Self-Portrait Series

July 4
Girl with surprised expression faces camera, numerous hands are pulling at her face and hair
 

Fear [fir] noun. 1. A distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

I’ve been afraid most all my life – it’s not something I talk about much, it’s not something you could recognize in how I live, but the truth is that fear has been my constant companion. When I was young, fear was paralyzing, it was a mountain of anxiety I couldn’t climb, a riptide of emotion I couldn’t swim out of. Slowly, over the years, I learned to overcome it, when fear would avalanche over me, I’d hold perfectly still, observe it, and breath through it. It’s a skill I’ve taken with me across the world, up mountains, under seas and it drives me to find new adventures and to push new limits.

Prince Charming?

Pulled Apart
Foothold
Brown Thumb
Wicked
Un-Princess-ified

Primal
NOTICE: NO SNAILS WERE INJURED IN THE MAKING OF THIS PHOTO
Transitioning from the chill of Korean winter to the tropical summer of Thailand has been interesting in many ways, but nothing more so then increased number of bugs scurrying through my life. I’ve had to add some new moves to my workout regime these days, and it goes something like this:

  • 50 Sit-ups *squash creepy crawly*
  • 15 Push-ups *squash idibiddy tick*
  • 25 Lunges *squash HUGE tick and shoo out misguided tree frog*

I find I’m now lost for what to do in between sets I’m not filling my time with insect genocide. I've a very happy tree frog in the kitchen who greets me with a croak when I stumble in, half awake to cook breakfast in the mornings. And I've still not become entirely comfortable with the geckos that scurry across my walls fleeing from me and munching bugs all in one go. But instead of fighting nature, I've decided to embrace my primal side! Tap into my inner animal. Become one with...snails!

Womanhood for Dummies
Sometimes it feels like all females are suppose to emerge into the world, born with an innate sense of knowledge of all things womanly: cooking, cleaning, fashion, babies, makeup, wearing high heels, picking out good husbands, and all those gazillion beauty products. But it's just not so. In fact, I feel like I've been playing catch up most of my life when it comes to being a ‘woman.’ We're suppose to do WHAT?! Put what WHERE? Who makes all these rules anyways? Womanhood for Dummies focuses on the comedy of womanhood, it is a comedy, at least when I do it.

Lie to Me

“And now that death will grow my jasmine, I find it soothing I’m afraid”  

  -The Tallest  Man on Earth
There are so many things recently that have withered up and died away. Best friends, dreams, lovers, and belief systems…Each one of them is like a small death, a bidding farewell, and an admitting of defeat. There is no life without death. Snakes crawl out of their old skin to reveal their new glossy scales underneath at least 4 times a year. Scientists estimate that the human body looses over a million skin cells in a 24-hour period.  Death = regrowth. And what happens on the outside should be matched by the state within. So this is my death, the death of all the old inadequate ideas, incorrect beliefs, the shedding of baggage and things that no longer fit so that growth can be unhindered

Queen of her Throne
Bottled Up

Home
Being footloose for 6 years will make you start to re-evaluate the word ‘home’ and the concept of belonging. Home can look like your grey clapboard house in Lynn, Indiana with asbestos siding and a dilapidated barn whose sloping roof you used as a sledding hill (Yes, Indiana IS that flat). Or maybe it’s a large grass field where you lay on the warm, broad back of your old quarter horse listening to him munch grass and watching clouds drift by. Or it’s a one-room apartment in Yangsu-ri, South Korea, with rows of windows staring out in to the village square where you can hear soju-soaked Koreans shout laughter in the wee hours. Or it’s a tall house in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where two moony-eyed dogs greet you and mangoes fall from the trees at night. Home is fleeting and movable – it sometimes feels like you pack it with you wherever you go, you set up your living room in the bustle of city streets or the silence of tropical jungles.   Home is where the heart is!

Closeted

Tools of Beauty
When you peer into the bathroom mirror and open your makeup case to fix the damage - do you ever feel like you should have just packed a high-powered sander and some super glue? The things we do in the name of beauty!

giving up the ghost  
          1. to stop trying to do something because you know that you will not succeed. 
          2. (intransitive, idiomatic) to cease clinging to life. 
          3. to die, or in the case of inanimate objects, to cease working. 
 
In many things I've always been true to myself, but in some ways I'm just now emerging, discovering and letting go of other people's expectations and pretenses. I'm giving up the ghost of what I'm not and embracing what I am.

The Self Portrait Series began as a weekly challenge to creatively and emotionally push myself by turning the camera around and exposing myself, the good, the bad and the ugly. The very process of this personal project became therapeutic. Each image required an awareness of both the internal and external struggles that were at play in my life and the process of conceptualizing and communicating them to a greater audience lead me on a journey of self awareness and personal exploration.

 

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