Story

Self-Portrait

Published May 16, 2014 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 22 Contributors

    23 photos selected by

    Becky Hale
    National Geographic Staff Photographer
    Mark Thiessen
    National Geographic Staff Photographer

    30 years ago I reveled in my youth and beauty. 30 years ago I bought my first camera and took a ...

    #age #loss #sadness #selfportrait #selfie #portrait #self_portrait

    So many of you rose to the occasion of crafting a beautiful self-portrait. Thank you for sharing them with us and with the National Geographic Your Shot community. Some of your submissions were simple, straightforward images that we couldn’t stop looking at. Some were stories in and of themselves. They were revealing and poignant. Many of you really took time to think about your caption, giving us yet another way to access who you are as photographers. 

    Until we viewed our selects in their entirety, we didn't realize how many black-and-white images we gravitated toward. Many of the black-and-whites are successful because the portrait is reduced to its simplest elements of shape and form. 

    The most compelling images you sent us were minimally post-processed. They stood on their own, without needing filters or frames to make them seem interesting.  

    I use my scooter for the commute to and from my work. I allows me to stop evrywhere I want to tak...

    #speed #selfportrait #portrait #black__and_white_photography #scooter

    Editor's Note

    Great camera placement and creative use of your everyday environment to create a wonderful self-portrait.

    Becky Hale
    National Geographic Staff Photographer

    I believe that a woman's feminity is found in the way she wears her hair. This is me over a glass...

    #feminity #hair #selfportrait



    And while many of you expressed your frustration in trying to capture yourself in a single image, we hope it stretched your comfort zone as a photographer. We suspect that the photo you actually submitted to this assignment wasn’t your first attempt, which we feel is part of the process.    

    *

    #black__and_white #portait

    I noticed the beautiful shadows on the wall of the pool while it was being drained and had to ins...

    #selfportrait #blackandwhite

    I was walking through Tribeca NYC during an afternoon of spotty showers. Looking around for photo...

    #puddlereflectionsilhouettenyc

    self-portrait from F5 high level finder

    #portrait_black_and_white #people #portrait

    My first thought on a portrait shot for this assignment was that my camera must share the billing...

    #camera #blackandwhite #macro

    Sometimes I experience a disconnect, a sense of confusion as to who I am as an artist. This ment...

    #emotion #motion #uncertain #portrait #isolation #self_portait

    Editor's Note

    Making photographs about your vulnerabilities and things you struggle with, is an important exercise. This self-portrait is great a visual representation of your caption and something I imagine many people can relate to.

    Becky Hale
    National Geographic Staff Photographer

    Took a lot of photos by the time I got the focus right on this self portrait. It was worth it tho...

    #closeup #intense #selfportrait #eyes #naturallight #brown #look #sunlight #eyelashes #dramatic






    We stayed away from the typical selfie photos made at arm's reach or with your laptop camera. They tend to all look alike. 

    Instead we were drawn to imaginative images that overflowed with originality. Creative use of light is one way to make a boring photo more interesting and interpretive.

    A moment caught with a self timer one afternoon with my son.

    #mother #self_portrait

    Editor's Note

    This is such a lovely moment. The gauziness of the light and connection between parent and child is really wonderful. A really natural, quiet moment. Perhaps this would be a good submission for the Self Portrait Assignment if this is you?

    Becky Hale
    National Geographic Staff Photographer

    This photograph portrays my inner conflict with myself, which a lot of women can relate to. The p...

    my portrait .

    #spot #black__and_white #people #curtain #portrait

    -

    #black__and_white_photography #self_portait

    For a digital photography class assignment I wanted to do a historical image along the lines of M...

    #iwasfive #selfportrait #missd

    Editor's Note

    What a creative use of the self-portrait assignment. The photographer stopped down to f/22 to get added depth of field so the photo and the background would be in focus. A perfect reason to use ISO... More

    Mark Thiessen
    National Geographic Staff Photographer








    Photographs that require a double take always catch our eye. At first it looks like something else and you have to take a second look to see what the image is really about. It's like a hidden surprise and we love them.    

    When you learn to live suffering with your own mind, seeing yourself in a broken mirror is the be...

    Insomnia, I can't sleep. What should my third photo for the self portrait assignment be? Tossin...

    #awake #mirror #night #selfie #bedroom #insomnia #sleepless #self_portrait

    ME&MYSELF

    #reflection #me #myself

    Editor's Note

    Estefania - I like how you’ve used the open window frame and texture of the pink curtain to add several layers to your reflection. A really lovely, quiet, self portrait.

    Becky Hale
    National Geographic Staff Photographer

    A couple times a year, I trim our Weeping Willow so it's easier to mow under it. This was the fi...

    #selfportrait #willow

    I was just trying with different shots for this assignment, in one cute morning I noticed this ba...

    #scary #selfportrait #ghost #backlit

    State of uncertainty, that is the beginning of certainty

    #black__and_white #people #portrait

    Editor's Note

    The texture in the background provides such a beautiful contrast to the photographer’s face in th... More

    Becky Hale
    National Geographic Staff Photographer

    Tangled in emotions, and trying to stay afloat

    #self #hair #eye #perseverance #portrait #color #tangled #self_portrait

    This is just me. I think this image got my soul! Who says the eyes are the window to the soul!? M...

    #people #ryanroush #selfie #portrait

    If you’ve enjoyed this and if it’s something you want to explore further, why not take a self-portrait every year around this time? You’ve got 364 days to plan. 

    About the Editors
    Becky Hale
    Becky Hale
    National Geographic Staff Photographer
    Becky Hale is a studio photographer on staff with National Geographic magazine, working primarily out of the photo studio at Society headquarters in Washington, D.C. A frequent contributor to the Magazine, her work is wide ranging and includes portraiture and still photography illustrating complex scientific and cultural stories. Despite spending ...
    Mark Thiessen
    Mark Thiessen
    National Geographic Staff Photographer
    Mark Thiessen is a staff photographer with National Geographic for the past 15 years and is recognized for his work on science stories and wildfire. Recent stories include Methane, Titanic, and he was the expedition photographer chronicling filmmaker James Cameron’s dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in DeepSea ...
    126 comments
    Ashwani S.
    Ashwani S.

    Self-Portrait represents that superlative class of visual experience that one has come to associate with National Geographic.


    One can merely catch one's breath after the viewing and say "Wow".

    Gabrielle Horrobin
    Gabrielle Horrobin

    Thank you for this massive shot of inspiration - so very much needed.  

    Goteti Rao
    Goteti Rao

    Mirror reflection is the self and its activity.First person I represents all shadows as pictures

    and images.

    Sri Ram
    Sri Ram

    innovative snaps...............

    Honey Marjara
    Honey Marjara

    It's awesome experience to be a part of nat geo.

    Santiago Belaunzaran
    Santiago Belaunzaran

    The photos that were chosen are excellent!!!! congrats to everybody published and to the editors of course!

    Dariusz Turczynski
    Dariusz Turczynski

    Excellent photos. Your interpretation are useful for me in my further photography. Thanks.

    Renda Brooks
    Renda Brooks

    Excellent interpretations of the assignment. I am glad I did not have to choose! Each photo certainly provided me with a glimpse at the person's definition of themselves.

    shishir soni
    shishir soni

    Thanks all for this assignment.Can we learn more on professional photography .i am submitting the images regularly.Please guide me on my images and how can i work better.  shishbeee23@yahoo.co.in

    Norma Okun
    Norma Okun

    this is an awesome experience. Thank you all for sharing.

    Renan Kanbay
    Renan Kanbay

    I'm so sad I didn't submit to this assignment. The photos chosen are amazing! 

    manish gupta
    manish gupta

    its great to be a part of nat geo. i wish to send a digital photo shot by my daughter,Vedika.how to upload.your wish to use or not.its a gesture that i love nat geo.

    Ecca Plat A-Ge
    Ecca Plat A-Ge

    Congratulations those all awesome its great to you all

    Kathe Powell
    Kathe Powell

    Congratulations to all - wonderful creative shots! I have enjoyed looking through them.

    Gaurav Sharma
    Gaurav Sharma

    Superb shot guys.. congratulation to all of you

    D. K
    D. K

    Wow, bravo!

    Katrina S.
    Katrina S.

    Such a fantastic range of images and l loved reading the stories behind them. 

    Amanda Dawn O'Donoughue
    Amanda Dawn O'Donoughue

    I can't say enough how thankful I am to have been chosen here, my first month on 'your shot', and it's such a warm welcome to this community. Thank you so much Becky and Mark! 

    alek von felkerzam
    alek von felkerzam

    I love flipping through these assignments – they really bring out the true artist in us all. Keep up the solid work!

    Ellie L.
    Ellie L.

    I am sharing this world with so amazing people! Thank you for your self-portraits, for the opportunity to see you! Good job!

    Joanna Szymańska
    Joanna Szymańska

    Congratulations to everyone who was selected and thank you for this honor ! 

    Mahesh Karunakaran
    Mahesh Karunakaran

    Thank you all for the wonderful comments and support,it is  a great honor..

    Nelin R.
    Nelin R.

    Congratulations to all!!!!


    Kim Mason
    Kim Mason

    I love all of them! So creative :)

    Members Published In the Story