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Learn how to take a self-portrait (15-minute class)

Having your portrait taken or creating a self-portrait is a great way to express yourself and your feelings, and create a memory to share with family and friends.

Portraits, whether of another person, yourself or an inanimate object, communicate an emotion or message to the viewer. Portraits may have a reputation for being still, stiff images, but they can actually contain movement or action, says Corinne Adams, a facilitator Cancer Wellness.

"The difference between a portrait and a snapshot is collaboration [between the photographer and the subject]," she says.

If you are having your picture taken, think of a word that describes you, such as how you're feeling that day or a personality trait you want to convey. Take turns with a loved one you can coach them to express the word they are thinking about. Take several photos and let them look at the many different emotions they can express. Then, let them coach you as you pose for the camera.

You can also create a self-portrait using other media, such as magazine clippings. Think of a word or feeling you want to express and select images that reflect that back to you.

No matter how you create your portrait, you may be pleasantly surprised by the results.

"A lot of times, you're very critical of your own pictures," says Edna Bacon, an art therapist at Cancer Wellness.

Bacon says when people choose and focus on a word to express themselves, they are often pleased with the image they are able to produce.

Click the video link above to watch a Cancer Wellness portrait class to learn more about this form of self-expression.

See more creative ways to express yourself.


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