Photographing a New Self Portrait: Minimal Basement Setup with Speedlights
I've often heard that one of the hardest tasks in photography is taking a self portrait, and I can certainly understand that sentiment. I've created hundreds of self portraits over the course of my career. Each time, I struggle with depicting who I am versus who I see myself as. It's a tough compromise for anyone, let alone a perfectionist.
As an artist, I've often struggled reviewing my work; I'm easily my hardest critic, sometimes to the detriment of my own productivity. So in an effort to create more, I've challenged myself to taking more self portraits and spend less time obsessing over each one. Finally, I feel like I've created an image I can stand by... at least for now.
I thought it would be fun to show I came to achieve the final image. This is partially to drive myself to talk about it, but also to show that, even with the most meager locations, you can create images that you find beautiful.
Without further ado, here's how I got this photo. I've included a lighting diagram from Sylights below for reference. On camera left, I placed a speedlight (1/2 power) in large rectangular soft box at 45 degrees and above myself. On camera right, I placed a gridded speedlight (1/4 power) behind myself to create a rim light.
The final image was edited in Lightroom with minimal touch up in Photoshop.