I did it! Did what, exactly?
Believe me, it might not sound like a big deal to take photographs daily. But it is not easy, especially at first, to find new photos every day. I had attempted another 365 project a few years back, which lasted a couple to three months before I gave up.
This time, my inspiration came directly from Corinna Robbins whom I met at Camp Shutter Sisters in 2011. She was just completing her 365 project, and I could see her pride beaming because of it. NOT the boasting kind of pride, but the real inner-strength-I-believe-in-myself-when-I-didn't-before kind of pride. Hard-won pride. Her images are gorgeous. I can tell she really worked to find great images and learn photography through doing so ... As an aside, don't even get me started on her writing. This girl oozes talent.
At the same Camp, I took a Self-Portraiture class taught by Shutter Sister Meredith Winn. I had not understood the first thing about the mighty Selfie until learning from Meredith. I thought it was about how good I can look, or a look-at-me-look-at-me narcissism ... I didn't get it at all. Meredith taught me about the power of looking at myself, of expressing my range of emotions, of really seeing myself and letting myself be seen.
My idea came to me in October, then brewed and stewed. I was terrified to actually try it. The new year came and went. Then on January 4, 2012, I committed to doing a diptych-a-day: one photo of what I see out in the world, and one self-portrait. Why did I want to make my 365 double hard on myself?
I am so glad I did!
Here's what I learned:
At first, I struggled to find a photo every day, let alone two. Slowly over the months, my seeing gained momentum and strength. Now, I see objects and scenes all day long that catch my eye. I also thank Tracey Clark and the Shutter Sisters community for helping me to see and validate my entire world, the Beautiful and Real. Every day.
Turns out, I am not unphotogenic, I just did not know my better angles. I am willing to see myself now and accept more parts of myself, including the darker, more complicated parts that previously I kept hidden from the outside world, and often from myself as well. Over the course of the year, I see myself open more and more to the camera, and thus to being seen, when I look in my eyes in the images I took of myself. This simple act of opening up, each day a little more, and seeing myself has been incredibly healing!!!!
To sum it up, in 2012: I fell in love. With myself. With photography (again). With a (shy) man. With the world. With Love. With Life. Daily Life.