Ambassador Taya Iv is well known for creating beautiful self-portraits that elicit strong emotions from viewers. She recently challenged the community to take on the art of self-portraiture by looking beyond the ‘selfie’ and focus on a more traditional approach to photography.

The Selection Process

“Going through so many of your amazing submissions was exciting and intimidating at the same time. I started with the very first submission and carefully made my way through to the very last. It was a pleasure to see so many creative self-portraits in the community. I looked for colors that worked well together, a pleasant composition, and contrast.”

“There were many wonderful submissions to choose from, but I made my final decision based on how the images made me feel. Whether they were moody or joyful, what mattered most was that I kept thinking about them long after I stopped looking at them.”

First Place Winner

Life can be a burden ................. by Thierry Ysebaert on 500px.com


Life can be a burden by Thierry Ysebaert

“This image is a compositional masterpiece. We often look for emotions in the eyes, but Thierry managed to create an eye-catching image using lighting and facial expressions only. We’re used to seeing very young people in selfies; it’s refreshing to see people from other generations sharing their outlooks on life through self-portraits. The lighting, texture, and closeness all make this a definite winner.”

Runners-up

CDM 001 by Yuchen Wang on 500px.com


CDM 001 by Yuchen Wang

“The epitome of perfect limited light. In general, photographers tend to look for perfect lighting—it’s very difficult to work with controlled light in a studio environment. Yuchen Wang managed to capture this and create a moody atmosphere at the same time, which is admirable.”

Save me... by Ace Acosta on 500px.com


Save me by Ace Acosta

“This photo instantly caught my eye. The blurred foreground is gorgeous. The muted colors work wonderfully together. In my opinion, the most beautiful part of this image is the focus on her eye. All the right places are in focus, and the rest is a stunning, dreamy blur.”

Hood by Morten Justesen on 500px.com


Hood by Morten Justesen

“This image is a breathtaking self-portrait. Morten Justesen used both clothing and aperture to focus perfectly on his face. His expression isn’t dull. Instead, it complements the overall moody atmosphere of the image. Converting the photo to black and white was a smart choice, as it intensified the look on his face and made his eyes stand out more.”

Me and Myself by Graham Gall on 500px.com


Me and Myself by Graham Gall

“This is a self-portrait double exposure. Even though this technique is popular, Graham Gall made it his own by including his favorite hobbies in a single image. He perfectly described himself without the use of words, making Me and Myself one of the best images I’ve ever seen.”

You can check out Tays’s entire shortlist of photos here!