Double Exposure Surreal Self Portrait Photography

Surreal Self Portrait Photography Ideas

Surreal Self Portrait Photography Ideas

Surreal self portrait photography is a great way to explore your photo skills. I personally have learned so much from over the past years from lighting to staging to editing and posing, which I use in all aspects in photography. Taking self portraits and compositing those into different scenarios gives you so much freedom when it comes to expressing yourself and your ideas. Here are some of my tips I’ve found super useful with my own work, but first let’s get a little background in this type of photography.

Surreal self portrait photography of book and book pages creative photo ideas

What is Surreal Self Portrait Photography?

This is a type of self portrait photography with a mix of surrealism, which can be added through photo editing or creatively done in your shot. One of my favorite surreal portraits is of Salvidor Dali by Phillip Halsman. The beauty in this picture is that everything is done in camera, meaning that there was no post production in order to manipulate the final image. This just shows that creativity is more important than software no how (although both is quite a weapon).

surreal self portrait photography idea of being trapped in the woods

Seeing Double

Who does not want to see two, three, 10, 100 of you and your pretty self? Adding multiple ‘yous’ in a scene is one of the first surreal self portraits I did. This is a fun project. For this pretty much all you need is a camera, a tripod, a space and well you! A simple idea to get you started with is to just start to mess around with different poses. Set up your tripod and begin to take pictures of you in different poses. Once you have a few that you like, stack them into your photo editing software and cut your self out of each image. The final image will give you a surreal self portrait.

For this image I walked into my woods and took two photos, one where I was hugging a tree and one where I felt like I was being squeezed. I used the above technique of cutting myself out and overlapped them into one final image.

Surreal Music Self Portrait Ideas for Beginner Photographers

Explore Your Interests

When in doubt explore themes that you already love. I have always had a passion for music (listening and playing) and when brainstorming possible photography ideas, I decided to mess around with pieces in my room that I already had. This may be one of the easiest and satisfying ways to explore surreal self portrait photography. Take a second and look around your room, house, your garage, and find a few pieces that mean something to you. Now think about how they make you feel, how one may use it, or how one should not use it. Above is an example of a surreal music photography photo that I took with objects in my room.

Double Exposure Self Portraits

Double exposure self portraits is one of my favorite types of portrait photography. It is probably the easiest of them all as well. The double exposure or multiple exposure technique is one of the oldest effect that was used in photography. Basically it is exactly what it sounds like. A double exposure is combining two images (exposures) on a single image. In film cameras, one would take a photograph, in most cases a portrait. Then you would rewind the film and take another image, of a landscape, nature or cityscape which would be taken on top of the original image.

For digital images like the piece below, I overlaid a self portrait and a landscape photo I took in photoshop. I then played with the opacity & blend mode in order to obtain a final image I love.

Useful Tips

  • Sketch out some ideas first. Brainstorming is an extremely helpful way to think outside of the box.
  • Tripods are extremely helpful with creating a photo stack along with a remote timer. (You can also use the 10 second shutter that is already on your camera as well)
  • Try different poses, different objects, and different backdrops. (I often find that the idea I first imagined in my head is now how the final image ended up)
  • There is no right or wrong way. Have fun and keep pushing yourself to new ways of thinking and expressing yourself.

I would love to see some of your favorite creative self portraits! Post them with a link below!

Surreal Photography of a Cloud Hot Air Balloon Flying in the Sky

Imagination Photography: Realization of Ideas

Imagination Photography

Imagination photography has played an import role in my life as a person as well as an artist. We are all born with the ability to be creative and imaginative. Some wilder than others. Some keep exercising this trait while others store it in the recess of their mind forgotten but not gone. I have been the victim of the latter. It seems as I grow older, the world takes on a more concrete impression. A chair is a chair and a tree is a tree. Photography has threw me a rope and pulled me out of that quick sand that was constantly pulling me down. I began to see the world a little bit different each day. My mind started to turn the gears of creativity and it has positively effected my mood & thinking. Imagination photography is not a specific genre, but a way of thinking.

Realization of Ideas

Last night I stood up late into the night drinking wine, woking on a photo idea. The idea I was trying to realize was of a man in a hot air balloon riding through the sky. But here’s the twist. Instead of a balloon, he ’s floating with the aid of a cloud. 

An idea of shedding the weight that we constantly walk around with, and just letting go. An idea of taking your hands off the steering wheel, sitting back and enjoying the ride. An idea of exploring what actually excites your curiosity instead of what you feel like you should be doing. A play off of Robert Frost “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” intertwined with Emerson’s “Life is a journey, not a destination.” I don’t know if it was the cheap bottle of wine but I really enjoyed creating this but mostly just thinking about this.

Listen to Your Mind

This past month, or so I had more free time to listen to my mind. I feel like it’s quite loud for the quietness of my appearance. I am an introvert. I enjoy my alone time and living in my own little bubble. But I realize that I have to sift through the stream of everyday thoughts that are constantly flowing through my head. While sifting, I recently uncovered an exercise that I really acting on. It is the realization of ideas. Taking a thought and seeing it with my eyes through photography and digital editing.

Surreal photography manipulation has always been a passion of mine. Creating something out of nothing is a powerful feeling. It’s a freeing, satisfying experience to personally be able to bring to life what you pictured in your mind. I’m thankful for that. I want to try and incorporate this in more aspects of my life other than photography. Imagination is often a road less traveled, which is a wonderful situation for an introvert like myself.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

― Albert Einstein

Surreal Photography of a Cloud Hot Air Balloon Flying in the Sky

Surreal Conceptual Story Telling through Photography of a Folded Paper airplane being Thrown Around a Spinning Globe

We All Have Stories

We All Have Stories

Stories are what makes the world go around. It’s what makes us who we are, each having a library of their own and everyday we write a new one.

Every now and then we thumb through our dusty shelves. Those frail experiences filed away for when we desperately need strength. Reread those moments of happiness when we are looking for a smile. Glance over a memorable string of words we highlighted because they meant just a little bit more to us and when we are done, we crease over the ear of the page of the seconds before to remind us of where we left off.

Surreal Conceptual Story Telling through Photography of a Folded Paper airplane being Thrown Around a Spinning Globe

But the most important thing we do, is we share our stories. Some in lessons, others as entertainment, a few in a flash of vulnerability, regret or fear but there is always someone wanting to read them even the ones of how your day was. Someone wanted to learn. Someone looking for a different perspective. Someone who’s fascinated in what you have done and who you are. It’s how we are connected and if you are reading this then you are a part of mine and I am a part of yours.

Keep on writing, keep on reading and keep on sharing because stories are what makes the world go around.

Cloudy lighthouse during the sunset in a light bulb surreal conceptual fine art local photography

I Will Leave the Light On

I will leave the light on.

Happiness and hope has always outshined the darkest of hours. Right now fear is slowly running through the veins of many people who search for some sort of life line in this precarious time. Lives have been upheaved and we frantically attempt to put the pieces back in order.

As an attempt to offer a glimmer of hope we are taking a breather from each other physically and socially. For the first time in many people’s lives, we are somewhat forced to focus on ourselves. We are rediscovering our passions. We are understanding ourselves better. We finding out how truly weird we really are.

I have always subconsciously put off things I have wanted to do, due to the lack of hours in a day. And now I’m required to take a deep breathe. What now?

This void of empty time has somehow inflected more stress than relieving. I feel like I have to fill every minute of the day with a task to feel productive otherwise I just wasted a day. To add to it, if I don’t start or do any of the things that Ive previously put off because of the lack of hours of the day, then what? Am I failing? Do I lack the ability to be a better version of myself. Do I just simply not have what it takes to be the person who I have alwaysed envisioned in my mind?

Breathe.

There was a post from Clementine Morrigan that resonated this exact sort of self isolation anxiety. She wrote

“There are a lot of posts being like: use this time to cross things off your to do list, deep clean your house, work on yourself, start a mediation practive, etc etc etc… And these posts are obviously well meaning and may be helpful for a lot of people…

We may also feel a weird pressure to ‘use this time well’ (capitalism is alive in our bodies) and we may be spiraling into a shame that we can’t seem to turn this situation into a healthy writing retreat or a get all that cleaning done or whatever.

So I just want to say: whatever you are doing is fine.

If all you’re managing is watch tv or stare at your phone

it’s ok.

If you are having trouble functioning

it is ok

We need to take a harm reduction approach and not expect ourselves to be suddenly not traumatized.

It’s okay if you’re not getting anything done.

It’s okay if you’re not at your healthier or productive right now.

The focus should be on lessening the harm of our nervous system distress and then working from there.

You are not a failure.

Whatever you are experiencing right now is okay.”

Cloudy lighthouse during the sunset in a light bulb surreal conceptual fine art local photography

It is ok.

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but I did. I have stacks of books that I feel like I should be reading, countless of interesting Udemy classes that I know I should be starting, exercises that I should be doing, finances to figure out but instead I’m writing and listening to music. Yesterday I wrote and spent hours working on and animating this image while listening to music. And it’s ok.

Creativity, imagination, art, expression, they are all the light that is guiding me through this dark tunnel of solitude and anxiety. This is what makes me feel happy and hopeful.

What is your light?

Be well. Stay safe friends.

And so the adventure begins surreal fine art concept photography with an old type writer on a rustic table setting with a globe, travel passport, vintage camera and a morning coffee

Escaping Your Comfort Zone

Escaping Your Comfort Zone


This artwork was a concept piece I worked on about escaping your comfort zone.

I was in a rut. Days ran into days which felt like an endless stream and it felt easier to let the current carry me away rather than to fight against it. This is a comforting feeling, you feel safe. While at the same time, it’s easy to lose track of time and stray far away from where you once intended to be.

We all have been in a place in which comfortability has played a circumscribing factor in our life. We think of all the things we want to do, envision a future self we want to be and imagine a place where we want to wake up in but we quickly push it aside in the someday endeavor category in our head. There it sits, boxed up in our attic saved for later. We continue with our life waking up, going through the motion, hurry back home, rinse, sleep and repeat.

Those future endeavors, those dreams and ideas we once painted for ourselves remain a faint outline. They become ever more hazy, slowly feeling less attainable as time passes by. It seems like we fell asleep on the river of life and have drifted too far away to know the way back.

How do you fight against the current? What is the life preserver you strive for to get you back on your feet? I’ve always thought the answer to this was happiness. And it’s true in a way but something I read that stuck with me is that ‘Happiness can be bought with a bottle of wine and has become ambiguous through overuse’. So what is objective then? What’s the goal?

And so the adventure begins surreal fine art concept photography with an old type writer on a rustic table setting with a globe, travel passport, vintage camera and a morning coffee

Finding Excitement.

Finding excitement in life is the driving factor in motivation. It’s the very aspect that pushes you to learn, to act. It incites passion and is the spark to igniting your mental bliss. I started to write ‘don’t be afraid to try something new’ but that’s honestly not honest. It’s a terrifying feeling. Exiting the familiarity of life is scary as hell but that’s also what makes it so, so exciting. 

Tim Ferris wrote in his book The 4-Hour Workweek “‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. If it’s important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually,’ just do it and correct along the way.”

I feel fear is the biggest denominator in whether you act on something that you truly want to do. Comfortability is so attractive due to its certainty while excitement has become a sort of ‘risk’. It’s uncertain and not a lot of people feel comfortable with not knowing what’s next. But it’s the very reason why we watch tv shows & movies, why we read books or watch sporting events. Not knowing is a little exciting. No it’s down right exhilarating.

Whether it’s in your job, your relationships or your personal life, find something that constantly forces you to step away from your comfort zone. Find something that forces you to see the world in a different way. Find something that makes you ask questions. Find something that makes you smile with anticipation. Even if it’s small, find something that excites you.

And so the adventure begins…

If you like this, click to see more from my surreal photography gallery

Chicago Live Concert Photography

Chicago Live Concert Photography

Chicago Live Concert Photography

The only better feeling than being at a live concert in Chicago is being able to capture each note in a photograph. Although I have been photographing music and musicians for quite a few years, each concert still feels like the first. I see it in my photographs; my mindset seems to change. Pictures become more about energy, light becomes a backdrop, and the noise is as prevalent in each image as it was in person. There is a sense of freedom with each click because it is not about shooting a gig or taking pictures for a client, this is about the love of music and being able to share that with others. Here are a few shots from my latest live concert.

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If you like this, you will love Scott Stapp Concert Photography

If you’re interested in a concert or music photographer contact me here

Double Exposure Surreal Self Portrait Photography

Surreal

Surreal

This past year has surely been a wild one and personally it has been the most that I have grown. I’ve met some beautiful people that I never thought I’d meet and let go of some that I will never forget. I’ve been to places that I never believed existed while enjoyed familiar sites like they were the first time. I’ve stepped back, reset, slowed down, learned, laughed, opened up, let go, embraced and experienced a multitude of well everything. It’s a crazy beautiful world we live in. Thank you for every visit, comment, and message you and anyone has ever given me. It truly means a lot. Stay curious, be creative and most importantly, just be happy. Here’s to a brand new year. Sincerely the thoughts inside my head.

Double Exposure Surreal Photography

If you like this, you might like Surreal Photography Gallery

Connect Four Valentines Day Surreal Photography

Valentines Day Photography

Valentines Day Photography

This Valentines Day, I wanted to have a little fun. I like incorporating some of my favorite aspects of life in my surreal photography. One of my most beloved games growing up, and still, is Connect 4. It’s one of those games that is so simple yet there’s a little of bit of strategy embedded in each drop of a piece. So this February 14th, when you play that special someone in your life, don’t ‘mistakenly’ empty the game when your about to get defeated. It’s not about win or lose, it’s only about making a connection.

Connect Four Valentines Day Surreal Photography

Surreal Music and Nature Photography

Songbird

Songbird

My eyes awake in the middle of the night and yet to my surprise my legs begin to rise

I climb in a daze as I get up from my bed, grab a pen a paper and wrote what was in my head

What if I could paint the songs that I can play, what if I could fly a million miles away

What if I could live at the bottom of the sea, or see the sun rise atop the tallest tree

But who am I to say that these dreams are far away, that my lifestyle’s was here to stay, or that I’ve lived my better days

The sun may be asleep but my vision’s looking bright, no one’s on the streets but the world seem so alive

I feel like this is right, the words I’m write tonight, while thinking about my life with no worries in my sight

My mind begins to move and my thoughts begin to sooth, should probably get to bed but I have so much to do

So as the sun begins to rise, a new story begins to write, about man who’s flying high, high out of sight

Cause that is where his mind is trailing in the air, his feet were on the ground but his head was never there

So off to the unseen, blue seas, valley of  trees, the volcanoes, mountains & everywhere in between

Cause it’s not about where you’ve been, but where you haven’t seen, it’s curiosity and escaping your damn routine

Can’t be afraid to be young, have fun or wonder what’s above, it’s the risk that you take that show you what your made of

So what do you want to do, when you wake up every day, go to a job to get by or accomplish something great

It’s not about your car, your house or how much you get paid, because in the end it’s you your going to hate

So do something you love, something that makes you proud, something that’s worth telling the whole damn world about

 

Surreal Music and Nature Photography