Vivienne McMaster is a fabulous photographer who takes amazing self-portraits. Her photos are full of whimsy and seem to capture so much of her personality. And they are simply gorgeous. I have never met Vivienne in person, yet I feel like I have a sense of her and who she is because of the ways she tells a story through her self-portraiture. Vivienne has just launched her online course, You are Your Own Muse, and I’m thrilled to be one of her first students. In my photography thus far, I have only turned the camera on myself a handful of times. And if you’ve read much of this blog or scrolled through my photos, you know I don’t take many photos of anyone, much less myself. So, I thought Viv’s class would offer me a good opportunity to delve into stepping into my photographs.
The class is just beginning its second week, and we are all just starting to dip our toes in the pool of self-portraits. It’s been fun, if a bit challenging, to consider placing myself into the frame. Typically when I’m shooting or when something strikes me to take a photo, I’m searching for interesting objects, or I’m inspired by the lighting, the scenery, or the framing of the photograph. It’s quite a shift to focus on including myself. Since the class began, I’ve noticed that I’m more mindful each time I’m out shooting, bringing awareness to consider opportunities for self-portraits. The two photos here are my favorites from this past week (my other favorite is one I took this summer that is posted on my About page).
I’m finding it takes a certain courage to step into the frame. Turning the lens on myself reveals a kind of vulnerability. But it also uncovers authenticity. And authenticity is just what I’m seeking.