Last night I was determined to do the “Back to the Future” self-portrait, inspired by photographer Irina Werning, that I had been promising everyone. I had the house to myself and enough time to do it. What I didn’t account for was my increasing sickness, complete with sneezing, dripping nose, and achy feelings. At least I was able to somewhat accurately recreate the sad and grumpy feelings I must have been having in the original photo.
I almost gave up half way through, because of all the new obstacles that I discovered in recreating my childhood photo.
First of all, I was much smaller (and cuter!) back then, so my body didn’t quite fit into a chair the same way. Since I was sitting down in the photo and my dad was standing up taking the picture, I had to position the camera very high above me. The biggest issue with that was that I was sitting on a chair, which was on a table. I did this in order to get the blinds in the background. So everything, including myself, was ever so carefully placed high atop various tables and stools.
The lighting was easier than I expected. I figured the light from a polaroid camera would likely be coming from the top of the camera. Unfortunately, the ceiling got in the way a little bit. If I had this to do over again, I would have positioned everything a lot closer to me to get the more blown out highlights.
I obviously couldn’t recreate everything, but I tried to do my best. I did actually have a board angled up to the right, but I couldn’t get it to stay. I also tried to get crafty with that weird necklace thing I was wearing. It’s funny, not until I finally scanned the photo in (after the shoot), could I tell that the red pointy thing on the necklace was a ribbon, not a feather. Oh well, just call it macaroni (from the yankee-doodle song, if you missed that one).
I started feeling pretty bad towards the end, so I decided that I was happy enough with the results.
Editing the result to look like a polaroid was probably the biggest challenge. I’m still not sure if I’m totally happy with it, but I tried. I even added the same polaroid border, minus the icky flame part coming out of my head in the original.
Anyway, here is a side-by-side of the original and my re-creation:
Instagram actually does a fabulous job with filters too, so I played around with some of those. You can see a filter I applied to both here: