Self-Portraits Weeks 9 to 12 were tough. I’ve been making tons of self-portraits, but for some reason, I struggled a bit with the themes for the actual #selfportraitsunday Self-Portrait 52 Project. I’ve also been struggling a bit with my feelings about my physical body. My clothes are feeling more constricting and retouching myself is harshly illuminating. I don’t take as good of care of myself as I should.
“Stop eating junk” and “do your yoga” and “start running again” have been on repeat for days now. Then a friend gifted me a bin full of candy and chocolate for taking care of her place while she was away. I made a delicious carrot cake for my husband’s birthday that I can’t seem to ignore. Why can’t I get myself on my mat? I KNOW I will feel better, so why am I avoiding it? Considering it has been minus a million outside, I will let myself have the excuse of “it’s too cold outside to run right now!” But, seriously, why all the negative self-talk?
Much of the time, we don’t realize how much things are interrelated. I succumbed to the “my worth in likes” mentality over the last few weeks. As I mentioned in the last Self-Portrait post, I was featured a few times. What a high! But since then, it feels like my engagement has dwindled off. Honestly, I don’t think it has but it seems that way. And I follow all these amazing self-portrait artists who are much fitter than I am and sometimes much more talented. It’s intimidating. Now, I KNOW that I shouldn’t be comparing or counting likes, but we all succumb at one point or another. So what will I do about it?
First, I will acknowledge my accomplishments. Since I began this project, I’ve grown a lot! I’ve discovered a massive passion for bringing dramatic stories to life and a strong desire to bring a little light into people’s lives. And that’s just the creative bit. My skill with the tools I use has also improved. Practice, practice, practice! Photoshop no longer intimidates me, lighting comes more naturally, and I spend more time thinking about what I want to say and how I can achieve that. There’s always room for growth but I’m miles ahead of where I used to be!
Second, I will pay more attention to the positive feedback. Lately, I have received messages from people telling me how much they love seeing my work. That means SO MUCH to me! Why do we blow up the negative and downplay the positive? Like “what’s your childhood trauma?” We are each unique and amazing. REMEMBER THAT.
Finally, I must follow through on the health commitments I make to myself. Start small and build up. Goal #1 will be to get back on my mat. I didn’t invest in Yoga Teacher Training to let my mat collect dust. Figuring out how to build it back into my routine will be a priority. Small changes.
Enough about me. Let’s talk about a couple of Self-Portrait photographers that I really enjoy following.
Sandy is a part of many of my online communities including Offbeat which you know I have a deep love for. I think she is just brilliant! What I love about her work is that it stirs emotion, tells moving stories, and she has an obvious cohesiveness to work . That is something I am working on. (Um, I don’t really like limits so it’s tough!) This particular image spoke to me deeply when I saw it. Does it move you, too?
You can find Sandy here:
Lizzy is another amazing Self-Portrait artist who is one of Offbeat’s contributors. Every one of her portraits conveys magic and mystery. As if you are bearing witness to an enchanting moment. She takes my breath away with every image that she shares. What I love about her work is that in some ways it’s so incredibly simple but at the same time utterly rich with magic. Pure elegance.
You can find Lizzy at:
This is probably my favourite of this batch. When I read “In Nature” I immediately envisioned an outdoor witchy ritual. I love all things witchy. If only I actually had witchy powers!
This one also has a funny story! I woke up pretty early one morning inspired to create this. My adult daughter got up after I went outside and was getting ready for work. When she went to go warm up her car she saw me standing there “like an old lady” and she got freaked out! LOL. You think she’d be accustomed to my weirdness by now. I’m not sure why she thought an old lady would be in our yard and I’m not sure how I feel about looking like one, but the moment is still pretty funny. I pictured the old crone with the apple in snow white. I just might have to make that happen!
The only Black and White for this period. I’ve been trying to maintain an Instagram checkerboard grid of alternating Black and White and Colour images. I gotta be honest, some days I find it annoying. However, I love the drama of monochrome. Which images do you enjoy more? Monochrome or Colour? Anyway, sparklers were the first thing that came to mind for Celebrate. Who doesn’t love sparkler’s?
This is probably my least favourite. Largely because I let myself get intimidated and then I didn’t give myself enough time to get it done for Sunday. My original plan was to photograph myself a bunch of times and make it look like all the versions of me were holding up and supporting a larger version of myself. Then I saw, in a group on Facebook, an image almost exactly like that and felt suddenly disheartened. I had to rethink it. The idea of “the Universe catches me” came to mind and this was the result. Fun, but not as well-executed as I’d like.
So much of what I’ve been creating lately is magical and fantastical. Much of the art I have been creating uses both camera and Photoshop. I wanted to create something that told the story of how I transform my ordinary self into my extraordinary self with every one of these portraits.
As I mentioned, I created a number of self-portraits during this month. Some of which I really love!
Did you know that I am also available for hire? If you have an idea you would love to bring to life, I’m your girl! You can contact me about your project here: Contact or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org