As I've gotten older I've become a better model. Partly because of the experience posing for others, partly because of taking photos of others and partly from posing for myself. I have the experience behind me to be good at this.
When I'm doing a self portrait session I am more likely to do things that I would hesitate to do during a regular photo shoot. I'm working on my own artistic vision as a photographer, as a artist, as a model. I'm creating something that, for me, usually has an emotional meaning or an intended emotion I am trying to convey. It's often therapeutic. I'm trying to tell my story not someone elses' version of me, not someone elses' perception of who I am, not someone elses' part for me to play. I play the part well, I bring my "A" game during photo shoots with photographers but it's not the same. Letting myself go in truth of myself verses becoming someone else.
Don't misunderstand, I like becoming someone else for shoots. It's acting and it's fun and it's necessary. And I do a good job. But much more often than not people want pretty. And of course I like pretty, I appreciate pretty, I enjoy looking at pretty. Pretty models, pretty photos, pretty artwork, pretty flowers. BUT pretty doesn't pull me around day after day. Pretty doesn't speak to me half as loud as soulful does. And what speaks to a soul it personal, built from a lifetime of experiences. It comes from the inside out. And my insides aren't flowers and unicorns. When I walk through an art gallery the pieces that stick with me, the pieces that pull me in aren't usually the happy smiling people or the pretty tree on the hill. It's the bleak tree in the storm, the weeping widows, the sad, darker imagery that speaks to my soul. This is what I am trying to achieve in my current self portraits, a sadness.