Each month, Hello Creatives embark on a color journey that culminates in a beautiful loop and blog post celebrating all our participants’ work. In October, we began at the top of the rainbow again, shooting the color “red.” My knee-jerk reaction when presented with a color prompt has always been nature or florals. This time, it sparked the idea that would turn into a much bigger undertaking for me… my Colorful Self-Portraits Project. As many projects do, mine shifted in slight ways as I moved through it, but I am so proud to have had it come to a successful close on October 30. I completed 9 different colorful self-portraits (so I could have my perfect grid, of course)! What a sense of accomplishment to have a goal be completed… and on time!
In celebration, I wanted to share with you 6 quick tips for finding inspiration for your own colorful self-portraits:
Maybe you have a favorite sweater or dress you would like to use. If you plan to use a colored backdrop or object as your focal point, you can consider wearing black, white, or something neutral, as well. Not EVERYTHING in your image must be the same color. It could very easily be a “pop” that draws the eye. In my purple portrait, I wore black because I wanted my purple flowers to stand out in the scene.
See if you can find a piece of clothing, accessory, or even a colorful household item that speaks to you. Sometimes, an object is just what you need to find inspiration. For my black portrait, I used a hat we had inherited from my husband’s late grandmother. Although it wasn’t purchased from a thrift store, it’s precisely the type of accessory I’ve seen during so many of my thrifting adventures!
Head outside and see if nature inspires. In my brown portrait, I used a fallen branch still holding on to all its dead leaves as inspiration for how I would frame myself. For another self-portrait outside of this project, I brought in a withered chrysanthemum bush that had tumbled into our yard after quite the wind storm. You just never know what gems you will find!
Buy a bouquet of flowers at the grocery store or local florist. This can be especially beneficial if you live in an area with colder months that limit your ability to be outdoors. You can use them in the foreground, background, or just to hold. (Behind-the-scenes secret… most of my foreground elements were shot separately, then composited into the final image in Photoshop. My orange portrait is one example of this.)
Grab a favorite knickknack, decoration, or maybe even a crafting supply found in your home. For my blue portrait, I utilized some artificial flowers I had reserved from a previous project. Although fall and winter carry their own beauty, I was feeling sadness over the transitioning seasons and nature fading away outside and wanted to express that emotion in the image.
Have a blanket or fabric collection? Both make great backdrops. I used these for 5 out of 9 of my project images! My red portrait featured a beautiful shaggy fur fleece I had purchased many moons ago for newborn sessions!
There are so many different ways to incorporate color into your self-portraits. I hope this has sparked some ideas and encouraged you to get creative in a relatively simple way… by using one color to create a beautiful atmosphere within your frame.