The Life of Jeff Harris in Self Portraits

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How common is it for someone to take a self portrait? For Jeff Harris, drugs it has become a daily habit and a form of documenting his life.  Think of it as a visual diary, page where instead of writing about your feelings and observations you capture the essence of yourself each day.  Harris began his project 14 years ago, posting the daily result to his website and gradually developing an online following.  Today, he has over 4,000 self portraits and continues his daily routine.

Before watching his entire slideshow, I expected he would present a sort of time lapse that showed him aging over the course of 14 years.  My expectations were completely exceeded not two minutes into the slideshow.  Some might think that someone taking their own self portrait does it out of vanity.  In Harris’ case, some of his work could be considered an act of vanity, but most are incredibly raw, honest, and bold in nature.  Who else dares to ask a celebrity to take their portrait, or captures images of themselves while going through a physical trauma?

In essence, Harris’ honest depiction of his life not only tells his story, but inspires others to take a good look at themselves on a daily basis. Check out Harris’ 5 minute documentary on Time (watch the entire thing), and visit his website, which he continues to update with a self portrait each day.

Suzi Pratt is a Seattle event, food, and travel photographer available for hire. She is also a contributing writer at Digital Photography School and runs a blog teaching others how to start a photography business.
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