As a photographer your work isn't complete without a self portrait. I haven't mastered off camera flash but I have to work it out and what better way than on myself. I have never liked photos of me. This is one of the big reasons I've ended up behind the camera. When you sit in that chair in front of the lens and the big flash, it feels unnatural. It is hard to relax. A major part of being a photographer is to make people feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations. When you relax your images show it. Real emotions show in a photograph and I believe it is what makes an image great. Anyone can take snapshots of people sitting in a chair but a true artist can put someone at ease and then click the shutter at just the moment when the magic appears, when the real person shows through. I showed my wife a few of these images and she had some great feedback. She said that when I smile it shows in my eyes. She said in the image below I looked sad. While that is not what I was feeling or trying to express, it is what comes across.
She also wasn't sure about my hand on my face.
To tell you the truth I'm not sure either. I used two types of lighting for this shoot. It all was shot with an off camera flash in a soft box. The first two were shot pseudo Rembrandt style or with the flash off to my left or camera right. I don't have a reflector or a second light, so wasn't able to create the triangle in the shaded portion of my face. More information here The last two were taken with the flash directly in front of me.
While this makes a nice portrait, I prefer the other type of lighting. It leaves more to the imagination and gives more emotion to the image. Once again this is my opinion. Everyone has a preference and that is mine. These shots represent a big step for me. Putting images of myself online for the world to see wasn't easy. Working with off camera flash is easier than I thought and I have nowhere to go but up from here. I know that I haven't mastered it but I feel it is a great beginning.