Every time we make a photograph of someone or some thing, we’re also making a portrait of ourselves. The old saying goes something like this
“The camera looks both ways”
Every photograph we make says something about us as people and as artists. Even if we don’t show in the reflection of the image as I do in the above photograph, our heart and soul and everything that makes us – US – shows up one way or another.
It can be as simple as a smile. If you are making portraits and you get behind the camera and greet your subject with a great, big, infectious smile, chances are your subject will also smile. But the inverse is also true. If you’re in a sour mood, complaining, frowning, dollars to donuts you’ll have a harder time getting your subject to look happy.
Everything we bring to a photograph is tied to who we are as photographers and human beings. The masters have learned this and have come to grips with being true to themselves. They don’t make pictures that reflect who they think they should be. They make pictures that reflect who they are. They let themselves show in the images they make. Not visually, but in other more ethereal ways.
In each photograph you display or print or share with someone else, you are leaving some of yourself behind. This begs the question? How do you want to be remembered?