Self portraits have always intrigued me. I seem to recall a photograph my dad took, found from the archives of him in our Nan's house. It seemed so honest, so real and a reflection of his life, thoughts and feelings at that particular time. Although his face was covered, he remained very much a part of the photograph and the camera itself brought in an element of wholesomeness to the moment that probably lasted a couple of minutes.
There is something that resonates with every photographer and that is the compulsion to remember everything. With mirrors having an impact in our lives, we are magnetised to taking this photograph even if the destination of the image remains to be seen. It becomes a forced document of our current being, what we are like, how we feel. But I get the feeling this is all surface level.
There is much more to these photographs than a self portrait. Although eyes remain to be seen, the mannerisms of the photographer, the way they hold their camera, what they wear all come into account. The enigmatic spark is the reasoning the image exists.
It exists to be remembered, for some reason or another. It is the same reasoning my Dad had when he raised the camera to the small mirror in the spare bedroom. Perhaps it was the first few days with my Mum, maybe he was my age, maybe he was studying and maybe, just maybe he was in limbo like myself. These photographs appear to be very straight forward but their complexities are bewildering.
It is the Self, the Artist and ultimately the Creator. When we wonder at their images, their portfolio unravels in front of us as we see the person behind the camera. Their work finally makes sense. It would almost be a nice thing to have every artist to have a photograph of themselves to make sense of their practice - to provide the final piece to the supposed puzzle.
We, as photographers are instinctual to everything around them, they are susceptible to changes in life. We are almost oversensitive to everything that happens, and when a camera is in our hands this amplifies beyond anything we knew was possible. For the camera provides a sense of purpose, something that is seeping into every corner of the photograph, the self portrait, and gives us an intensely rich insight into the mechanical cogs in the photographer's mind. It is the most revealing aspect of their life the photographer provides us with.