I'm a little over a month into my one-year self-portrait project, now. I've gotten to the point where I'm getting bored of just standing or sitting in the environment around me. A few days ago I felt like I was struggling to come up with ideas. But this evening, while watching an online photography course, I had a small epiphany. I'm not sure why this course helped me see this, because it is not related to self-portraits at all. What I've realized is that I'm not running out of ideas, I've simply used up all the easy ideas. All the non-scary ideas that are within my comfort zone. Which basically encompasses going off into the woods by myself, setting up the camera, and taking a few shots as quickly as possible.
I had a friend who did a 365 Self Portrait project back when they were all the rage on Flickr. He lives in Victoria, BC. I loved seeing his photos every day because he went all over his city and took photos in front of cool walls, or buildings, or vistas. It was not just interesting portraits, he did a fascinating tour of his city as well. I wish I could show you his work, but he seems to have left Facebook, and I can't find any of his photos online anymore. The only thing I could track down was his art books on Blurb, which are awesome and you should totally check them out.
So, I'm not out of ideas. I'm just scared. What am I scared of?
Well, people, really...
I'm scared that people will think I'm weird if I wander around town, setting up my camera and taking self-portraits.
I'm scared that people will ask me to leave, or call the cops on me, or *horror of horrors* TALK to me!
I'm mildly scared that someone will, drive over or run off with my camera or something.
Well... here's a few things, Briana.
If people think you're just a little bit strange they're probably going to AVOID talking to you if at all possible.
If they do talk to you, there is a 50-50 chance they're either going to ask you to leave, or they're really cool and fascinated by what you're doing.
Talking to people doesn't actually hurt, by the way. Talking is not necessarily a catching infection.
Don't be stupid and get so far from your gear that you can't save it from either of those small problems.
There are times when no one else is about in town: Early mornings, and mid-morning on long weekends, as well as the mid-morning or the mid-afternoon when most people are in their offices.
Ok... So quit being a wimp, Briana. Drag my butt out of bed early just 2 days a week. It doesn't even have to be that early, like 7. And go get some better self-portraits. And maybe, after a few weekends of practice, I'll start to be a little braver.