Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Being Your Own Beloved - June Edition


We often hear the phrase "intentional relationship", which means we purposefully choose to create a rich, lasting relationship with someone. In the month of June I chose to have an intentional relationship with myself through the process of a self-portraiture class.


I just finished Vivienne McMaster's June session of Be Your Own Beloved. I first took the class in February when winter was in full force here in Michigan.  I wanted to take the class again partly because I wanted to do the prompts outside in warmer weather, without layers and layers of clothing on. But the main reason why I wanted to take the class again was because I wanted to be more intentional with my shots this time, planning and staging exactly what I wanted to do. Some would say this is counter productive to the class, the class is about excepting yourself as you are and photographing yourself in the moment. Well, honestly I don't dislike my body, sure there are things I wish I could change, doesn't everybody have that. For the most part I except my body the way it is. What I wanted to continue to learn was how to best photograph myself, finding the right angle to stand, finding the best light, giving the camera the least amount of body surface space, this naturally makes you look thinner. I learned so much about photography and photographing people when I did the class last time, I wanted to continue to hone those skills. Sure I could do this anytime, I don't need class prompts to go out and take self-portraits, but there is something about the community in classes, especially photography classes that motivates me more than I can motivate myself alone.


One thing I found interesting with this session of BYOB, is that I did almost all full body shots and very few body parts only shots.


I don't think there is any particular reason for this, other than I knew what I wanted to do this time and where I wanted to take my shots. I wanted to include myself in the landscape and in the areas that I love to explore.


I loved finding my reflection in old windows and doors on my walking explorations.


I probably used my Canon T2i on a tripod about the same amount as I used my iPhone 6 on its little tripod in this session. I have gotten very good at walking fast to my marked spot because the remote for the Canon doesn't have the range that I need it to have. 


For the shot above, I probably looked like a homeless lady lugging my gear along the boardwalk in a tall, brown, plastic clothes basket that was strapped to a collapsible luggage cart. But it works great, the clothes basket is tall enough to hold my two tripods, one to put my camera on, one to use as a place holder for my body, that makes it so much easier to focus the camera. I was also lugging around some photo props, and an old yoga mat to lie on if I wanted to set the camera on the ground for a shot. 



Doing self-portraiture is also great for getting new profile pictures for my social media accounts, ones I know I will like. 


I plan on continuing to build this intentional relationship with myself. In fact, I just started Vivienne's latest class - Be Your Own Light - working with light and self-portraiture. I bet there is still room if you want to join us... 


17 comments:

  1. I think I may give self portraits a try ! Your photo walk looks pretty and peaceful :-) I didn't sign up for the "Be your own Light " course because I am already a day late..I did start Vivienne's self paced course "Cultivating Self Care"!
    I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week..

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is inspiring to me, Sarah! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your self portraits.

    ReplyDelete
  3. These are beautiful photos. They are so serene. You have inspired me to sign up for one of her classes. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love the idea of having an intentional relationship with yourself. I can also see your intentionality in these photo. I like the way they show you as an element of your surroundings, an important part of the landscape, almost as if you weren't aware of being photographed. They are artful but not self-conscious (as I feel mine are). It's hard to put into words. I'd like to capture that feeling of serene solitude in my own self-portraits.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love what you say about putting yourself in the landscape and with places you love. You do that very well. And I need to do it more! Your first three are my favourites, but the whole collection is excellent. The first one captures so well your persona I think and wearing green against the green background looks great. The second one is fun and colourful and happy. I totally adore the minimalism in the third and the lack of colour and the great composition. Very inspiring!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sarah, Your post couldn't have been more perfect for me today. The prompt for my Wide Open class is self-portraiture. I learned so much from reading your post today (only wished I'd read it BEFORE I did my assignment). Still, I came at the exercise from the same point of view as you - to put myself in paces I love to explore. I couldn't really get the hang of the selfie, but I did enjoy the experience of self-expression. Love, love, love your images for this post. Hard to pick a favorite, but I think I love the one at the end of the dock - with little color and so much wide open space. It's such a pleasure to see you grow, Sarah!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wonderful photos you are quite good. It is great to have so many self portraits and I think I like the second one the best. You look like you are ready for a adventure. Capturing the occasional reflection that is the extent of my self portraits. Enjoy your new class!

    ReplyDelete
  8. These are all so beautiful! From a fellow February BYOB participant (Alison). :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I do love your self portraiture.

    ReplyDelete
  10. A beautiful collection of portraits!

    ReplyDelete
  11. A wonderful series and reminder for all of us to include ourselves in our photos - plus inspirational (so don't like being on THAT side of the camera).

    ReplyDelete
  12. Beautiful, Sarah! You've picked some lovely places for your self-portraits!

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's an interesting and total growth experience doing self portraits. Love them all.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This sounds like a wonderful experience, Sarah, and I love the images you made.
    I look forward to seeing what you will make in the Be Your Own Light class.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  16. It's been a while since I've come to visit. I'm having trouble keeping up with myself lately. I love how you continue to grow with your photography and personally. These self-portraits are wonderful. Do you have two cameras? How are you getting the ones of you taking pictures? I miss keeping up with you.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)