At the start of the new year, three beautiful women where chosen as Soar!scholarship recipients. Countless others, including me can follow along on the journey as well. I have committed to jumping out of my little nest and into the wild blue yonder of trial and error and artistic endeavors. I look forward to challenging myself in new ways and flaming my passion for photography with fresh eye's.
Directions to Photography Exercise #1 :
“Doing the Deeper Work”.
You will take TWO Self Portraits. One image will have you in the photo. The second one will be an object that symbolizes you. Both Self Portraits are meant to document where you are in your journey of life. When you think about this present season of life–this monumental moment in your journey of being committed to SOAR!, being on your way to become a successful photographer…How do you feel? Are you excited, afraid, alone? What colors are you wearing? If we saw your true insides, what would they look like right now? What object would symbolize this time in life? What angle would you shoot it from and why?Doing the Deeper work .
For me this exercise will help me see where I am at- my starting point. Who I am and where I am right here, right now in this season of my life. For me it is a jumping off point to moving forward into what God has for me in my passion for photography. As I began this exercise many ideas came to mind. How do I capture the essence of me? Is that even possible? Even harder still how could an object reflect the image of who I am?
So without further adieu… I offer a glimpse of me.
As I approached this assignment I kept having a sense of disconnectedness with myself, an anxiety of sorts. I asked myself where is it that I feel the most at peace, whole and inspired?
The River! That’s it; I will go to the river. The very spot that has brought me much joy, comfort and inspiration over this past year. This is a place I retreat to often. It is where I stop to stretch after a long walk with my dog, it is where we go as a family to play, swim and hunt for treasures. It is where my son and I look for fish, crawdads and anything creepy and crawly. It is where my daughter and I pretend we are having a spa day as we sit by the waterfall and cover our fingers and toes in mud. This is also a place I have brought treasured friends from out of town to see the sites of this small town. It is a special place my husband and I walk too, to sit together and talk about our day and share our hearts.
Besides being a place of restoration and play it has also become a favorite spot for photo shoots that never fail to ignite the artists within. It is where I retreat- to think, pray, hope, dream and listen to all God would say. I love the stillness of the sky against the contrast of the rushing waters. I love studying the roots of the enormous trees that stand so strong and drink from the waters edge. In this image I share with you, I see myself as a small sapling, ready for nourishment and growth.
"He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither." Psalms 1:3
After a year of many different kinds of losses, conflict, confusion, physical pain, exhaustion, disappointments and frustrations. There have been deep concerns, fears and matters of faith to contend with. I found myself time and time again on the banks of this river longing to poor out my heart to God and be filled and strengthened by His truth and living waters. I see concern and the etching of age on my face and I sense a longing for deeper understanding and maturity. I also see a determination of spirit and a women who is intimately aware of her need for God. I feel lurking danger in the waters behind me yet a peace that is still.
As you can probably already tell from the words I have expressed about my self portrait. I have been feeling a bit fragmented, broken and disconnected. Things such as a move away from friends and family three years ago, watching my parents struggle after loosing their home to a house fire, nearly loosing my dad last year, watching my mom suffer, saying so-long to my sister as she moved across the country, attending more funerals than weddings, dealing with chronic back pain and last but not least grieving the loss of my beloved DSLR Canon Camera that has been a means of such beauty, inspiration and healing in my life- To say the least... it has been a difficult season. The broken glass reflected to me all the shattered and fragmented pieces of my life over these past few years. It is scattered- just as my thoughts and heart have been. It is broken- just as my body has felt. It is fragmented-just as many relationships in my life have been. The hope lies in it's brilliant color. The shiny blue against the contrast of rocks and dieing leaves reflected something entirely different to me. The bright blue reminded me of all the blessings in my life that have come out of hardship. In this season of confusion and high emotion there has been deep bold beauty that has shown forth from the pain and struggle. That is the way life is...in our brokenness God is allowed to shine forth his plan and blessings. It is at the point of brokenness and total surrender that we finally find hope and healing.
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you walk throough the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:2
Depending on the season of life, I think a self portrait can change drastically over time. I look forward to capturing my metamorphosis in the months to come…This is my goal: To always be moving forward one day at a time to grow, change and mature from the inside out. May the reflection others see in me always bring Glory to the Lord. Blessings to you as you SOAR toward all that God has for you in your own life.