The weather in Nashville on Friday was described as inclement. In Michigan it would have been a normal January day. The threat of snow would not have shut down roads, schools and government offices, but being in the south is whole different animal. Presented with the idea of out of the ordinary weather, the city begins to panic. Because of this panic you can barely leave your home let alone try to get on with a normal day. My own offices were closed on Friday and thus began the start of an unintended four day weekend.
The snow day presented me with time I had not had before. I tried to sleep in a little but by 7:30am I was itching to do something with the light I generally would have been stuck behind a desk for. I love the idea of self portraits. We take so many selfies and while I believe in the power of a well taken selfie, I think there are more creative ways to accomplish a self image. So that is what I set out to do.I never want to use the excuse that I don’t have an instagram/blog/whatever boyfriend. That feels like cheating. I have some amazing friends who give me a lot of help creating content. But I also feel this undying need to rely on myself above all else. I’ve lived alone for a long time and while I have not always done so and will not always do so, I feel best when I accomplish something on my own. This is not a blog post to tell you that you should never ask for help. On the contrary always be asking for help, especially if some one is willing and knowledgable. It’s hard but its worth it. What I am saying is learn as much as you can and then go do it for your self. You can do it, I promise.The best part is you don’t need anything fancy. You don’t need anyone but yourself and some creative finagling to get something accomplished. For me it was creating content for my blog and instagram. I work full time so that can present some complications in creating content due to time. I leave for work before sunrise and get off after sunset, but I have three days off a week where I have the whole day to use the light. Friday was a gift, 12 hours of light that I could choose to do with what I wished. So I experimented. I have a self timer on my camera and I’m doing alright at editing images on my own. Would I call myself an expert, of course not. Are my images as good as a professional photographers? Probably not, but I am creating them for myself and learning every time I try.
I have not invested in a tripod yet. I know I need to but I keep putting it off. Instead I used my cat tree and some books to prop up the camera at the right angle. I know for a fact that I am not the only blogger who has ever done this nor will I be the last. While I have been using makeshift tripods since I started Instagraming a few months ago, I thought it might not be a regular practice until I saw my favorite fashion blogger admit to doing the same thing on her Instagram. There is no shame in that. Use what you have if it works until it does not work any longer. These are some of the best images I have taken of myself. Before I used to just stand in front of a closet door and get a full body shot and that was the end of it. I’m really ecstatic to be experimenting with different angles and settings to get a more creative self portrait. Self timers are your friend.
So always believe that you can accomplish something on your own. Do not be afraid to experiment by yourself. In fact I find experimenting alone works best for me. I feel more at ease when I think no one is watching and I am more willing to try something outside of my comfort zone. Life is short, create what you want, and do not let the excuse of doing it alone hold you back.
Photography: Caroline Voisine