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Taking Candid Style Self Portraits

I really struggled to remain creative throughout lockdown and this coronavirus pandemic. I primarily do street, landscape and travel photography, none of which I was able to do during lockdown, so for so long I ended up doing no photography at all.

Then, when scrolling through Instagram one day, I saw a post by one of my favourite photographers, Joel Meyerowitz, where he explained that he had remained creative during this time by taking candid style self portraits.

He would set his camera up using the self timer set to 30 seconds, which would then give him 30 seconds to immerse himself in whatever he was doing, whether playing table tennis in his garden or exercising, resulting in a more candid style photo.

I thought this was a great idea so decided to try it for myself, particularly since I missed taking photos so much. unfortunately the maximum I can set my self timer on my Fujifilm camera is 10 seconds, which I found was not long enough to properly immerse myself in what I was doing and I was still very self conscious about the camera and trying to 'pose' rather than focusing on what I was actually doing.

So instead I used my camera's intervalometer instead, taking a photo every few seconds and allowing it to just keep taking photos until I stopped it.

Then I really could just focus on cooking, watching tv, brushing my teeth, whatever I was doing and soon forget about the camera.

This I found resulted in much more 'candid' style photos and I had a lot of fun trying this in different situations. It really helped me be creative again and rekindle my enthusiasm and love for photography, I only wish I had tried it earlier during lockdown.

Of course this is something you can do at any time, not just when stuck at home during a global pandemic. Now that places are slowly opening back up again you can of course do this while out with friends, eating out at a restaurant, playing at the park, at the beach, there are so many opportunities and different scenarios to have fun with this. I encourage you to give it a try.


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