Best Flickr Groups for Self-Portrait Inspiration

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When I was asked to put together a list of ten of the best Flickr groups for self-portraits, I was a bit overwhelmed. Anyone who has ever done a search of the photo pools involving self-portraits will understand why: there are an enormous number available. In fact, there are so many it is a wonder they all have members, much less the hundreds or thousands that often gravitate to each one.  Naturally, they all claim to be one the best Flickr groups as well, but are they really?

The genre itself is a popular one. For some it is just something fun to do, taking shots of oneself in a mirror, with a timer or even while holding the camera. For others, it is a conceptual expression of a deeper emotion.

There are even some who do it to offer a stock reference for other artists or photographers, and you can usually find them on other groups that give poses, as well.

Whatever the reasons behind it, self-portraits are a beloved form of photography that can be quite inspiring. It can also be a disappointing practice born of the photo takers’ vanity and need for validation.

It helps to know where to look for the best shots.  Here are, in my opinion, the best Flickr groups for self-portraits.

1. A Lifetime of Self-Portraits

Wind It Up

This group was created for the simple purpose of creating a place for people to post wholesome shots of themselves. The way they explain their own interpretation of what that entails is a shot that you wouldn’t mind parents, grandparents, friends, university boards or employers seeing. If there is any doubt about that, then your picture probably doesn’t belong there.

17/365: i could be your magician

There is no limit on the frequency or amount of posting, so you can literally show your entire lifetime of self-portrait shots, just as the name suggests. The only rule about the picture itself is that it has to show one entire face. That means eyes, nose and mouth. But based on a lot of the shots I have seen, it doesn’t look like this fact is moderated very closely.

Group Status: Public

2. Self-Portrait With Camera

o, woe is me, to have seen what i have seen, to see what i see! - ophelia, hamlet.

Mirror pics are seen all over the place, now. With cameras so easy to hold and so compact, that isn’t a big surprise…it is a convenient way to take a shot. This group is dedicated to those shots, providing a full self-portrait that has only one real rule: you must be able to see the camera and yourself clearly in the picture. If a flash or blur wipes either out, you will not be accepted into the photo pool.

flickr, you take my pain away

The group itself has a two photo per day upload limit, as they have to be moderated. There is no nudity or shadow pictures allowed, only regular mirror pics.

Group Status: Public

3. Self-Portrait Cafee

Trapped

A general self portrait group, this one has no rules other than you have to have taken the self-portrait yourself, and it cannot contain anything sexually explicit. However, artistic nudes are allowed if it falls under the heading of being family friendly.

There is a two post per day limit, which seems to be a common trend with these types of photo groups. But with over a thousand members it is a good thing. There are already more than 6,000 photos, and so there is no way you could go through all of them very easily.

Group Status: Public.

4. Excellent Self-Portraits

. Supernatural

The owner of this group proudly refers to it as a dictatorship, and that is exactly what you will find. They are your photos, but he curates them. He does this in the pursuit of the “perfect” slideshow experience, accepting only the best. Since it is fully moderated, there is no guarantee you will be accepted into the photo pool. That makes it an interesting challenge for those tired of the “dump all photos here” groups that are common on Flickr.

Self Portrait

Photos can be submitted once per month, and the owner makes it clear that if they don’t make it in it is only because it doesn’t fit the flow of the slideshow. Not because it is bad or he disliked it.

Group Status: Public.

5. The Alchemy Of Self-Portraits

captain

This group is based around finding what it is that makes a self-portrait really special. Artistic and creative photos are asked for, and their members have managed to really deliver. The idea is that through viewing photographs you are able to breakdown the ‘alchemy’ behind those rare and amazing pictures.

365.130

Three items per day can be posted to the pool, and they ask that you view and comment on other member’s work. No pornography is allowed, but they do allow for artistic nudes.

Group Status: Public.

6. Self-Portrait Tuesday

i can still see you, version three

A great way to market your blog, this weekly self-portrait competition asks that you post a link to your personal site on your photo description. This is a fast way to draw people to your work, whether it is on or off Flickr. While they prefer you to post on Tuesday, they are very loose with that rule. They allow you to post any time during the week.

Self

The limit on posting are just as casual. You have a 50 photo per month ceiling and there are no other rules. However, you should keep in mind that they are a ‘safe’ group, which means nudes are to be tasteful and never explicit.

Group Status: Public.

7. Bare Essentials

Hole in Hand

The owner of this group created it in hopes of finding the beauty that needs no editing. The point is to express how you are in that moment without any adjustments, photoshop or editing of any kind. It should be raw and uncensored, conveying a pure emotion no matter what that feeling might be. Only those the admin felt met that requirement were included.

be low

The downside is the membership has been closed since 2008. The plus side is that there are a ton of gorgeous photos already there to see, and they really are inspirational.

Group Status: Public But Closed.

8. Self-Portrait

Photographer, Camera and Tripod: Shadow Self Portrait, Spirit Within

Another general group, this is a simple photo pool for self-portrait lovers that just want to casually post their work. They could be plain shots or creative ones, and there are a ton already there. There are more than a thousand members, and so it is one of the larger groups on Flickr. It is also very active, and people are always commenting on photos and offering critiques.

71/365 - everything isnt as it seems

There is no posting limit, but they do ask that you pace yourself and only do a couple at a time. If you go nuts you might run the risk of being suspended for a time from the group. If you are rude in discussions or post inappropriate content, you will be banned.

Group Status: Public.

9. Self-Portrait Obsessions

151/365 - 24

The idea behind this group is to give an impression about something deeper behind the picture. Some of them have managed to do that quite well, though a lot of the others fall flat. So while it is hit and miss, you can find some great examples of expressive photographs that give you something a little  more special than most.

41/365 - Departure

You can post three photos per day, but they will be removed if they are the same ‘theme’ or the same pose three times in a row.

Group Status: Public.

10. Funny Self-Portraits

304/365 - Honey, I Think I Hurt Something Last Night

If you like a touch of humor with your self-portraits, you will like this one,. Whether a funny pose, expression, costume or manipulation, this group is dedicated to the funniest of the lot. It works on invite but anyone can join the group itself.

She Floats

You can have one photo submitted per day, but remember that for every invite you have to view and comment one photo already in the pool.

Group Status: Public.

Are you a self-portrait artist or plan to be one? Please share your own inspiration sources!

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