According to Bebo.com, the album will feature additional production contributions from Rex Rideout who was responsible for Hathaway's most recent #1 single, a 2004 cover of Luther Vandross' "Forever, For Always, For Love." Other producers include Paula Gallitano, Kenneth Crouch, and Terrace Martin. Martin notably worked on Snoop Dogg's Ego Trippin' album. Self Portrait also features contributions from singer/songwriters Sandra St. Victor (who performed with Hathaway on the Daughters of Soul tour), and underground soul singer Rahsaan Patterson.
...this is the first record that I’ve ever worked on from start to finish including developing the concept, styling, the sequence and selection of the songs, the musicians, the producers, the marketing, the way it sounds—everything. That’s why I call it Self-Portrait because it’s my fifth album but it feels like my first.
The midtempo lead single "Let Go" produced by Rideout impact radio stations on April 21, 2008. The single, co-produced by Hathaway, also features Rahsaan Patterson on background vocals. The album's second single "That Was Then" was released in late 2008. The song debut at #105 on the Hot R&B charts.