I have read that to understand and empathise with the photographic subject, you need to be comfortable with being a subject yourself.
The 'Easiest' way to do this is self portraits - I use the term 'Easy' very loosely because it really depends on how comfortable you are in front of the camera.
I am not a fan of having my photo taken, especially posed, but nothing ventured, nothing gained so I gave it a go - I am pleasantly surprised with the results.
I used a single speed light set up, in a Neewer
soft box and single reflector as seen here set up in the living room.
I just moved the light and reflector around to see the different results, as well as moving the camera closer and further away.
I was concerned about being able to focus but the auto focus on my Nikon D7500 is fantastic.
I used a wired remote release when I was close enough and a cheap wireless remote when further away, as you can see the focus stayed sharp throughout.
I did do a little editing in Lightroom, mostly to improve the crops and also to adjust the tones.
I adjusted the following in Lightroom and made them monochrome - This gave a much more dramatic and moody feel.
At the end of the day, once I got comfortable with pulling unnatural expressions at a camera with an invisible operator, it was pretty enjoyable and the results are very rewarding... Even started trying some props to enhance the compositions.
Now time for a drink.....