello there, one of my blogs is a collaborative project on self portraots; the one mentioned above.
    I wonder if you would give me permission to share some of yours there?
    Credit given and a link back to your blog. 🙂


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