Here are some questions people ask me about this project.
What is What I Look Like Today?
Years and years ago, when the internet was young and digital cameras were babies, I worked at a newspaper. With the sudden lack of cost in film processing and printing, I decided to start taking pictures of what I looked like each and every day. I only did this for a little while, but I enjoyed the exercise.
Much later, in 2009, I had recently left my wife, and at some point realized that I was going to be going through some life changes. Also, I had a spectacular beard in the works. So I decided to start taking pictures every day. Facebook and iPhones had been invented by then, and they made it super easy and fun to upload a picture of yourself for critique by hundreds of your very closest friends.
At the time, Facebook only allowed up to 60 photos in a folder, so I split a year of photos up into 60-picture sets. I still post these on Facebook and separate them in blocks of 60, even though the technological limitation is gone.
Do you really take a picture every single day?
I try really hard to take a photo every day when I’m running a series. In my mind, a What I Look Like Today series lasts one year. Three hundred and sixty five days. Every once in a while, I’ll miss a day and either just skip it or take a photo the next day to make up for it. I’m the boss of this game, so I can do that if I want to.
You are an egotistical moron.
That’s not really a question. But it’s half true. Or maybe all true. I don’t think I’m a moron, but I’ll cop to this project being a bit egotistical. I don’t mind if you think that. Here’s the thing, though… This isn’t about a photo of me. It’s about exercising some creativity every day. Sure, I could take pictures of things instead. And I actually HAVE done that while I was doing What I Look Like Today photos. But honestly, I run out of things to photograph, and I can change my face and body enough to (hopefully) make it interesting enough to look at. So, yeah, it’s kind of an egotistical project. So what?
What are the rules of this project?
I try to keep the rules to a minimum. For the first year, the only rule was that I had to take the picture on my iPhone and upload it to Facebook with no Photoshop or other image manipulation.
The second year, I scrapped the no manipulation rule. I’ve used Photoshop mobile, Instamatic, Hipstamatic, NightShot, LiquidScale, Snapseed, ColorSplash and SlowShutter since then. Probably some other apps that I’ve forgotten about.
Sometimes I’ll have a theme week. In the third season (which I gave up on halfway through when I felt like I’d run out of inspiration), I started with theme weeks, and planned to theme every single week for at least 1 volume of 60 pictures, if not more. That was fun until it petered out. I went through the themes of eyes, green, blur, Milford Academy, bad dad (one of the most popular weeks), action hero (one of my favorites), owling, reflections, odd light, am I naked or not, in a new room (featuring rooms I hadn’t previously photographed myself in), the week of too much, the week of too little, drink week, and fruit.face.
Do you like doing this?
I do. Sometimes it’s a chore. But when I go back through the old photos, I’m really grateful to have some sort of documentation of every day. I look at these pictures and remember things I’m pretty sure I would have forgotten otherwise. These pictures have followed me through a divorce and the madness that follows. Through intense love and the fading of it. From New Orleans to China to the Virgin Islands. I’ve taken pictures happy, mad, tired, confused, sad, hot, cold, naked, clothed, hurting, touching a boob (can you guess which one?), falling in love, realizing love is gone, bored, horny, hungry, full, satisfied with life, discontent. And each photo is a reminder of that emotion, location or state of mind or temperature.
Yeah, I’d like to thank everyone who’s been in, taken, inspired or otherwise helped with this project. I’ve tried to credit everyone well in these photos, but if you find yourself miscredited or uncredited, let me know so I can fix it!