I took this self-portrait because I am so tired of fat shaming. Last night I took a photography posing webinar. The whole time, the instructors kept on fat shaming in their posing advice and it made me feel really bad about this industry. In the photography world, I’m surrounded by fat shaming even more than I was before I became a photographer. It’s so evident in almost everything we watch how much people hate fat people, disabled people, people with non-normative bodies, and the list goes on. So I want to personally invite you to hush the voices that are fat shaming yourself and others, that judge, that spew hate. Embrace your goddamn divine body. Look at yourself in the mirror, shake your booty, run your hands over your curves (it is masturbation month, after all), and give yourself some love! Tell a friend they look hella fine. Tell a complete stranger that you like their style. Be kind and generous. Tell someone who’s fat shaming that you love them (because people who fat shame hate their bodies too), and then ask them to stop criticizing people’s bodies. Tell yourself you love yourself. You’re fabulous!
I love the contrast between lightness and darkness. I’m obsessed with the light that comes through my bedroom windows. I have three windows in my bedroom, all of which let in the most interesting and beautiful light throughout the day. Sometimes I’ll lay in bed and stare out the window for several minutes, admiring the light. Sometimes I’ll bask in the sunlight that seeps through the windows. It’s my favorite thing about my apartment and something I’ll dearly miss when I eventually move. This image was taken the other day at sunset where the light was peeking in through the window closest to the adjoining wall.
April Fool’s Day was the anniversary of my late stepfather’s death. My stepfather abused me from the time I was seven until I was eleven. He died of a heart attack a week after I told my mom about the abuse. He died just in time for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. He died thirteen years ago, when I was eleven years old. Incredibly, April Fool’s holds a new significance for me now. April Fool’s 2019 marked one year that I’d been a full time business owner. Being a business owner, as well as surviving my abuse, has taken immense strength. For me, April has always been about having strength. I’ve had to be strong in so many parts of my life. And with that, I can say this: I am so strong. My strength is in vulnerability and sheer will. Thank you, April, for all the lessons you’ve taught me.
There are many kinds of self-portraits: pretty ones, honest ones, revealing ones, ones that are about the light, or the angle, or the emotion. I don’t think one is necessarily better than the other. What I will say is that I think so many people are afraid to even look at themselves. But you are art.
I love playing around with layering and double exposure! The effects you can get are so fun. Here, I took a photo of an orchid (taken on my DSLR) and a self-portrait (taken on my phone) and layered them to get this image of me wearing a flower crown. I don’t believe in “photo purity” - that there’s a right way to take and edit photos. I love the creative, experimental process!
Playing around with different lighting is so much fun! I’m over at my mom’s a lot, and she just got this new disco-type light that I love. I took this photo in a dark room and put the light right next to my face. The magic about it was that since the light was moving, I got a different image every time I clicked the shutter - that’s the only time that digital photography gives me that same fluttery feeling as film.
I am thrilled to announce that I will be participating in the next Portland RAW show. One of the coolest things about this show is how diverse the artistry is… there is everything from visual art, to fashion, to music, to hairstyling. I would love for you to come see the show and support my work!
Even though I take photos of other people for a living, I consider myself a self-portrait photographer first and foremost. I learned how to photograph by photographing myself, and that's how I continue to learn and make art. I take a LOT of self-portraits, mostly on my DSLR, but sometimes using a DSLR isn't practical, so I take the portrait on my phone. One of my close friends has this giant conch shell on her porch and I made it into a crown for this photo. Usually I keep my editing pretty minimal, but I love playing around sometimes, especially on images I take on my phone. So here is me playing around. :) Go find yourself a conch crown!