Daily Archives: January 27, 2011

Lessons from Self Portraits

When 2011 started, I decided to take on a Project 365 of my own. I would document the year with two photo reels.  One was a simple “general photo a day” reel.  And the other, a self portrait a day. I wish I could say that I had grand plans and ideas of what these projects would produce; but, sometimes, I decide to do something just to do it.  I figure out the why, and often the how, much later. 

[If you are interested in this kind of project, I encourage you to check out a few of my friends who are participating in their own Project 365s: Caitlin, Jaime, and Kristina]

As I write this, I’m a mere 25 days into the project, and I am making my way through the self portraits as honestly as I can.  I have, somehow, remembered to take a photo each day [although, according to Shugarman’s law, now that I’ve said that out loud out blog I will probably forget tomorrow.]  I have found, along the way, a few things to be true.  I am sure many more lessons will come in 2011, and that these are just the tip of the iceberg of learning and self-reflection.

What I’ve Learned About Myself After 25 Days of Self Portraits

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I do not like having my photo taken, even by myself, when I am ill.

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I wear my IPod Shuffle a lot of the time.

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I often like the blurrier photos better. I think it helps me to remember the movement in the moment – that the photo isn’t posed as much as taken during living.

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I am much more likely to accessorize if I remember while getting dressed that I will be taking a photo of myself today.

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My forehead scar is awesome.  But my left cheek birth marks are even more awesome.

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It is very easy to take photos of myself while I am sitting at my desk at work.

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Since I’ve started the self portrait project, I’ve found I feel a lot more confident.  I don’t know why, but I find myself giving attractive 20-something men I meet while out and about “flirting eyes.” 

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My eyebrows are out of control.  And I kind of like them like that.

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I’m looking at a stranger when I am looking at myself sans thick rimmed glasses.

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When I feel bored with what I’m doing, I grab a prop.

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I should experiment with new hair styles every once and while. And when it comes to make up, I will probably abandon the red lip trend.

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I’ve stopped smiling for pictures, for some reason – but I’ve never felt more beautiful than while I am looking through these photos.

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Sometimes I feel self-conscious about my photo project.  Sometimes I feel like I’m back on MySpace.  Sometimes I feel like I’m trying to be something I’m not.  Sometimes I feel vein. Sometimes I feel like people from my past are laughing at my project and talking smack about me behind my back.

Then I wake myself up and publish the photos in a facebook album for all my family and frienemies to see. I remember that in 20 years I will be very thankful for this project.  I remember that it is giving me goodness.  I remember how it makes me feel: confident, self-aware, and gorgeous.