Anna Gay's Picks for Self Portrait Challenge #1: PROPS

Anna Gay’s Picks for Self Portrait Challenge #1: PROPS

This post is part of dPS’s Self Portrait Challenge – learn more about what it is, how you can be involved and how you can get a free gift for participating here.

Let me start by saying that I am so thrilled by the number of entries for this challenge. I can tell that all of you are going to make it very tough for me this week in choosing my picks! I am also really happy to see that this was the first time many of you had taken a self-portrait, and equally thrilled that this encouraged you to participate in your first dPS challenge!

With that said, here are my picks for the Props Challenge, in no particular order:

Steve Pontbriand

Steve uses several props here – the mirror (for some very neat reflections), his camera, and a brush. There is also an arm holding the brush, which I suppose we can count as a prop, as well. All of the props add up to make this photo mysterious with a dash of surreal humor. Well done, Steve!


Lyssa takes props to a whole new level by enlisting the help of her bunny. I love how she is looking at the bunny, and the bunny is looking off in the distance, so all sorts of focal points are created. Your pets can be a really great addition to your self-portraits because they will help you relax and have fun. I hope the bunny got a tasty treat for this awesome photo!


This image really struck me because Ray not only chose to photograph himself with the trumpet, but while he was actually playing the trumpet. This is a great action shot, and really makes us feel “in the moment.” The depth of field is very effective – the way the trumpet is out of focus, but we can see his look of concentration. Congrats on your first challenge entry, Ray!

Again, all of you did such a great job! I was honored to see so much honesty from all of you who shared your objects with sentimental value, your musical instruments, and also your photography gear! There are still more entries coming in – feel free to keep sharing yours in the comments of this previous post.

Hopefully this challenge showed you that self-portraiture is really fun, and can teach you a lot about photography. If you didn’t get the chance to add your photo to this challenge, then I encourage you to stick around for the next challenge, and I cannot wait to see what you come up with!

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

  • Steve Pontbriand May 12, 2011 04:39 pm

    Thanks alot :)

    I started photography last november and it feels awsome to have one of my pictures recognized. Thanks again Anna!

  • Sandor Oroszi May 12, 2011 07:14 am

    Gotta reckon that Steve Pontbriand's image was way cool - the use of mirrors and such - AWESOME!!

  • Xaiya May 12, 2011 04:32 am

    Great images, although I thought we had a week to complete the challenge![eimg link='' title='self portrait mini ed' url='']

  • Virgia-Ree Moore May 12, 2011 02:48 am

    Yes I'm with you on that Ken. I wasn't aware of the deadline. So for task #2, when is that deadline?

  • Talita May 12, 2011 01:34 am

    I registered late so didn`t get my first entry in. I`m always a slow poke but very excited to try and take the second one tonight.

    I just need a bit of advise. How do get myself into focus ? What do I focus on, if I have to aim, fire and pose ?

  • Ken Wah May 11, 2011 12:54 pm

    Great job everyone!! But was the deadline less than 24 hours? Because it wasn't mentioned anywhere and unfortunately not everyone can take a photo and upload it in time, especially with the delay of comments appearing.

    Possible to make the deadline a bit longer? It is a week long challenge with only 3 tasks anyway, As I am writing this a lot of people are still uploading their entry.

  • stacy May 11, 2011 10:22 am

    i was impressed with all 3 of these! great job!

  • Grant D. Taylor May 11, 2011 08:37 am

    Really good work and congratulations to the winners. Can't wait to see what is shown for the next challenge!

  • LindyLand May 11, 2011 06:12 am

    Congrats to everyone!! They are all great photos...and there were a ton of other awesome pics too. I enjoyed looking at all of the submissions and I had fun doing my first self-portrait as well. Can't wait for the next challenge!!!

  • salvador III May 11, 2011 02:31 am

    i missed the deadline! so here is mine
    i like the first pic from anna gay's picks (for obvious reasons)

  • Ray May 11, 2011 01:42 am

    Wow! I was so impressed by many of the other shots I saw that I didn't think I had a chance! I debated on whether to make the focus on the prop or the person(me). I took shots both ways. But, the subject was self-portrait, so I used my crazy face! Thanks Anna!

  • Lynda May 11, 2011 12:34 am

    Great shots! That second one with the bunny is too cute for words. Love the processing on that one too.

    Thanks again for leading this challenge Anna!

  • Lyssa May 11, 2011 12:30 am

    WOW! I am honored to be picked out of so many amazing SPs. Thank you for including me and my Ollie. He did enjoy some tasty raisins after this photo shoot.