Category : Community
I did it. I crossed the finish line of shooting 365 IMPOSSIBLE Self-Portraits. One year ago today, on my birthday, I embarked on a journey that I felt called to take. The natural progression of my photography compelled me to take on the challenge of shooting a self-portrait on instant film using vintage Polaroid cameras every day for one year. Even now, as I type that sentence, it still sounds ludicrous. Each part of that project sounds daunting — (1) a 365 project, (2) of self-portraits, (3) using only instant film — and it was. And…I did it!!
I am awash with emotions ranging from elation and jubilation to loss and sadness. I have much to process emotionally as I review this past year and epic journey of photography and self-discovery. And as I need that time to truly reflect and take it all in, I am crystal clear on a few things. I am grateful I said “yes” to this hair-brained idea. I am grateful I went all in with what my heart longed for artistically and creatively, even though it scared the shit out of me. I am grateful I stayed the course when it got hard, and then again when it got harder.
Perhaps most importantly, I am grateful to you. I am grateful for every comment on every blog post I wrote about the project and on each photograph I chose to share. I am grateful for every “like” on Facebook, for every “favorite” on Twitter, and for every retweet. And to my biggest cheerleaders — you know who you are — I am forever in your debt.
Much love, friends. Much love. xoxo
And many thanks to the IMPOSSIBLE Project for their support of 365 IMPOSSIBLE Self-Portraits and help with defraying some film costs. I don’t know where my photography would be without you all!
It’s the 10th of the month and it’s time for some photo riffing! This month, the talented and wicked funny Cherish Bryck gave us our photo prompt, challenging us to riff off the following image she recently shot…
Given I’m in the very last days of shooting my 365 IMPOSSIBLE Self-Portraits, I knew I would riff in a self-portrait. I actually had already developed a similar idea to this photo that I wanted to shoot, so Cherish’s photo prompt gave me the exact push to execute the following photo…
Head on over to Tamar’s site to see her version of this month’s photo riffing.
If I’m honest, I’ve had a tough few weeks. I’ve been feeling a bit down, a bit untethered. A few set-backs have appeared on my path. My groundedness has escaped me of late, and the swirling has taken over. My one word for the year, secure, seems to have left the building. I’ve been trying to dig deep, to press on, to rely on my one word from 2013. But it’s felt difficult. Not good, friends, not good.
So last week, I could no longer ignore that the swirling and the ever-growing to-do list — especially after having been out of town for a full week at training — had left me feeling depleted. My mat was beckoning me (screaming to me!) to get to the studio, to breathe deeply, and to reconnect to my core. After an intensely full day at work, I made the conscious decision to let the rest of the seemingly-urgent responsibilities await another day, and I headed to yoga. As I found a spot in the very crowded class, took a seated position, and closed my eyes, I immediately felt an internal shift. Then, a few deep breaths, some rolls of my beyond-tight neck, and a settling into the present moment. For the next 75 minutes, I would be here, now. Nothing else to do. Just. Be. Here.
At the end of class, right before savasana (total relaxation!), the teacher guided us through bridge pose and invited those who could to go in to full wheel (or upward bow). Wheel is a full on back-bend — lie on your back, place your palms face-down up by your ears, then push up and into your hands and feet, extending your arms and legs. Viola, full on back-bend. Wheel. Upward bow. Uh-huh. Right. I’ve never done wheel. Actually…I’ve never even tried. But in this class, the woman next to me did it. And in witnessing this, her courage and ability to go for it, made me want to try.
As I placed my hands up by my ears, my yoga teacher happened to walk by and notice me. She came over and gently said, “do you want to try it?” Before I had a chance for my brain to even consider it, my mouth said “yes.” She then stood directly behind my head and told me to put my hands around her ankles for support. Once I had a firm hold of her ankles, she then said to push into my hands and feet with all my strength and raise my hips. I took a breath, and I pushed, holding on to her for dear life. I couldn’t quite come all the way up, as I had too much weight in my head and not enough into my hands and feet. So I came back down to my mat and took a breath. She gently asked, “do you want to try again?” A resounding “yes” came out of me. I took another deep breath, held onto my yoga teacher, and I pushed. And then, I was in wheel. Full on back-bend. With support. And it was amazing.
I felt so exhilarated. So strong. So secure. And in those incredible moments on my mat, I realization dawned on me. I don’t have to do it alone. Yes, there are times when my own sense of groundedness is firm all by itself. Times when I feel and know “I’ve got this.” Times when I am deeply connected to my core and am rooted in secure. But other times, MANY times, I’m not there at all. It’s as if I have amnesia and I never knew secure existed within me. I flounder and flap about, grasping for some reminder that I’m okay, searching for something or someone to hold on to. But my yoga teacher, helping me come in to wheel, literally giving herself to me to hold on to, showed me that being secure with support is okay. Even necessary at times. She showed me, “we’ve got this.”
This post is for all of you who support me, who buoy me, who show me time and time again, “we’ve got this.” It doesn’t get more secure than that. xoxo
I’m thrilled to be featured on the IMPOSSIBLE Project blog with a Q&A interview! I’m sharing four of my very favorite IMPOSSIBLE film photographs as well as how I describe my work, where I find inspiration, and tips for people just getting into instant film photography.
Click HERE to check it out!
For the past few months, my photo sisters and I have been posting a 10 on 10. That is, we’ve been sharing 10 photos (or 10-ish) on the 10th of each month, all focused on a common theme. When we “got together” recently to have a Google hangout and connect with each other, we started brainstorming some new ideas for our blog-hop on the 10th of each month. What evolved from the conversation was to engage in a free association, photography-style. Meaning, one person would share a photo amongst our group, and then the rest of us would riff off that image in whatever ways we were inspired. For our first photo riff, Tara shared this photo…
Immediately, I was filled with love in seeing that image of Tara’s two adorable sons. So, as I’ve been traveling and out of town, I have kept my eyes open for signs of love. And here’s what I found…
Love is all around us, we just have to look for it.
To keep the blog-hop going, click on over to Lindsey’s blog to see her riffing off Tara’s photo!
As I sit here alone on this mid-January morning, listening to the mighty wind rip through the Midwest and seeing that it’s -4 degrees outside, I’m not very present. I’m already dreaming of this coming summer, planning a trip to Barcelona and Paris. I’m also reminiscing about warmer days with dear friends, surrounded by sisterhood and inspiration. The bitter wind that blows across this prairie feels so harsh, even as I make the short walk from work to my car, bundled up in goose-down with hat and mittens. I wonder how the Pioneers made it. My escape is looking back and planning ahead. To get out of this moment. Clearly, I’m not practicing off the mat very well. So be it. For today, anyway.
Come escape with me over to Mortal Muses where I’m sharing some more reminiscing photos today.
I’ve spoken of my love for expired film before. Okay, many, many times. But I do love it. I love the unexpected surprises. The shifts in color. The grain. It’s just a bit magical to me. And I am all about the magic. So today, on a dreary-ish winter day, I was looking for a little infusion of magic. That’s when I remembered a little stash of expired yumminess that I have. I took portraits of these amazing and gorgeous photography sisters of mine when we had a gathering of kindred spirits back in the Fall. All of these photos were taken with dreamy expired Polaroid film.
Our wrangler, the fierce Cherish…
Fellow Polaroid-shooter and instant film lover, Debra (and her new, fabulous tattoo peeking out)…
The lovely and inspiring Tara…
And my photography partner-in-crime, the wordsmith, Corinna…
Our splinter group of Shutter Sisters is continuing our new tradition of sharing 10 photos on the 10th of each month. We started with sharing 10 photos from our time together in Tofino, then followed that up with 10 festive photos enjoying the holiday season. This month, with the new year upon us, we decided to focus on “restart” as a theme.
As I’ve said before here, I do love a fresh start, a clean slate, a new page on the calendar. So, how have I been I been restarting this year? First, the holiday decorations were carefully put away…
Then new words, new sources of daily inspiration have been sought. Although secure is my word for 2014, “ease” was in the running for quite some time. Ease is another one of my core desired feelings and I am inviting it mightily into my year and my daily life. Interestingly, I am seeing how secure embodies and allows for ease.
My ritual of morning pages and journaling continues to sustain me and provides a secure foundation from which to enter the world each day…
That’s what my “restart” to 2014 looks like so far. You might be saying, “What?! Wait! There’s only 5 photos here! Where are the other 5?” My answer — they haven’t unfolded yet. And ordinarily, I would have frantically taken 5 more photos to make sure I had 10 to share — after all, this IS a 10 on 10 post! But, I’m restarting. I’m allowing ease into my life. I’m feeling secure in my work and who I am. And so, I’m staying loose, and letting 5 be okay this time around.
To keep the blog-hop going, click on over to Lindsey’s blog to see her 10 on 10 to restart this new year!
Today, I’m remembering. Six years ago on this very day, I was having surgery. As I lie in the hospital two days after our first Christmas in a new home, in a new part of the country, cancer was being removed from my body. This was my wake-up call. On this day, and the days and months that followed, the true realization of “life is short” hit me. I could no longer avoid the question: “what are you waiting for?” That is when the path for my journey of becoming a photographer really opened up.
Much love and health to you all. xoxo