18 Stunning Self Portraits - Digital Photography School

18 Stunning Self Portraits

This post is by Anna Gay – creator of our eBook – The Art of Self Portraiture.



by Ali Uher

For thousands of years, artists have used self-portraiture as a means of perfecting their technique. From ancient cavemen, to the classical masters, to Salvador Dali in the 20th century, artists have looked to self-portraiture not only to discover new aspects of their artform, but also as a means of self-discovery.

Today, photographers world-wide are stepping out from behind the camera, and placing themselves in front of the lens. Thanks to photo-sharing websites that display thousands of beautiful and unique self-portraits, many photographers are finding that not only is self-portraiture a wonderful, exhiliarating way to practice composition and lighting – amongst many other skills which are valuable to portrait photographers – it is an honest expression of self, and a way to share their experiences with other photographers.

Each of the photographers whose work is featured in this post has their own unique way of expressing themselves in front of the camera. Some use natural light, while others use studio lighting. Some take a more natural approach to post-processing, whereas others take a more conceptual route. Whether you consider yourself an amatuer, or a full-blown artistic self-portrait photographer, these self-portraits are sure to inspire you to step in front of the lens.



by Lila Limited



by Kelly Kardos



by Brian Day



by Boy_Wonder



by Miguel da Silva



by Bunny Spice



by ICT_Photo



by Zack Ahern



by Misha



by Viva Deva



by Steve Pontbriand



by *iNiNa*



by Zee Anna!



by KatB Photography



by FaceNorth



by sparkleplenty_fotos



by Lucem

Interested in improving your Self Portrait Photography? Check out Anna Gay’s eBook – The Art of Self Portraiture.

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category.

Anna Gay is a portrait photographer based just outside of Atlanta, GA. She is also the author of the dPS ebook The Art Of Self Portraiture

Some older comments

  • Konstantinos

    May 23, 2013 06:10 am

    Here is one of my self portratis :)

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150989045170696&set=a.10150244985400696.476104.517710695&type=3&theater

  • ramel

    May 20, 2013 06:47 pm

    here is my self portrait pic....
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rrifani/8593817167/in/photostream

  • Travis Smith

    May 19, 2013 03:40 am

    I consider an artist to be a person who will create outside the norm. And all 18 stunning photographers did just that. They stunned.

    I have no idea who set the parameters for what should be art. Is not beauty in the eye of the beholder?

    Thank you for presenting these wonderful creative photographers. So motivating!

  • TwistedTool

    May 17, 2013 06:31 pm

    This is my best self-portrait after a year with my camera: http://www.flickr.com/photos/73353780@N04/8080982389/sizes/h/in/set-72157631754583470/

  • Michele

    May 17, 2013 05:14 pm

    Agree with Vic !

    The Cornelius self-portrait is absolutely the best one. Thank you for let me know it.

  • Tom Sheehan

    May 17, 2013 08:21 am

    http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/21120169@N06/8359645911/

    This is a self portrait I took. I liked the light in a hotel room and had to shoot.

  • Tony McCann

    May 17, 2013 02:57 am

    Like many photographers, I am not keen to get in front of the camera. Here are a couple of my self portraits:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tm90/8518855325/in/photostream
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tm90/8443060994/in/photostream

  • Gary Breashears

    May 17, 2013 02:13 am

    I've only taken one, but after taking this one, I'm looking forward to trying more...
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/garybreashears/8546481815/in/photostream

  • Ben Chapman

    May 16, 2013 07:22 am

    All of these are great. I really like the shots by Brian and Steve.
    I'm really drawn to the red deck chair though, it's very striking

  • Wim

    May 13, 2013 11:13 pm

    http://500px.com/photo/33908993

  • Free Lightroom Presets

    May 12, 2013 02:52 pm

    My favorite self portrait out of this group has got to be the one with all the shoes. At first glance it looks like a man standing in a crowd of pigeons .. then you realize they're really shoes .. very cool shot.

  • Jason St. Petersburg Photographer

    May 12, 2013 03:46 am

    Very diverse collection. I like the one with all the shoes in the street, and the macro shot of the person's eye and the butterfly. I wonder how many takes it took to get that self-portrait right with such a shallow DoF!

    I find it hard to make self-portraits, especially when I try and include my dog in the photo too as in this example:

    http://jasoncollinphotography.com/blog/2012/8/6/using-a-collapsible-background-to-make-a-home-photography-st.html

    You can also see my small home studio setup used to make the shot.

  • eduoliveros

    May 7, 2012 08:42 pm

    Hi,
    I'm on my way trying to complete my first photographic project about self portrait "The 52 Self-Portrait Project" #52SPP
    You are invited to take a look into my webpage, blog or fanpage at FB
    - http://www.eduoliveros.es/personal.html
    - http://eduoliveros.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/the-52-self-portrait-project/
    - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.341179139225781.89646.175308889146141&type=3

  • Fergus

    January 2, 2012 09:31 pm

    Brain Day rocks my world. His Time Traveller series is utterly amazing

  • Farzteo

    December 29, 2011 09:49 pm

    Very interesting article, I put one of mine with greetings from Brittany and happy new year in advance !
    http://www.netimago.com/images/bcWSEgl6hTLusF3.jpg

  • haryanti desiana

    December 9, 2011 01:31 am

    diz iz mine but i dont think it was gud shoot.....
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/yanti_desiana/6476813551/

  • Stan

    August 11, 2011 03:04 pm

    https://picasaweb.google.com/114094516477471698263/WindTurbineFavorites#5507259744295478098

    I think this is my best one.

  • Maxx

    June 28, 2011 12:27 pm

    Hi,

    I have also shared some thoughts in

    http://sdigitalphotography.blogspot.com/

    http://sdigitalphotography.blogspot.com/2011/06/portrait-photography-tips.html

    -Thanks
    MaXX

  • Maxx

    June 28, 2011 12:23 pm

    Hi,

    I have also shared some thoughts in
    http://sdigitalphotography.blogspot.com/

    -Thanks
    MaXX

  • bill

    June 10, 2011 04:53 am

    did not like the effort of zack ahern (bit sick really)

  • KSW

    June 3, 2011 04:48 am

    Thanks for sharing and inspiring everyone. All are truly inspiring - and different, unique aspects of self-expression.

  • Hamra

    June 2, 2011 10:57 am

    love your picture....hope to take some thing like that

  • Don

    May 31, 2011 05:49 am

    Great stuff! Here are some of my attempts:

    http://gallery.photo.net/photo/13221712-md.jpg
    http://gallery.photo.net/photo/13013096-md.jpg
    http://gallery.photo.net/photo/13005979-md.jpg
    http://gallery.photo.net/photo/13013092-md.jpg

  • Bonithad

    May 31, 2011 12:15 am

    Wow some of these photos are quite epic...very well done , im not as good as they are but here isMy very first self portrait..tell me what you think!

    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1516006172370.2077271.1000943648#!/photo.php?fbid=1848186836679&set=a.1516006172370.2077271.1000943648&type=1&theater

  • Singapore Wedding Photography

    May 30, 2011 07:28 pm

    Some of the photos seemed pretty dark. Stirring my emotions

  • ilinca

    May 28, 2011 11:51 pm

    Some of these are really quite wonderful...miguel da silva/ bunny spice/ steve pontbriand...and the whole collection is really interesting. I tend to be more drawn to the close-up self-portraits- which is why I welcome even more the entire string with its different approaches.

    Here's a couple of my own self-portraits:
    http://cutimages.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/afraid-to-go-to-war/
    http://cutimages.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/long-in-black/
    http://cutimages.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/on-the-pond/

  • Paul

    May 28, 2011 06:05 am

    Great article and very thought provoking. Self portraits is not something I've given much thought to. Thanks.

  • Adrian

    May 27, 2011 08:20 pm

    These are some very inspirational self portraits!! Especially like Brian Day's one.
    This is my recent attempt at a selfy
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/almostacrayon/5748536603/in/photostream

  • Johnno

    May 27, 2011 05:17 pm

    All of them are fantastic...

  • Zack Ahern

    May 27, 2011 03:20 pm

    Thank you all for your comments, there are some absolutely fantastic photographers featured here and I'm quite humbled to be a part of it. Someone commented wanting to know how some of these were shot or setup so here's a setup shot for mine to help out! Thanks again everyone :)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/zackahern/4673192075/in/set-72157620843360830

  • rd

    May 27, 2011 06:33 am

    I think the best is Steve Pontbriand, I also liked Lucem.

  • Celesta

    May 27, 2011 03:20 am

    A great collection, inspiring.

  • Larry

    May 27, 2011 01:40 am

    So glad that Zach survived his suicide attempt so he could process and watermark his photo then post it here. :-))

    Some of them are truly amazing and inspirational. I especially like photos by Kelly, Boy_Wonder and Miguel - great job, folks! I'm leaning towards trying some self portraits but I'm not there yet.

  • Kelly Kardos

    May 27, 2011 01:24 am

    Anna, thank you so much for including me..can't wit to go get inspired by these other amazing self portrait photographers...
    xo

  • claudio Sagripanti

    May 27, 2011 01:23 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/csph/3340784677/in/set-72157615030980576
    self portrati with my friend Simone on the back

  • Dewan Demmer

    May 26, 2011 11:38 pm

    Great Collection, one day perhaps I may start doing self portraits.

  • Rohan

    May 26, 2011 11:02 pm

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/rohant/5693507771/' title='Simple Fascinations' url='http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5181/5693507771_585b82c08c.jpg']

  • Niki Jones

    May 26, 2011 09:58 pm

    Beautiful stuff. Love the ones with the shoes and the school buses.

  • Elle

    May 26, 2011 05:01 am

    brilliant work Anna! thank you so much for including me along with so many other talented photographers!
    :D

  • Rohan

    May 26, 2011 03:03 am

    Hey guys these are two of me.

    Zacks and Katb their photos are AMAZING!.

  • jack

    May 26, 2011 02:53 am

    Enjoyed looking at these - thanks for posting. What cameras were the photographers using, and is there anything else they can share about how they took the photos?

  • Lyssa

    May 26, 2011 02:05 am

    Wonderful, inspiring collection. Thank you so much for including me.

  • mo

    May 26, 2011 01:31 am

    These are fantastic!

  • matabum, MaP blog

    May 26, 2011 01:31 am

    this is amazing collection, thank you! i checked portfolios of some of these photographers and they're amazing! i will definitely interview some of them on my site! thanks for inspiration.

    here's one of my selfportraits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/matabum/5650929346

  • SJCT

    May 26, 2011 01:04 am

    Great post! My favorites are Brian Day's and Miguel De Silva's, hands down. Amazing work.

  • Vic

    May 26, 2011 12:51 am

    One of my favourite self-portraits is probably the first one ever, by Robert Cornelius: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Cornelius

  • Erik Kerstenbeck

    May 26, 2011 12:51 am

    Hi

    Here is one of my own: http://kerstenbeckphotoart.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/a-photographers-vision/

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