You'll Love This Download If:
- The selfie phenomenon has you thinking about its artist potential
- You’re interested in how self-portraits have evolved over time
- You love photography but are intimidated by the idea of being in front of the lens
In this download from Print magazine’s August 2013 issue, Tim Davis explores the art of the selfie. While most photographers prefer to take a backseat behind the lens, some have dared to get in front. The self-portrait is more than just a quick snapshot in the mirror; it’s also a form of self-examination that’s still evolving today. Learn how photographers throughout history have shaped this art form.
Inside The Art of Self-Portraits You'll Find:
- Self-portraits throughout history, including the first ever selfie
- Interesting examples of how a self-portrait can make a statement and tell a story
I am a photographer, a calling that almost inevitably summons those who tend to look outward. Most photographers began as kids in car seats (or a cardboard box, according to my mom), pointing out at the world, begging everyone to “look at that, look at this.” We’re seers. Once a seer gets a camera in hand, the ability to wrestle entire works of art from the visual field just by pushing a button becomes intoxicating. I still feel like a kitten stalking a katydid when approaching a subject with a camera. It’s the fine motor control, the physical boldness of being in the world, the effort to summon all my energy into making the entire image feel whole.
It took me 10 years of taking pictures to decide to try a self-portrait. The prospect seemed irresponsible. Why would anyone give up the certainty of decision, the synaptic rigor that allowed, say, Walker Evans to so perfectly frame a roadside row house or Henri Cartier-Bresson to wrangle one of his cycloramic visual puns, just to get in front of the camera? The answer goes back to the very origins of the medium.