I prefer using photographs for my work as they capture moments and locales which are not easy to replicate in a studio setting or using a model. I do believe it to be very important to learn to draw from Life but would not like to limit myself to just that for my paintings. Take the examples above. If I were to do my self portraits only for life (top right) I would scare the pants of everybody! I find the second one has a more reasonable expression.
Would love to hear how you feel about it. Do leave me a comment if you have a moment.
Self Portrait : charcoal from life, pen & ink from photo ref