The joys of being your own canvas

IMG_2068-eA lot of times, artists look to use others to help them make things happen when they have a grand idea. But the best canvas can be yourself.

I remember attending the Blogging While Brown conference last year in New York City, and Necole Kane said she got where she is now by using her skills on herself. She initially found it difficult (like many of us journos fresh out of college) to get full-time jobs working for other companies, so she started a blog to utilize her skills and brand herself. After proving that she could establish her own strong brand with her own skills, she knew she would have no problem doing the same for others.

If you can do it well for yourself, you can do it even better for someone else.

The ideal goal is to perform work for others and build clientele, but sometimes you have to build rapport with yourself.

Lately, as a photographer, it hasn’t been that easy to recruit someone to work with, and I have been sooo anxious to shoot. To solve that problem, I became my own model. (You can view the photos at the bottom of this post.)

Being your own canvas can be a challenge, but it comes with great benefits:

  • Forced to be creative. It may get boring working with yourself all the time, but it forces you to be creative, which is always a good thing! Don’t wait for “subjects” to come around. You’ll lose your stamina doing that.
  • Trial-and-error.¬†You can mess up without making someone angry lol. Take advantage of trying new things on yourself, so when you finally get to work on others, you’ll be less likely to make mistakes.
  • Peace of mind. You don’t have to wait on anyone, and no one’s telling you what to do or what to change. You have the freedom to do whatever you want to do!

Let me know what you think about my shoot, and I’d love to hear about your experiences using yourself as a canvas!

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I shot these in a living room at around 7 p.m. Lighting is usually best at the first and last hours of the day, so I used natural lighting from two windows. One was right in front of me, and one was diagonally in front of me to my right. I made sure to position the blinds in a direction where the light was aiming directly at me. I also had an umbrella light stand handy to fill in any shadows on my face. It was placed to the right, so that’s why in most of the photos, you see me facing to my right.

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I shot these in a garage. I utilized my off-camera flash because the lighting was really dim in there and it was dark outside, so I no longer had natural lighting to work with. Usually when it’s dark, people crank the ISO up a bit, but I kept mine at a minimum because I was using flash and photos usually come out grainier the higher the ISO.

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I used one light for these shots (my umbrella light stand). I ceased to use the flash because I wanted to capture an intimate mood. I kept the ISO at a low here too.

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