My Self Portrait
The last few years I’ve been hermit-like and not super open about myself or my life. I hardly share anything personal on social media anymore, and I really just keep to myself. With some recent events I’ve decided I’m going to make changes and start working back out of this shell I’ve been hiding in. I feel like I owe it to all of you… past and future clients as well as friends and family.
I’m currently taking an online mentoring class with one of the best family documentary/family photojournalist photographers in the world. I’ve mentored with her a couple of times before, except this class is really digging deep to figure out our perspectives as artists. The first assignment was journaling about ourselves and then creating a self-portrait. So… here it is, my self-portrait taken in February 2018.
This is a glimpse into what my life looks like.. feels like.. sounds like. I started my photography business when my daughter was 11 months old. No, my daughter didn’t inspire me to pick up a camera and take pictures. I’m not a Mom-tog, even though I am a Mother and a Photographer. I’m an artist, and I longed for something more in life than just being a Stay-at-home-mom. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love being a Mother to this strong-willed little girl (who’s now 2.5 years old), but I didn’t want to lose a part of who I was.
A little background: I’ve been an artist for my entire life… drawing, painting, printmaking, any and all of it. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2012, and then everything stopped because… well, what the hell do you do with an art degree? As the years went by I missed the long hours working on art projects and just letting it all consume me. I craved going back in time and reliving that life very badly! So you can imagine what happened when I found a style of photography that I liked?
The photo above is an example of what it’s like to be a parent and an artist. I struggle every single day trying to balance a life that not only makes me happy, but makes the rest of my family happy too. I struggle with trying to become the best version of myself, but also trying to just be a good parent to my daughter. This year I’ve had to hire help so that I could actually sit and work, and not neglect my little girl who wants/needs my attention. There’s a lot of guilt… lots and lots of Mommy Guilt. It’s not easy to admit that sometimes I wish I could reverse time. So, I made this picture. There I am sitting at my new desk in our new house that we bought to be closer to my birthing clients. I’m doing what I usually do about 5-9 hours a day.. editing photos/videos, returning emails, making huge business changes, trying to post on social media more, trying to make my business look good and run good, etc. And then there’s little Claire on the other side of my desk being forced on this crazy ride. Sometimes she watches her iPad a little too much, and then she will start misbehaving and doing things like climbing on the desk because she wants my attention. And then there’s my laptop, my work, dividing us.
This is my life, my accomplishments and my faults. This is me being just a little bit vulnerable and exposed.