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Before The Selfies…Self Portraits from my Heart of Darkness

I have selfied for so many reasons…but mostly  for the same reason I am motivated to photographs others, to document a moment in which I felt HAPPY, to celebrate my life. There are selfies with my adorable teenage cousins, selfies with my mom, selfies with my nephew, selfies in Paris, New York, Hawaii.

For me, taking these moments with myself are generally an act of self love, a time out to connect with myself in the midst of family chaos, a foreign situation, a date gone bad, or just because I’m wearing a sparkly dress and I feel awesome.  In the social media curated  version of my life, I am always having a good time.

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I spent much of my younger life battling a debilitating depression, and when I look at the self portraits I made then, I see the me that is seeking confirmation of ‘enoughness” – that I really am beautiful, that I really have value. I wasn’t making pictures back then because I was having a joyful moment, but because I was trying to find myself in a moment.

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These polaroids, while awesome artifacts I cherish now, were upon viewing judged ‘not good enough’, hence no film was shot. But notably not so with the series below.

I took this series of nude self portraits for an assignment, for a class I took in Colorado at the local CC after I had already graduated photography school, just to get myself shooting. I was 27 yrs old, my dad had passed away, the boyfriend I had moved there to be with had broken up with me, and I was just starting therapy. I did not know my beauty worth or value. jam-7-22014-02-13_0010jam-5-2

so this is an ode to my completely raw unretouched self, in all my perfection that I couldn’t see then. All these selves still live in me and I am grateful to have found a greater peace, to be able to choose to own my Beauty and validate myself.

One Lifetimes, Ladies…Let’s Love Ourselves

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

Elizabeth Etienne - I remember some of those pics and I remember that girl. And that time. Such magnificent images and so totally different from the kinds and quality of images we make today.

Yes you were sad from time to time but I also think you’ve always been simply a deep thinking person- a soul searcher, a traveller in your minds eye and someone who was and is always on a quest to explore life, and the camera’s medium. Call that depression or call it just a quiet moment during your self reflection in relation to the appreciation for life.

You are and always were a great photographer and who isn’t more readily available to shoot than ones self. You’ve also always been an awesome writer and now you have the opportunities to share them both as you fine tune your craft and appreciate the roots of their early beginnings.

Such a beautiful girl and such beautiful images. Thanks you for sharing all of you with the world.

Bunnie - So absolutely awesome!! Thank you for sharing. Happy Valentine’s Day, my sweet Jill.

Sara - Thank you so much for sharing. So timely for me.

Leslie - So beautiful, raw and transparent, thank you for sharing!

The Power of Selfies - […] For more on my journey to self love through photography, click HERE XO […]

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