a shadow of myself

The self-portrait.  Turning the camera to focus on the photographer.  Perhaps retaining some mystique of the person behind the lens or perhaps being brutally honest, revealing a political or personal agenda.  Whatever the approach there is a fine balance to maintaining the vision but not capturing something forced and staid.  So many photographers attempt a self-portrait at some point, and those that I love have an element of ingenuity and duplicity about them.  Take for example Lee Friedlander; in many of his photographs his image is subtly hinted at using his shadow or reflection:
In stark contrast is the autobiographical work of Nan Goldin; following an assault from her lover she took numerous candid shots illustrating her injuries.  This image from 1984 is titled “Nan one month after being battered”:
So the first decision to make involved my message – was there a political statement I wanted to convey?  Did I have a story or event I wished to present?  Did I want to make my image easily recognisable or did I simply wish to include a vague notion of my own presence in my self-portrait?  
I knew I would prefer an image of myself which is vague; a mere representation.  It could be vanity or just a love of the abstract I don’t know, but it gave me a direction to start from.  I tried photographing my breakfast (toast with a bite taken out of it) but the results were uninspiring so I realised I would have to be more involved than that.  I started with the simplest idea as the sun was shining and captured my shadow.  A combination of various layers to insulate me from the cold & a biting strong wind meant the result is a rather rushed image showing a lumpy, ill-defined figure.  
Alexa jean shadow
I perservered (inside) and played with the natural light in the window:
Alexa Jean_2 
I’m sure I’ll try this again in the future as I’m not happy with the final images I have to take to class on Wednesday.  I’d like to create something far more theatrical – maybe not as extensive and detailed as a Cindy Sherman piece but a more constructed scene to demonstrate an alternate persona.  I’d love to work on this outside with sunlight so maybe when (if?) the rain stops and spring turns to summer I can take a closer look at my self.
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