The healing power of self-portraits [slightly NSFW]

Taking self-portraits is a great way to get to know photography, but also to get to know yourself. But also, it helps you in the process of emotional healing after a trauma or during a rough period of your life. In his latest video, photographer Sean Tucker talks about the healing power of self-portraits and how they’ve helped him get through a crisis. And if you’re having a rough time right now, I strongly suggest that you watch it.

As always, Sean is honest and open, talking about his insecurities and difficulties. The first self-portrait he took was in a hotel room after seeing his reflection in a mirror. Despite the insecurities, he shared the photo with the world after some time. And this one has provoked the most responses from his followers. Lately, Sean has been going through a lot. So, he turned to self-portraits in an attempt to feel better. It’s a meditative experience but has also helped him to get to know himself and see himself from new angles.

Sean argues that self-portraits help us see ourselves the way others see us. It lets us see a “bigger picture,” so to say. When we look in the mirror, we always view ourselves from the same angle. The same goes for selfies, which are almost always taken from the same angle, too. But self-portraits provide us with different ways of seeing ourselves. We get a whole new idea of how we look, which is a powerful way of confronting our “imperfections” and insecurities.

“Beautiful” – my self-portrait from the ongoing virtual exhibition #Howyouseeme. You can find out more on Chris Larson’s website

Of course, it’s not just about the looks or insecurities about it. Our self-portraits also tell our stories and communicate our feelings. Or if nothing else, taking these photos help us focus on something else other than worries and life’s difficulties.

I found this video especially interesting because I also consider self-portraits to be good for me, or you, or anyone. And I’m not talking about selfies here, I think there are some crucial differences between the two concepts. I also don’t think that only narcissistic people take self-portraits, that’s a common misconception. In my opinion, you can benefit from taking self-portraits in several ways, and I wrote about it here. Taking self-portraits (and photos in general) helped me get through some of the most challenging periods of my life. It still does.

So, if you’re feeling down and if life hasn’t been treating you well; or if you’re feeling insecure – you can turn your camera towards yourself. It will help you get to know and cheer up the only person you’ll have to spend your life with.

Now, tell me – what’s your opinion on self-portraits and your experience with them? Have you found them to be helpful during tough times or for overcoming insecurities?

[The Healing Power of Self Portraits | Sean Tucker]



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