So towards the end of 2015, I joined Preston Photographic Society and I started entering the competitions. One of these competitions is a theme competition, which changes each month and one of the themes was sport. I had two choices to photograph someone doing taekwondo or someone doing fencing because I do both of those.
As I thought fencing was less common I decided to shoot one of my friends doing that. The competition judge from this moment didn’t understand my image and didn’t classify fencing as a sport, it was this determination to prove him wrong that convinced me to use one of the themes for this year’s competition to change that view.
So this year I came across a theme called the faceless selfie which required me to think outside the box. So I got out my studio lights, set up a black background and my tripod and set my camera to a 10-second timer to photograph myself in a pitch black room. Then I put the mask on but my idea failed but In failing I created some half face selfies that I liked.
A week later I tried again and got the image I wanted, but you could see the background I shot again so I still need to go back to the drawing board until I obtain this shot. However in taking a series of selfies I have now decided that I still want to get my original shot idea to work but using a model, as I found that shooting myself was more difficult and a lot less fun than shooting someone else. However, I did learn a lot from this experience which I would like to share with you.
What is A Faceless Selfie?
In my opinion, the faceless selfie is a picture of you that doesn’t include your face or it can be something quite conceptual so something that embodies your personality.
A faceless selfie can be about how you see yourself or how you think others see you. I decided to use an idea that states that not everyone is who they appear to be to the world.
So I set up my tripod and put on my fencing mask aiming to obscure my face. I was going to call it behind the mask because if you put your hands up and ask people how many people see the real you, it’s usually two or three people. People only show what they want you to see and the rest should leave a mystery.
But as I wanted the mask in this instant to be an embodiment of myself, I used a pun and called the image daughter of mask because that is one of the many aspects of who I am. Everything in life has a purpose and you gain something from everyone you associate yourself with.
For example, when I fence I am a fencer but it doesn’t matter who I am beyond that at that point and it shouldn’t matter unless I choose to share other aspects of myself with someone.
In Conclusion, don’t let anybody disrespect anything you believe in and if you believe in it strongly make photography that changes their minds. Don’t just sit there and do nothing keep on photographing that thing until you create something for yourself that becomes a passion project. I admit that because of that one image that a judge was ignorant about fencing is currently not only one of my hobbies but one of my photographic passion projects and it is one of which I can test ideas out on myself.
Below is the shot that started it all off and two of my fencing selfies all shot on my Nikon D3200: