At my age, I think I'm a bit too old for 'selfies' so you won't generally see them on my Instagram feed - not least because I'm just not that interesting!
But I've been hankering to learn about portrait photography for a good while now and have taken the plunge and invested in some very basic portrait kit in the form of speedlight flashes and an off camera controller along with some soft box type umbrellas, reflectors and stands (some of which is pictured below).
The next challenge has been finding subjects to actually practice on - not only to get the kit up and working but also to get past the awkwardness (for me at least!) of asking people to move, sit, look, stand and generally 'model' in a way that might produce nice images.
I'm lucky enough to have a really good friend who is into the whole 50's thing so she was very happy to sit with another friend of ours for a couple of hours with their respective children. I might post some of those in another blog soon. It was good fun with lots of laughs and silliness during that afternoon so I'm looking forward to doing some more soon - I have a few 'willing' volunteers lined up!
But it occurred to me that I could also practice on my own by setting the camera, lights and so on up and taking some 'selfies' in the kitchen. So, that's what I've done a couple of times now and I think I'm beginning to get a sense of what can be achieved with the various settings available to me on the camera and on the remote controlled flash units.
Like I said at the start, I'm not an interesting subject and I definitely don't enjoy being on the 'wrong' side of the camera. But in order to practice in my own time, setting up some selfie sessions was definitely the right way to go!
If you're reading this and tempted to 'have a go' at portraits, you don't need to spend a fortune on kit. There are plenty of reviews and tips and tricks videos on the internet and YouTube.
My advice is go for it. It's another skill to learn and you never know when you might be asked to do some images for friends and family which you can then do with a lot more confidence than you might otherwise have had.