For this task we had to create a self portrait using only light that was directly available to us, such as TV screens, lamps and sidelights. We could not use any light that was not directly available to us in everyday life. We could however manipulate the light as we saw fit to represent ourselves how we wished to.

We were asked to consider what we wanted to show about ourselves in this portrait. I considered what would be a good way to represent my inner feelings in a physical representation. With this in mind, I thought of the idea of creating some kind of shield or wall around myself, with a laptop inside the wall with me, things that represent my likes and interests/ hobbies on the wall or making up part of it, and then things that feel unattainable to me ,but only because I convince myself that they are, on the outside. I wanted to try and show my anxiety disorder through the photographs, with myself surrounded by darkness.

It quickly developed to having my laptop being the only light source, lighting up my face and casting a large shadow behind me. The Laptop would be inside the created wall with me because since I was in secondary school the computer and internet have been a very important part of my life, with my gaming hobby being on my computer and it being a place I could feel safe from bullying and the pressures of real life.

I decided that the wall would have to be flimsy, to show that the walls I put up around myself are entirely self created but I convince myself that I don’t have the power to do so. This is mainly focusing on my insecurities and feelings of ‘unworthiness’. 

Feeling that what I wanted to represent was a pretty solid idea, I went onto looking at how I was going to light and photograph it.

Photographs such as Julian Mauve were an instant inspiration, considering my strong relationship with the internet. The thought of having it as my only light source I thought would be a great way to draw focus to my face, with the light slowly getting darker as it reached beyond the wall I had created.
Looking at Philip Kirks work, I liked the harsh lighting and the idea that it wasn’t necessary to have the face lit up for it to be a successful portrait.

How to set up the photograph was a little tricky, I decided to use my quilt as the ‘wall’ and placed various objects that I felt represented my hobbies on top of it. The laptop was placed inside the wall ready for me to sit in front of it for the picture.


I set the camera up on my tripod and focused it before placing it on a ten second timer. This gave me time to quickly jump into position in the shot after pressing the button.

#Picbod Self portrait lighint diagram

It was a pain, especially climbing into position without knocking everything over and out of place.


However, I am pleased with the result because I think it is an interesting physical representation of my personal feelings about myself and how I represent myself in society. The large shadow behind I feel is a good representation of the possibilities I have, but the darkness around me (my anxiety) holds me back. However, I feel that, though I am happy with how the light gets darker the more it spreads out past the walls i’m worried the image might be to dark and that the wall might not be visible when printed. Also, my wall doesn’t look very big, I know I wanted it to look flimsy, but I still wanted for it to look at least vaguely physical!