I think what has happened is, there's been a shift. I don't want to say that it hasn't been personal because there is always self in the work we do, but I think it's come back to a way, actually, it's more like it's become a strong pull for my work to exuberate my internal existence. So what I have is a portfolio of images that are actually, in a sense, my individual and vivid thoughts and ideas translated into photographs.
Self-portraiture is not what you'd call a "selfie". Self-portraiture is work that portrays this raw emotion that is honest with deeper meanings. Seeing the images I've created over the years, I notice my youthful naivety morphing into maturity as I became a wife, and then a mother. So it isn't a coincidence that my work would ultimately convey this transition of self awareness. And still, as I acquire knowledge and experience, there is always a childlike curiosity that shows itself because I am continually growing and changing.
Digital Series ONE:
I'm going to start with digital first, unlike film, unless it's a Polaroid, I had that instant feedback to see, troubleshoot and play as much as I wanted. In this case, it was "endless" frames compared to the roughly 36 film frames I got with my Konica. So for me, it was a lot easier to do self-portraiture this way.
Do people still use gray cards anymore? Post processing has become so advanced that I don't use one at all now, but for the first few shoots I used it and thought it was absolutely necessary! Something else kinda funny and interesting - I have NEVER used a remote shutter release, and it's actually pretty ridiculous if you ever witness me doing a self-portrait shoot. It's become a fun ritual for me to use the self-timer. I set up my shot - focusing sometimes takes awhile, and I literally run back and forth between takes. Fake laughing until a real one comes out is my speciality! I'll have to record it for you sometime.
There was a lot of hands on learning on how to focus, frame, get the lighting right and figure out subject matter. So I remember the first time I got to check out the digital camera from our class. It was a Nikon D-700, which is what I use today. I was in my apartment dorm room and thought, what am I even going to photograph this late at night - indoor lighting (horror music cue - it's not that bad), and my roommates are sleeping. I had an old jar collection of match books from various tourist destinations from around the world that my dad bought at a garage sale, a vintage candy jar of modern day edible sour gummy worms, fuzzy socks on my feet, and an outfit change at some point into an adorable dress by Odd Molly.
When I look at these photos, I see this sequence of sharing a space and interacting not only with these objects, but myself as well. The question, "What will it look like if I do this? Or this?"
This series gives off a feeling of imperfection and evolution. I begin without my face looking at the camera, and it's even omitted at the beginning, my hair is up in a bun, and then eventually, it's completely down in it's mess, and I make eye contact with the audience, then turn away again.
So this realization that I could create art, and all I needed was myself or to add another element to interact with, was definitely a game changer for my photography. I could actually create work with me as the subject.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this first digital series. Send me a message below!