I was recently going through some old photos and I revisited the beginning of my photography journey, as expressed through self portraits. Necessity is the mother of invention, and in my case it transformed me from an English Major into a Photographer. However, it runs even deeper than that… here is a photo essay of my first year experimenting with a camera in hand. It has been a fun, joyful, fascinating dance that led me to where I am now.
My first ever selfie, back in 2010… What do you do when you live in the middle of nowhere and an ocean away from all your friends? I picked up a point and shoot camera and joined 365project.org. The idea behind it being kind of a photo journal, where you take a photo every day and post it online. Self portraits were scary at first, but then became a playground for experimentation and exploration.
Reflections have always fascinated me. What we see in others is actually a reflection of us…
My first experimentations with natural light… The contrast between light and dark creates the photograph, just as only when we accept and embrace our shadow we become whole.
Experimenting with different angles. Depending on where you look from, you see things differently.
What you focus on shows, what we give our attention to, grows.
Experimenting with selective coloring. Try the following: look around the room and take note of all red objects around you. Now close your eyes and name all the blue objects you saw. You could not name a single one, right? Because you were so focused on the red, you did not see the blue. This is how our perception colors our world – choose wisely what you wish to see more of.
Recreating works of art. Sometimes to you find your style you go through a copy cat phase – trying different existing methods and mediums until little by little your own authenticity emerges.
Experimenting with negative space. The void is essential for the creative process – without room for new ideas to emerge, we stay stuck recreating the old. Get comfortable with not knowing, it is an essential stage.
Experimenting with using my body as a tool for creative expression and being comfortable with it. The way art moves through you is not to be judged, simply allowed.
Depth of field and focusing on the details… sometimes we need not worry about the big picture, but take it one step at a time.
Experimenting with reflections, colors and focus. Creation: coloring our thoughts with emotions and directing our energy towards them. Hence, the importance of thinking good thoughts…
Experimenting with balance and artificial light. If we wait for the ideal conditions to begin something, we never will. Aspire.
Experimenting with breaking the rules of the traditional portrait. Sometimes our power comes from not giving the mystery away.
It is never too late to be who you are and to experiment your way into it. In this case, giving a try at creating an album cover for a 365 challenge.
Expanding out of my comfort zone – because this is where growth happens. “Murder by Numbers,” a book cover 😉
Neutral, warm or cold tones? It is not what happens to us, but how we react to it. When we come from a place of unity and balance, the outcome is always favorable.
Mostly, experimenting with myself: exploring my strengths and limitations through experiences. Learning to love myself as I am and let that love shine though and touch the world. And still using this photo for my business card, just so I can hear people’s baffled expressions “This doesn’t look like you at all!” 😉 Don’t judge a girl by her hat…
What is your dream? Do you feel like there is something that you want to do, but you are afraid to begin it? Don’t overthink it, just start. It will unfold on its own once you approach it with child-like curiosity. You are worthy. You are capable. You are enough. You have unique gifts to share with the world. Just do it and let joy move you. I believe in you. Bring that magic out. You can.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”
2019 – constantly evolving…