Last week while in Portland for WDS, I was lucky enough to go on a Be Your Own Beloved photowalk with Vivienne McMaster and a group of lovely women.
I wore this hat because oh my gosh it was hot in Portland and I wanted to keep the sun off of my face.
And I wore it because when I put it on, I can't help but think, "This. Is. Fabulous."
Vivienne creates such safe space when she invites us into the world of being your own beloved. On this walk, she invited us to look for the love and gave us a few different prompts to play with.
If you've been here for awhile, you know I'm pretty comfortable with self-portraits. I even wrote a book about them (though at the time, the publisher and I wanted to avoid the word "self-portraits" in the title because people weren't really comfortable with the idea yet...little did we know selfies were on the horizon). But even though I'm comfortable with turning the camera toward myself, I always need to return to the prompt of looking at myself with love. Viv's photowalk invited me to do that and my heart really needed it.
Playing with self-portraits and this big hat was a little bit of an adventure. It was almost like having another person in the photo with me because it takes up so much space. I snapped away and tried to really concentrate on playing with the light in the ways Viv had explained.
I LOVED the way the light took up all the space behind me in the photo above almost like I'm standing in front of a white background when in reality I was in the middle of courtyard with statues and people around me. Looking at it again today, I feel luminous. LUMINOUS. And determined. And perhaps a little mischievous. This is the gift of self-portraits and playing and finding the love. My eyes are sparkling and it isn't just those glitter glasses. I was feeling the joy of connecting with like-minded souls and the confidence that comes from saying, "Yep, I'm wearing a huge hat and glitter glasses and even in this heat that is melting me a bit, I choose fabulous."
This confidence doesn't surface every day in quite this way. But when it does, snapping a photo becomes evidence that it does happen so I can return to the photo and go back into the memory so I can remember I will feel that way again.
And then I found this photo.
It was an accident. Meaning, I thought my eyes were in the photo. I didn't realize the hat was hiding them.
I stood apart from our group for a moment staring at my phone and this photo and these thoughts tumbled through my head, "Look at this woman with her soft lips and the slight curve of her smile. What is she thinking? There's an allure around her that seems to come from inside her that pulls me in. I want to know her. Really really know her."
This feels like the next step in my own self-portrait, inner excavation journey: Getting to know that alluring, sexy woman in that photo.
This is gonna be good...
(and because i know i'll get emails: the hat is from old navy and my head is not small and the l/xl fits awesome and the hathead wasn't too bad, the glasses are dolce and gabbana [mine are from lenscrafters and here's another option if you want to buy online though it looks like they don't have the burgandy but other colors], and the necklace was a collaboration between kelly barton and me. we have a few left hiding in my studio, just contact me if you're interested.)