Eighth grade students enrolled in the digital photography elective viewed and discussed examples of effective self portraits. They considered the question “What makes a portrait compelling?” Does a self portrait need to say something about the photographer? Can you portray different sides of yourself through self-portraiture? Should a self portrait be mysterious or telling?
We shared the book “The Best Part of Me” and students were asked to consider the best parts of themselves. They were asked to think about their own identities. They were then encouraged to share “parts” of themselves through a self portrait project. They were allowed to include their faces in some of the photographs – but at least half of the images had to be devoid of a face. They were asked to forget about the standard “studio” style school picture. They were encouraged to really push the limits by portraying emotion, using unusual points of view, including props and symbols, and photographing parts of themselves such as their hands.