last call . self portrait workshop . ann arbor, michigan
I have been going over materials and exercises (not assignments because we aren’t being graded) getting prepared for the workshop starting next week and realized I hadn’t taken a photograph of myself in a while, not seriously.. Â I’ve been going through some personal growth and have been turned very inward. Â That’s good, but the feeling, the need to get out and take a portrait had been growing and so last week I went out by myself, to a spot I’ve wanted to shoot at for a long time and spent some time exploring.. not the space so much as what it is that always brings me back to self portraiture…
The way I talk to myself, it can be pretty terrible. Â Years of habit born from surviving disfunction resulted in the inability to separate what I do from who I am. That has been theÂ faithÂ upon which the whole rest of my healthy, vibrant, happy, life is built. Â My inner voice, judging everything, want’s better then the last, want’s to work toward perfect but the void of “perfect” is limitless. Â It cannot be filled. Â So no matter what, it isnâ€™t good enough, and I have always made sure I know it.
I have come to believeÂ however that what I do has nothing to do with what my value is as a person. Â I can do well, or I can do terribly and it does not change my worth. Â We are all worthy. Â So I must logically include myself in the mix..
That must mean what I do is full of valueÂ simply because I am doing it. Â Â This has been a total revelation to me..
Annie Leibovitz said that when she photographs someone she is not afraid to fall in love with them. Â That is what I love about herÂ photography you can see it in her work and it is what I strive for in my own.. Seeing my subjects as the amazing, worthy beings they are, and showing thatÂ truth, conveying it somehow. Â Many of us are not in love with who we are, we see ourselves through aÂ curtain of unfair judgement.. We would not THINK about someone, even for a moment the way we speak to ourselves day in and day out.
For myself, self portraiture is a way to fall in love with who I am. Â The act itself of taking a photograph is mindful, and a self portrait even more soÂ because it is not easy, you canâ€™t just snap and be done.. There is care implied if not intended. Â Not only to take an image but to take one that conveyâ€™s a meaning or a mood you must move beyond seeing yourself through the mirror darkly and see yourself as you are, worthy, here, now as you are.
As we become more healthy, more loving and confident in ourselves I believe our work becomes more of what we want it to be and we growÂ exponentially artistically and spiritually. Â That is why I come back to photographing myself. Â That is why it is important to me, it is a touchstone to honor who I am, to celebrate where I am at, and to learn to see myself as I see the rest of the world with heart open.
I’m so excited to share something I feel so passionate about and am so looking forward to meeting you all next week, more info will be sent out to each of you who are attending by Friday!
This is also the last week you can sign up if you have been waiting. Â Registration closes in 6 days, if you would like to sign up for the workshop or see more information check out the post hereÂ http://www.agirlinlove.com/heretoday/workshop/