Assisted Analogue Self-Portrait

6.4.2024 11:00-14.30

Photo workshop
“Assisted Analogue Self-Portrait”
6.4.24, from 11:00-14:30, with a 30-minute break in the middle of the workshop
Laurent Chmiel

Open to all, photographers and non-photographers
From 10 to 119 years old
5 participants max, free

With the widespread use of digital photography and smartphones, self-portraits, aka “selfies”, have become a habit. We take selfies without thinking much about it, changing our pause, adding filters and redoing the picture until we are satisfied with the result. But what if we rethink the notion of selfies by adding technical constraints to the process? What if we could only take one picture, rely on others to achieve our image, and not see the result immediately?

“Assisted Analogue Self-Portraits” is a 3-hour workshop in which participants will use a large-format camera and black-and-white direct positive paper to make self-portraits. The participants will need each other’s help to create a picture: the model in front of the camera must rely on the people behind it to achieve their self-portrait as intended. One single self-portrait per participant will be taken. Beyond the self-portraits, the idea behind the workshop is to develop and cultivate a sense of artistic trust among participants, highlight the differences between intention and realisation in a creative process, and make participants realise that technical constraints can fuel creativity.

The workshop is divided into two parts. In the first part, participants will reflect on the portrait they want to achieve: what type of pose, distance from the camera, expression, body position, visible/invisible parts and the message they want their picture to convey. The workshop facilitator will assist the participants in considering the constraints of the camera, the lightning, and the medium used in the creative process. Participants will either draw a schema of their desired self-portrait or write/think about instructions explaining what they want to achieve. In the second part, participants will have their self-portraits taken using a collaborative process involving everyone in the room. The workshop facilitator will provide technical assistance, especially manipulating the camera, during picture-taking.

The portraits will be processed on location after the workshop using caffenol, a coffee-based eco-friendly developer (participants can attend this phase if they want). The portraits will then be dried, stretched and flattened for a week and available for pickup from 13.4 onwards.