Self-Portrait Project

9 lessons

Collecting Personal Imagery

In this lesson, you will collect imagery relating to your own sense of identity.

Lesson menu


  • Collect relevant imagery in an attempt to visually represent yourself
  • Learn how to do quick visual tests, without overthinking


  • Workbook
  • Glue stick/tape
  • Printer
  • Phone/camera

Guiding questions

Think about these questions as you work your way through the lesson:

  • What does each item you have collected mean to you? 
  • How may this relate to your sense of identity?
  • When you are collecting these items how are they making you feel? (proud, nostalgic, embarrassed, etc.)
  • How you can try to represent these feelings?

Lesson Content

  1. Now you have done some research into artists and photographic practitioners working in this field, it is time to brainstorm and source your own visual imagery.  At this research/hunting and gathering stage, it may be a good idea to look at photographs you have already taken or have been taken of you.

    Collect some imagery or objects that represent you (this could be found through family photo albums, social media or even little doodles/sketches, anything goes). In doing this you are creating a visual language purely for yourself, something completely unique to you. 

    Once you have collected everything, try pairing things together, do some quick tests and photograph these on your phone or camera. These can be rough and don’t have to look polished, it's all about getting ideas flowing. 

    Content Block 1

    Self portrait drawing by Andy Warhol


  1. 1

    Collect and source imagery related to you

  2. 2

    Look at what you have collected. Analyse what you have picked and HOW it talks about your identity

  3. 3

    Photograph items (together as still lives or separately)

  4. 4

    Stick these photos into your workbook

  5. 5

    Make notes in your workbook as you go. Now you should have a rough idea of what your project is going to look like or what part of your identity it is going to address



Tips & tricks

  • Don’t overthink these steps, just collect as much as possible without thinking too hard about it
  • Once you have collected everything, then you can analyse why you picked it and why it's important
  • By pairing up the things you have collected (e.g. a photograph of you and a special object from your room) you are beginning to tell a story visually. This can be an interesting way to start a project
  • Keep an open mind, there is no right or wrong image/object, if it speaks to you in some way, collect it!

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