Self-portraits in words abound on the Web. Now a visual complement to the written outpourings found on so many autobiographical home pages is developing.
The three-year-old Mirror Project is often cited as the inspiration for a trend in Web self-portraiture. At first glance, the site seems gimmicky: it accepts only photographic self-portraits shot in reflective surfaces, like mirrors and Mylar balloons. But its popularity - there are nearly 12,000 photos at the site - reflects how creatively people have taken up the challenge posed by its founder, Heather Champ, a San Francisco Web designer.
By contrast, Picture Yourself focuses on straightforward self-portraits, particularly those obtained by sticking out your arm and snapping, said Christine Selleck of Houston, who started the site in September. As with the Mirror Project, people who submit photos can include a paragraph about why they decided to capture that particular moment.
The Daily Photo Project, on the other hand, eschews one moment in favor of many. Each day for two years, Jonathan Keller of Brooklyn has taken a photograph of himself for this site. The photos are eerily the same, except for variations in shirts, the occasional pair of glasses and bad hair days.
Mr. Keller said that the project started as a joke as a way to justify his investment in a digital camera, but that he soon "started to see the potential that it had from the perspective of 20 to 30 years down the road" in documenting the "subtle shift" in one person over time. If he continues the project for decades, he may deliver the first time-lapse photo of a human life.