The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

The Approaching Anniversary - and Episode 52 of Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres

When I set the Self Portrait Challenge last week, I genuinely felt there was a good chance I would only get 2 or 3 submissions.

For all the reasons mentioned in last blog post (see – Self Portrait Challenge - and Episode 51 of Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres), I knew it was a big ask for anyone to step that far out of their comfort zone, and post their image for other people to see.

And yet, 20 different people submitted a total of 43 images.

I was gobsmacked!

The degree of thought, imagination, and time most people put into their photos was quite astounding – from making outfits and backdrops, to creative lighting, to playing with the post-processing.

I was also impressed with the way some had creatively obscured their faces so it was still clearly a self portrait, but we still don't really know what they look like. The fear or dislike of their own image still didn't stop them taking part.

And with in excess of 300 comments during the live broadcast, the viewers and participants were keenly active throughout the podcast.

And so another show concluded at just over 2 hours long.

I've got to watch out for this, as the knock on effect means by the time I've reviewed and edited it ready for overnight rendering (before I can upload it to YouTube and embed it on this blog), I'm finding I'm not actually getting to bed until 2.30am.

I would like to think next week's would be a little more sedate, but it's unlikely.

This coming Tuesday marks the one year anniversary since I began these podcasts back at the beginning of April 2020, a couple of weeks after we went into Covid Lockdown. I had been wondering how I could keep my presence reasonably high so that when it was all over in 3 months (ha ha!) potential clients wouldn't have forgotten about me.

I've been thinking I need to mark the occasion with some kind of special challenge or submission, and the self portrait challenge was originally one of my ideas for it.

However I've decided I would like people to send me their best photo, and we will go through the submissions together with a mood of sharing and celebration.

At the end of last year I asked people to send me their favourite photo of 2020, and many of them were not about any kind of technical excellence, but of emotional attachment to a person or experience.

This time, however, I want to see what you consider to be your best work. Whether that's because it's scored well in contests and competitions, or because it was a photo that turned out so much better than you could have hoped for. 

But you can only pick 1 – you have to choose – and then tell me about the photo, and why you chose it!

This episode will not be about critique, it will be about sharing triumphs.

If you would like to take part, stick your photo either into the Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres Facebook Group:

or in the Discussion section of the event page:

Try and get it in before the end of the weekend, or by Monday (5th April) at the latest. Anything that arrives on Tuesday runs the risk of not being included in the podcast.

And then, make sure you tune in on Tuesday 6th April at 7.30pm (UK time) where we'll go through the photos together, and hopefully we will all become inspired by some of the submissions to go and try out new things with our photography.

Meanwhile, enjoy episode 52 below!


0:00 - Welcome, what's coming up, greetings and comments
7:04 - Introduction to the Self Portrait Photo Challenge
10:28 - Reviewing images on the theme "Self Portrait " submitted to the Facebook Group, "Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres"
21:30 - the awarding of Smug Points
1:08:42 - High ISO and noisy images
1:20:26 - The strange thing of looking more like our relatives in photos
1:26:50 - Using the interval settings when doing self portraits
1:57:38 - Coming up next week - your best photo
2:02:00 - End

If you found this interesting/useful/entertaining, then please consider supporting these podcasts and blog posts via

Also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel - – to help me build the numbers.

And, or course, if you would like to submit a photo for feedback, or just ask a photography related question, then do join my Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres  Facebook group and I will put it into the following podcast:


Viji said...

I was bit unwell and was not sure about attending. Fortunately the tablets effect kicked in and I watched the full podcast. The whole experience of shooting the self portrait was exciting and the podcast was lively and I thoroughly enjoyed :) Looking forward for the next week.

Thanks again for your time and mentoring us all, Kim.

Kim Ayres said...

Viji - I'm delighted you felt well enough to be there for the live podcast, and experience all the positive comments people were giving you for your images! :)

All content copyright of Kim Ayres. Powered by Blogger.