In 12 years that I practice photography I never did a self-portrait until this COVID pandemic. I understand that photography is non-essential, but it was always essential for me - the act of creation. Without it I become cranky, anxious and otherwise unpleasant. So the perspective to put my camera away for a few month was not bright, hence, self-portraits.
My first block against actually appearing before my own camera was that I am primary fashion photographer and my own body and face is not fashion-oriented. I love how I look, I smile to myself in the mirror, but I am not slim and tall enough for complicated garments (designer like to put volume in odd places and play with shapes, so the model's body should be long and without much volume). I also don't have that amazing cheek bones - my face is moon-shaped and soft. So even though I caused my fare share of "crushes" I am not a fashion material. But then I thought, I would be rather bad photographer to require amazing model to get a good picture, and so I tried.
When you do a self-portrait, you are basically working blind. You can't see how you look and make corrections as you go, you only can check the previous picture and do the next, so all my decisions were much more conscious and thought through. I needed to come on set already knowing in details how do I want the end result to look, which is opposite to my normal process where I think with my eyes rather than with my head.
On the bright side, because it was only me I didn't need to explain the mood or emotion, and I could execute any creepy or dark ideas without censoring myself. It was quite ecstatic actually :) I could also cover my face with a mask or fabric and do anything that models typically don't like to do.
Finally because I was one person operation I could improvise and shoot the theme that I was in the mood for, start the shoot when I wanted and go until I was super tired. I could plan for one theme in the evening and end up doing another one the next day, could go shooting during sunrise, at night, or go far away in unknown direction to search for an exact spot for a shoot.
So creatively all in all it was challenging and freeing, as for how it turned out, I guess we will see:)