I’ve always been impressed with photographers who tackle “365 Days of Self-Portraits” projects. One of my favorite photographers to do this is a woman I found on Flickr years ago by the name of Lauren Rosenbaum. I don’t know this gal, I don’t think she has a blog, I’ve never tried to contact her before, but I could spend HOURS memorized by her art (particularly her frames of her daughters and her buttery bokeh nature shots). And I think I looked at every frame from her 365 Days project. I felt like I KNEW her after I did, know what I mean?
So 2010 was the year I was gonna join the whole group of folks over on Flickr who devote time to their own 365 projects. I mean, what a fun thing to look back on at the end of the year, right? Then I started thinking about how daunting it’d be to take a photo of myself every day. All year. How hard it’d be to come up with ideas after like, the first week. So I chickened out. Threw in the towel before I even let myself get started.
But shortly thereafter, I came across the wonderful Sarah Rhoads’ post about self-portraits and their value and it’s when I realized, who says a self-portrait has to be a daily thing? By turning the concept into a chore, I almost prevented myself from doing the project all together.
I’m glad I didn’t because I think there’s value to be had in photographers turning the camera on themselves. I believe every photographer who takes your picture captures something unique about you that is unique to them and their ability to document people. For some it’s a particular way they smile … for others, maybe a look in the eye they make often but never seen memorialized in a frame. Certain people coax those traits out of us better than others.
And in this photograph I took of myself, what do I see? My mom. Particularly my mom at …oh, about 30 (an age I’m creeping up on). There are not a lot of photographs of my mom at that age so if embarking on a little project like this helped me make a connection like that — to another time, another place, another person so very important to me — well then, this was so totally worth it.
For this being a January self-portrait, I really snuck it in under the wire, eh? :)