The self portrait

By Jon Hillenbrand In Photography, Stories


This is a picture I took of my hand while shooting physicians on-location one day. I didn’t have a stand-in other than a medical skeleton, so I shot my hand to see how the lights were looking. But I think it would be a funny series to shoot my hand at all these different locations. And it would be a nice change from photographing myself. I have many dozens of photos of myself shot at different locations and in the studio. It’s interesting to see how my face has changed since 2004, along with my photo skill.

There is a man who has taken a photo of his face every day for the past year or so. He put all of the photos together into a video and then put it on Youtube. It was super popular, and then he was on David Letterman. Funny how fame comes to people in various ways. Sometimes I think, this guy became famous for shooting 365 bad photos of himself with a webcam for a year. I’ve taken dozens and dozens of really nice photos of myself over four years. Shouldn’t I get something for that? Maybe I have to put them on Youtube first. But there already was a “aging face guy”. I’d have to shoot something else, like my non-existent children growing up.

In any event, one of the most interesting things about this video the guy posted was the comments. People said it gave them hope, inspired them, gave them a reason to keep on living, etc. I feel bad for people with that kind of fame. In the end, if he gets sick of the project and wants to stop shooting his own portrait every morning, he has to face the wrath of his followers freaking out on him. Of course, if I photographed my child from birth to whenever every day, I wonder what kind of psychological damage that would do. Would they come to be dependant on the photo taking exercise as a sort of anchor in their otherwise changing life? Would they resent the thousands of photos of them being shown to the public? Would they come to love the camera or computer taking their photo more than their own father who came up with the idea?

What do you think?