Behind the Curtain – Making Self-Portrait Multimedia

A self-portrait of Brice riding down a steep trail in a Delaware forest.

I have long been a believer in the power of multimedia. The combination of various artistic media elements to help tell a story or, at the very least, share some sensibilities can have a pretty profound effect on people. Case in point: me. I grew up glued to snowboard magazines and films. They stirred both my creative and athletic ambitions. Those creatives on-screen and in-print, as well as those minds behind the pictures and words, really inspired me. I wasn’t sure if I was more motivated by the storytellers or by the athletes, which at the time were largely mutually exclusive. Fast forward a few years, those snowboards have been replaced by mountain bikes. While the mode of recreation may have changed, my ambitions were only galvanized when I realized that I might be able to pursue both roles as a career. I studied photojournalism and video production in college, and combined with a somewhat slowly burgeoning career riding bikes, found myself much more energized by the prospect of taking people along for the ride rather than focusing all of my energy on shaving a few seconds off times riding down mountains. My career has taken some amazing turns over the years. While I still push as hard as ever as an athlete, I am no less motivated to push my creative boundaries as a storyteller and would like to share a few bits of advice with anyone else looking to scratch their creative itch.

I put together “Behind the Curtain” as a means of better understanding my process as a visual storyteller, and I hope that it might set you on the path toward taking a few steps forward in your creative hunts. I won’t get into the writing or editing process here, as I think those are both incredibly subjective and personal. Quite honestly, there are already some fantastic resources out there to help you with those aspects.

As many of us look for ways to occupy time in the current climate dominated by social distancing, I thought that this might make for a pretty timely “how-to” video of sorts. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any follow-up questions you might have after checking it out. Oh, and one final thing: while my hope here is to provide you with some general guidelines for capturing action self-portraits and video, there are no hard rules to any of this. It’s a form of self-expression first and foremost, and you need to make sure you feel like you’ve done right by yourself before worrying about what others might think.

Enjoy the process, my friends.

The author riding right next to a camera taking photos of him.
A self-portrait taken with a relaxed pace past the camera.
A self-portrait taken with a faster and more aggressive pace past the camera.

Even when working with still images, you have the ability to see subtle differences in how you are riding. Consider this when making your images and try different styles of approach to get different looks.

Rate this story:
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars
7 votes so far

Brice has been riding bikes professionally and sharing his adventures with others for close to a decade. He cut his teeth racing and riding up and down the east coast, and considers himself fortunate to explore some of the best trails and communities on the planet as a career. Brice produces content for, as well as many of his sponsors and partners, including PEARL iZUMi, Pivot Cycles, Maxxis Tires, and others. His greatest joy can be found at home in the form of his wife, Megan, and two boys, Logan and Henry.

PEARL iZUMi Athlete

2 thoughts on “Behind the Curtain – Making Self-Portrait Multimedia

  1. Great video! Thanks for sharing the info. When using your DSLR for photos, are you releasing the shutting remotely from up the trail as you start the run or is it just snapping photos continuously while you ride up the hill and set up for that run until you make it back to the camera? Seems like a lot of deleting shots would be needed if it’s taking 30 fps for several minutes. Thanks!

  2. My questions exactly. When setting up & taking a shot of your self coming down the trail do you use a remote and single shot or burst or even an intervalometer to take shots every second or two ? and when you take these shots do you set your camera up as a self focus or preset the focus manually and go make the run? It all looks very interesting. And is your camera is set in shutter priority or aperture priority?

    Great shots and video. enjoyed it immensely. Mk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.