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On Selfportraits & behind the scenes

The photographs in this blog are selfportraits. What I use now is a secondhand Canon 1000D, a recent addition of a 50 mm/f1.8 lens and a tripod, aided by Madam Mannequin. Before I used my phone perked on top of wobbly steps. Why? It started out of practicality; there is simply no one around I can pester to take my photographs. My dear husband is not someone who take pictures at all; he is one of the few people I know who doesn't care about photo's but more about memories. I am usually the one taking photographs on holidays and festivities etc, I'm hardly ever in them. Which suited me fine. Years have gone by without any proper photographs being taken of me.

I have always considered myself gruesomely un-photogenic. I found that besides horrible (I am as vain as the next person) fascinating. I have a mild obsession with portraits (think of authors at the back of books or pictures next to interviews in papers and magazines) Those people look so normal. How do they pull that of? What is their secret?

When I look in the mirror I think I look alright. Then I take a photo and I think: 'is THAT me?' Being very un-photogenic is something I have suffered under. I was often ashamed of my appearance in photographs. I decided to tackle this matter by taking the photographing in my own hands. And I have learned a lot since then. I realize now that it is a tragic misunderstanding to fret about how you look (or in my case come across on photographs as I am fine with my reflection in the mirror) Even perfect women often hate their looks and punish themselves for it. Slowly my photographs are getting better and I am becoming more relaxed in front of a camera.


The population density in the Netherlands is 404 people per km2. Rotterdam is a big city and on some days I encounter all 404 persons on the few square meters I'm photographing.... This 'country' lane was the backdrop for 'Quilted Ivory Kimono Jacket'. I was lucky to have a whole hour uninterrupted when suddenly this group appeared.

Recently I added a remote control to my photography gear. I had some trouble operating it at first as you can see. I found out later that I needed to pull out the little antennae of the remote completely. Plus is was bitter cold that morning, you can see me shivering!
Then there is the issue of showing the remote control in pictures. I've tried to hide it but soon thought I'd might as well show it.
self portrait photography

Sometimes getting the focus right can be tricky or downright hit & miss. Here my bicycle was in focus, not me:

 I think I am smiling but it appears I am squinting my eyes (again) Maybe this causes one of the differences between real life Irmin and photographed Irmin? 

Madam Mannequin is a great help to choose the right frame. She is not in focus yet, yes I saw that too!

In the reflection of a window: standing on the roof terrace of my house, looking into my study.


self portrait photography

My trusted canon 1000D with snappy camera belt.

Making self portraits is a difficult business. When I think I have everything covered there is still a tiny thing wrong, like a streetlight sticking out of my head. And I can't keep my face normal, I always seem to scrunch it up.
self portrait photography

Behind the scenes of Glitzy Bomber Jacket: My youngest got quite muddy collecting bits of ice. To her absolute dismay Madam Mannequin is carted around in a shopping trolley. She was in a right strop anyway that day because she kept on falling in the mud. Too much wind for her light frame. In the background you can see an airplane descending. This is very close to the Rotterdam The Hague Airport.

Photographing for Styling an oversized Studio Jux jumper:

When Madam Mannequin is in focus I quickly take of my coat en step into the frame..... Most of the pictures came out blurred. What happened was that I lost the focus the moment I pressed the shutterbutton (I put the camera on 10 s. delayed action shutter). I found out how to use the back button focus (separate the focus function from the shutter button) and that helped things a great deal.

self portrait photography

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