I have more illustration and graphic design artbooks than photography ones, which seems rather strange because I’m a photographer by profession. I’m going to try to buy more photography books now since I used to have a bad habit of quickly browsing through them for free, knowing I could find the content online. This one was something I got from Fully Booked a month ago (and being occasionally superficial, I was swayed by the prettiness that is the cover), and it’s aptly entitled Auto Focus: The Self-Portrait in Contemporary Photography. I say aptly since I’ve been taking a lot of my own photos for this blog, as seen in my personal style and beauty entries. I have yet to take better photos of myself as most of the ones I take are for this blog, but I’ve always been meaning to find time to work on something that’s a lot less commercial-looking.
Self-portraiture is something that’s definitely underestimated, especially since the rise of social networking sites that made profile pictures necessities. Anyone can just take photos of himself or herself smiling from a high angle at any location, and you can call it a self-portrait. Or is it really *that* easy to take one? Well, Auto Focus definitely won’t show you any Myspace-angle photography.
This book is so fascinating because it features photographs of different artists from all over the globe, and they each have stories to tell about their work. They take pictures of themselves for different reasons - as an act of rebellion against society, as merely a documentation of a part of their lives, as a way to present himself or herself as someone or something else, and as a way to convey a message to a certain community, among others. Absolutely not the kind of stuff you’d take in your room with your webcam.
There were some notable Asian photographers who caught my attention, besides Kimiko Yoshida, whose work I was already familiar with. I especially loved My Little Dead Dick because it’s a Chinese couple’s collaboration in the form of a photo diary, and I’m a sucker for cheesy things like that. They also took the photo on the cover of the book.
Beso.com Giveaway: Canon G12
WhatIWore: If you peeped my guest editor picks on Beso.com this month, then I’m sure you’ve been eagerly awaiting our Canon G12 Giveaway. This is my go-to point and shoot camera (although it has some great manual features as well!) In fact, I shot all of the Fashion Week shows (like this, this and this!) last February with the G12. It’s awesome…
That’s why I’m thrilled Beso is giving it away to one lucky reader.
- Jump over to Beso.com and sign up.
- Create your own list of picks by selecting at least ten favorite stores, brands and products (check out mine here)
- Comment below linking me to your profile!
- Open to US residents, 18 and older. Contest ends July 25, 2011 11:59 EST. One entry per person/IP address.
Feel free to re-blog and spread the word!