The Art of Self-Portraits | Chicago Photographer

Let me be very clear. Although my self-portrait journey has been one of the most rewarding acts of self love I’ve ever given myself, it has not been easy. 2018 marked my second year of getting behind the frame. Initially, when I started this it was merely to be present in photographs so my kids had proof that I was there. The thought of my kids rummaging through photographs after I’m long gone and wishing that there was more made my heart ache. But, during that first year of this journey I realized that I didn’t want the images to just represent my presence. I wanted them to speak of who I am. I wanted them to depict a time of when I was happy, or playful, or sad. I wanted them to tell my story or at least represent me in a way that my kids or family may not have known.

This year I did not complete the 52 weeks like I did the previous year. Life got in the way and it was so much harder for me to stay on track. But….I do think that this year the self-portraits took on a very different meaning for me. When I did get behind the camera it was usually because there was some kind of pull to be there. It was my voice when I didn’t want to speak. It was my secret space to heal when I was hurting. It was self-love when I didn’t feel like I was capable of giving an ounce of that to myself. I also found that my daughter would come and ask to be apart of my sessions as before I would have to ask her. So I am so happy that there are so many with her in them. I think she feels a sense of bonding when we do these. She even directs them sometimes. I freakin love that. I also noticed that I didn’t pick my self apart as much as I did last year. Maybe I’m on the road to self acceptance, maybe that’s what this thing is secretly teaching me. Whatever it is, I know that there is a crazy pull to keep these going and in this new year I hope to complete the 52 weeks. I’ve said this before but I am incredibly grateful to my P52radness group and for all the ladies I’ve met through there. Here’s to the new year and to a fresh start on this profound journey!