For me, the difference between a selfie and a self portrait is in the intent. Selfies are generally taken to impress another, or oneself, with your physical appearance. Although they may be planned and creative, the goal is usually to make oneself as attractive and 'welcoming' as possible. Self Portraits, although often 'welcoming' as well, go beyond just the physical. The face and body, usually front and center in a selfie, are not the main attraction in self portraits, in fact, faces are often not seen at all. Self portraits are more about the creative expression of the taker with the body used as the instrument in the creative process.
As you can see, model Jacob Dillon uses his instrument beautifully in the creation of his visually stunning self portraits. I was amazed when spending time with Jacob's images at his ability to capture such incredible lines and poses with instinct, creativity and only his own set of eyes to guide him. Jacob describes himself as a creative individual, and says that modeling allows him to tap into one aspect of it. Many models who have shot self portraits have shared that one of the reasons they began doing it, was a lack of photographers to shoot with. For Jacob, that was never an issue.
'The self portraits definitely came later. I've worked with some wonderful photographers and learned quite a bit from them. The idea of shooting a self portrait seemed challenging, and I can't resist a good challenge.'
There is a beautiful sense of tranquility and a deeper connection with nature when you're in the woods alone. When you're with another, you often focus more on the other person, or the conversation and miss so much of what's around you. I noticed that in many of Jacob's images, his hands, his feet, his entire body isn't just posing within nature, but physically connecting with his surroundings through touch and feel. I asked Jacob what drew him into the woods and if he ever took anyone along to assist.
'Definitely the creative freedom, but I also enjoy the satisfaction from getting a good shot. When shooting self portraits I'm always alone, except for the occasional time when I will take my dog me. It would be nice if I could teach her to tell me if the positioning of my arm or something else is a little off.'
Jacob describes much of his photography as trial and error. Although he usually has a general idea of what he wants to capture, depending on the day, he'll often see something different when looking back at the images he has taken. As far as being nude during the process, Jacob had no hesitation. Most of his work leans towards the artistic side of things, and clothes would drastically limit the amazing lines and shapes the human body is able to create.
Or course, it helps when your body is as incredibly fit as Jacob's. But... it doesn't come easy. I really loved a quote from Jacob's Model Mayhem page in which he states that being physically fit is a privilege that is earned through discipline and hard work. We often think of being fit as something more akin to a right than a privilege. Jacob says that as a kid he was also outside, doings something physical and didn't really get into the fitness aspect until high school. Right now he mixes cardio and weight training, but no more than and an hour or so about 4 or 5 days a week. You can see more of the results of Jacob's hard work but checking out the links below. Jacob's Instagram in particular has some great additional self-portraits, and maybe...even a selfie or two.