I turned 31 this year. I cut my hair off. I raised two children, ran a business, grew as a wife, cultivated friendships, got stronger physically and mentally, made and reached goals, had work displayed in a gallery, had other work published in magazines, and met so many amazing clients.
I got let down quite a few times, cried, wanted to quit, found myself feeling depressed and anxious, felt alone, and felt like I wasn’t good enough. I don’t let those things define who I am as a person, but I embrace that they are part of me. It’s an essential part of learning to love myself and who I am.
I had big goals with my self portraits in 2018. They became such a big part of my growth in 2017 that I wanted to keep them a part of my routine. I wanted to take one or two self portraits a week, continue to get in the frame with my children, and try to get a few photos with Chad. I really wanted to include Chad more than once, but it just didn’t happen. And it turns out that self portraits with two kids who are on the move is much more challenging than trying to get them both in the frame when Parker wasn’t crawling or walking.
I talked about self discovery last year and learning that self portraits are so much more than something someone does when they’re self absorbed. I learned that it’s actually quite the contrary. Depression was an evil that I had to fight this year. It wasn’t new to me, but I definitely experienced some of my lowest moments. Shooting through those moments of immense self doubt was therapy.
For the most part, I stuck with the themes that we had for #P52radness. They definitely helped out when my creativity was waning. Our P52Radness group for Dear Photographer is full of incredibly talented women who support and encourage each other. It’s truly unlike any other group I have ever belonged to. Each portrait comes with a story and each story is met with comments of love and kindness. There has never been one single ounce of judgement, which is hard to find in a group for photographers. It’s more than portraiture, though. Each and every single person on there is using self portraits as a way to tell their unique story. Some of us use it as therapy, some of us use it as a way to grow as photographers, some of use use it as a way to provide our children with photos of their mom.
I am incredibly honored to share this project with you for a second year. It was a labor of love. Making these photos were healing. I am proud of them even if they’re not award winning photos. I am proud because I pushed myself. I am proud because my children have photos of me. I am proud because I get to be a person who supports and encourages other women on this journey.
Please check out, Anna, the next artist in our blog circle, and continue through all the artists until you get back to me!