Mirror and Arms-Length Portraits


The Idea

The number of photographers with international distribution has multipled astronomically in the last year. Cheap digital cameras and camera phones with internet connections have made it simple to transmit images to friends and to upload them to the internet.

Stand in front of a large mirror, hold a camera up near your face pointing at the mirror and then snap - you have a digital self-portrait. Hold your camera phone at arms length, point it back at yourself and snap you've taken another. I've found and collected hundreds of these photos floating around the net, but there must be tens of thousands - perhaps even millions of them.

It's interesting to collect them - each raises many questions about the photographer and his or her intent. What would be really interesting would be to have the photo and to know somthing about the taker. So I've started this web project in which you can take part.


What You Can Do

Take some self-portraits in a mirror or with the camera held at arms-length. Send them to me at portrait@arttech.ab.ca with some information about yourself. Don't send enough so that your identity might be stolen or you might fall prey to some internet criminal. A name [real or assumed], your home town or city and anything else you think would be interesting will do fine.

When I process your email, I'll send you back the URL where you will find yourself. At first this is going to be all hand-done, so give me a few days to respond. As I adjust to the emails, I'll automate things and get some help. Probably the method of sending in photos will be made more sophisticated, so check back when your photos are ready to send.

I can't accept anything too provocative. I want this project to be available for all viewers. The censor will be watching and cutting as necessary.

If you detect yourself among the unknown self-portraits. Email me with the Id # to give me your info or if you want to be out of the project, ask for that.

Paul Brown


The Portraits (by group)

Recent Identified Portraits

Unidentified Portraits 01

Unidentified Portraits 02

Unidentified Portraits 03

Unidentified Portraits 04