It had been ages since I shot a self-portrait before this one. I had some vague ideas that I was wanting to shoot but never seemed to have the time, energy, or motivation. This summer has been a bit of a slump for me artistically, but I’m hoping I can turn that around once the craziness of this month settles down.
Anyways, about a month ago I went home with Scott (the boyfriend) to his parents’ farm. They have some big wheat fields, which, as previously posted, are one of my favorite things. I had the itch for a self-portrait, though I didn’t really know what it should be. Before we left for their house (which is close to a two-hour drive) I had thrown in a bunch of tulle and other fabric thinking I could do something with movement and wind (since Kansas is ALWAYS windy). That evening, around sunset I decided to just go out and see what would happen. It was all very spontaneous and unplanned, which is often the best for me. When we were walking to the spot that I wanted to shoot at there were some hazy clouds covering the sun and light wasn’t very exciting. I was sort of bummed out and even debated not shooting that night. But, I decided to go for it anyways, and it paid off. The haze ended up lifting while I was shooting, making for some wonderful golden light in most of the images.
I have sat on these images for a while, unsure of how I wanted to edit them, and share them. Finally, as I am sitting in a hotel in Lexington, KY about to shoot a wedding I decided I was sick of having them sit on my hard drive. I will make another post with a few more, but this one was my favorite, and when the title popped into my head this morning I thought it deserved its own post.
After being in such a stunning place for the past few days, I was struggling with motivation for today’s 366 now that I am back in Kansas. I got this in my head and decided to go with it, and it ended up turning out much, much better than I had hoped.
And I am all caught up now, which I was not expecting to happen today!
Last Thursday Joy Christiansen Erb came to my school to give a lecture on the Intimate Portrait. Her work influenced the series of self-portraits that I did a couple of summers ago, so I was very excited when I found out she was coming to give a workshop. There was a pretty good sized group there, and we discussed various things relating to portraits and photography for a while. We also did a writing exercise to come up with ideas for self-portraits, which I found very helpful. She then gave us an hour to take a self-portrait, but because I was helping other people (and because it turned out how I wanted it to very quickly) I ended up only taking 5 minutes or so on mine. For being such a spontaneous shot, I was really happy with how it turned out, and felt it conveyed what I wanted it to.
On a somewhat unrelated note, I am going to try to be better about posting here on a more regular basis. I am still producing work, but have been pretty busy and focused on other things. But I feel as though sharing my work here on my blog is important, so hopefully I will be able to step it up. Thank you to everyone who has stuck around lately!
Tonight was an interesting night. I had been craving a self-portrait, and so I texted my friend Danielle asking for help. Then, something terrible happened. Some of you may remember my Jumper sculpture from last summer. While I was moving chairs out of the kitchen so I could do some cleaning, I bumped a chair leg very lightly on the sculpture. Then, the metal pole broke off at the base, and my sculpture fell to the floor. I just stood and stared at it for a while, and didn’t look at the damage for quite a few minutes. It put me in quite a bad mood and for a while I thought about backing out on the self-portrait idea (that had already involved throwing water at me). But, I decided to just go on with it, and wow was it a hilarious shoot. Danielle nearly knocked me over with a couple throws, and made my contact literally pop off my eye in another.
Moral of the story, self-portraits are extremely therapeutic (at least for me). It was exactly what I needed after the disaster. This is just one of the reasons I do self-portraits on a regular basis.
*Wednesday, August 3 – Rocky Mountain National Park (Bierstadt Lake)
On Wednesday we decided we needed a short hike and a relaxing day since we were planning on hiking up Longs Peak the next day. We had wanted to go to Bear Lake, but the line for the shuttle to the trail head was extremely long so we thought it would be more enjoyable to go to the less popular Bierstadt Lake. We found a great little spot to sit right next to the lake, and we were able to walk in the water a little bit since there was a little natural beach area. Most of us just sat on the rocks and read, ate some lunch, and enjoyed the beautiful weather and view. This duck swam up to us at one point and I was able to get within feet of her for some pictures. She just went right on preening as if I wasn’t there.
I obviously had pictures of the beautiful scenery and what not, but I wanted to keep my 365 diverse. I don’t want to have a week of landscape shots every single day.