Sunday, March 18, 2012

self-portrait update

It is difficult to put to words what this new project is doing for me (to me) creatively.  It is so much more challenging than I thought it would be, and such a great adventure.  Through the 11 days so far I have laughed so hard I cried, got so frustrated I almost gave up, and have bonded in a whole different way with my daughter (and let's face it - my belly and this new and different body s/he has created).  I have forced myself to consider different textures, colors, perspectives in my world within reach.  I've pushed myself to get over the fact that it's me who is the constant in all these photographs.  I'm so comfortable being behind the camera and when the roles are reversed (even when the only audience is sometimes Astrid and Skagit) it is so difficult to get a good expression and to feel at ease!  I was talking with my friend Ici and she hit the nail on the head when she said that most self portraits she's taken over the years turn out looking so stern (maybe so concentrated on the taking of the photograph).  I completely agree it is an added difficulty.  Since I have included Astrid and Skagit in lots of my self portraits, so far, I have the interactions between us to help me over this hurdle.

I set out with quite a high set of standards....high goals.  Maybe I was hoping for an award winning photo each day...  But what I get, is indeed what I get, and I'm finding I AM ok with that.  I'm trying to be kind to myself.  Come on, I'm a Mama (and getting to be quite a pregnant one) and I know my priorities.  If I bring Astrid along I know she is my first priority....not the mechanics of my camera, and if I'm housebound, I just have to get creative.

I have been adding photos each day to my Facebook Business Page including the honorable mentions, but am posting just the ones I chose as the official self portrait of the day, here, mainly for my Mom.

Here's what I've captured since my last entry (including some of my notes):

Day 3 -> 30.5. This was SUCH A FUN TIME with Astrid!!!!!  So far, this session is tied with the brick wall from day 2.  More photos from this session can be found @

Day 4 -> 30.6.  My four legged girl and I up near the camp.  Does she look guilty of something?  She just got done wolfing down something she shouldn't have...

Day 5 -> 30.7. Confession: This is real life. This is the kind of photo you get when you have a daughter who is housebound and feverish....reading in Mum and Dad's bed late this afternoon.  Turns out this is my LEAST FAVORITE and LEAST CREATIVE photo so far.  But, I love it because it is real life for us sometimes, I just didn't take enough time to make a better photograph.

Day 5 -> 31 wks. Astrid's still feeling crumby so I had to get creative inside again today... I've been scouring the streets in the Missoula valley for my next location. I'm very excited about what I've been seeing...

Day 7 -> 31.2. Trial and error with depth of field on this one drove me incredibly crazy today. I got so frustrated at 2.8 that I simply couldn't find focus at the location I was hanging out the door. What would normally take moments to figure out (with a live model) took what seemed like a lifetime (with a ladder I finally employed to help me out!)... I had to stop trying for the 2.8 and go for the 4.0, even though I hated to give up! I hooked up my handy dandy JJC timer remote control and it made for less running today. The only running I did was to the car to tend to Astrid and a sprint down a driveway after my wandering Skagit who darted (after a scent) across a BUSY highway and nearly gave me a heart attack!

Day 8 -> 31.3. EMBRACE: I'm not 28 years old anymore... I'm 38. Today was a challenge because it was difficult to be ok with the wrinkles with such crisp focus on my face. I embrace all the lines I've earned, but I'm also aware of the amount of time that has slipped by so swiftly.

Day 9 -> 31.4. LOSE CONTROL: During the running of the timer (10 shots) Skagit vomited something up just out of frame and it struck our funny bone. Astrid started laughing so hard she was coughing....I started laughing so hard I was coughing...(both of us just getting over a cold). We lost control and couldn't stop! A therapeutic belly laugh in the woods this evening!

Day 10 -> 31.5. LIGHT: I love the precious minutes of light we are gaining every day! It makes my soul happy!

Day 11 ->  31.6.  COLOR:  There's nothing a fresh coat of paint can't fix.  Well, maybe that's true for a house, but for people it's not quite that easy, but it sure makes a girl feel great! (As you may have noticed - little miss painted her OWN nails this afternoon)

I can't end this entry without posting this next photo.  This series of shots was taken on the way up to our camp on a favorite dirt road.  When Astrid was in bed for the night (at the lake) I pored over these shots viewing them from the small screen at the back of my camera.  This one speaks to me.  It was, along with the rest of them, unplanned and unposed...and although I knew that the exposure was spot on, I seriously I had no idea really what I (we) had captured for expression until I sat down that night.

I love how Astrid is leaning fully into me, on her tippy toes looking me straight in the eye, puckering her lips....Hippie (her favorite stuffed animal) dangling just so (as if planned in her hand closest to the camera!).  It brought a whole lot up for me...and I was a puddle of tears that night in front of our wood stove talking with Jeff.  He didn't exactly know what to say... it didn't strike him the same way as me.

I see this little girl who will not be the baby anymore.  She will not be my only child...  she'll be my oldest with a whole new role to play.  The road in the photo is the road of changes ahead....the unknown.  The new road is exciting, but I'm glad I captured this special moment in time...  While it's just US.

Day 2:  My baby.  My firstborn.  Ready for her new role!


The Hood said...

I'm just getting up to speed on this new project of yours! I love it. I especially love Day 9: lose control because that expression on your face is so real. It's exactly how you look when you are laughing hard!

dlorom said...

This one made me cry :) It is perfect.