Oh how I didn't like and understand other people's self portraits a couple of years ago! I didn't get the purpose of it and as I've never found myself beautiful I thought there is no point to be at the other side of my own camera.
Then COVID hit the world in 2020 and we found ourselves in a lockdown. That was a challenging time for my family and I knew that the only way I could survive these times if I create as much as possible. The Phlock Community stepped up, got together and female artists from all over the world started to share their work. Laura and Sarah, founders of Phlock Live, organised online classes which were life saver during those nerve wracking times. Those classes inspired us to calm down, to look inside, to look around, to find beauty in everyday life and to create. One of those classes was LeAnna Azzolini's class about self portraiture and I thought I would give it a try. I watched it and I cried. The tears were coming up from a very deep place I didn't even know existed. I thought 'Wait a minute! If only watching someone talking about self portraiture and her journey makes me cry, where could taking self-portraits lead me?" I got curious and after a few days I set up my little scene, set up my camera on a tripod and started shooting myself.
I put my mum's old hair rolls into my hair and started to take them out while taking the photos. As I took out more and more rolls I felt like getting off my own layers. I started to feel lighter, deliberated and free. By the time my hair was freed from the rolls my soul was freed from pressure. I don't know how it happened. I have no answer but quite honestly I don't care. Something magical happened and I knew I need this kind of magic in my life. I don't want to let it go. Ever. I invited this magic in my life and I want it to stay forever. I knew that the only way to make it stay with me was by creating more self portraits.
And I did.
And never looked back.
Today I create self portraits of my family to gift my children images of their mother. I create self portraits to reflect on my mood, on the world, on what is happening around us. Very often I lock myself with my camera or go to an empty field because I feel I need to let the steam out. Let it all go. Clear the mess in my head and find the way back to myself. And I take self portraits.
It has never been about sharing those images. Actually I share about one third of the photos I take because I don't bother to show the rest to the world. They are for myself. Very often it is about the process anyway. Who cares of the outcome if the doing itself makes me feel better?
Below I am sharing a few of my favourites. If you are thinking about taking self portraits but you don't know how I hope these photos will inspire you. Some self portraits are well planned before the 'session' but some of them just a photo of the moment. As I've been taking self portraits for a while my eyes are well trained to recognise an opportunity to take a photo. Sometimes it's just a mirror, a shop window or my shadow. Self portraits don't have to be complicated or time consuming.
I will also always be here for you. Should you have any questions, you are not sure how to take those photos technically please never be shy to messages me. I dedicated this site to inspire and help you and I want to encourage you to start taking your very own self portraits. I want to hear from you.