December 19 Reverb Broads Prompt:
Self-Portrait: Post a picture of you that you like, write about yourself, post a video - what do you want your self-portrait to say about you?
This prompt is timely since 7 Days, the quarterly self portrait photo group on Flickr that I adore participating in, starts up again this Wednesday. I haven't quite decided if I'm going to participate this time around. The chaos of Christmas, interstate travel, seeing lots of friends and family, cramming in as much playtime with my nephews and niece as possible, trying to finish shopping, baking, wrapping presents, working all this week, and then staying up with these Reverb prompts makes me think that something has to give.
It's probably going to be 7 Days.
The project only lasts a week and the daily self portraits take some time, but it's mostly the commenting and staying caught up with everyone's photos, more than 200 participants in the group now, that takes the most energy and effort. I love it. But I felt a serious lack of creative energy when I shot over the summer. So maybe it's break time? In an effort to decide, I thought I would grab a couple of my favorite self portraits from that group that represent the most realistic, unvarnished version of me. Mouth probably wide open, possibly no make up, and looking as goofy as possible in the most public of settings, as I usually do.
I took this shot at Christmas in 2009 during a ridiculously fun blizzard in Omaha. It snowed and snowed and snowed and because we had nowhere we had to be, it was great fun. No traffic, just quiet streets and so much snow. It made everything more exciting and intense and childlike, and you could ignore the traffic signals, snowy anarchy. And of course my mouth is open.
This is one of my favorite places in the world. Jackson Street Books is a dusty, crowded, wonderful mecca that I could spend weeks browsing or curled up in a musty chair just reading. This is a visual of the crazy eyed book love that I've suffered from since I was a kid. Book fever, the book worms, book nerd-itis, whatever it is you want to diagnose me with, I've got a chronic, serious, and permanent case of the book love.
Another common occurrence in 7 Days, perhaps it's the quarterly nature of the project, but I always seem to have a haircut scheduled when it rolls around. And since the lady washing my hair was a good sport, and there were only five other women in the salon, why not take a picture while I'm getting my hair shampooed? Having my hair shampooed is the next best thing to a massage. It's decadent and luxurious. So this is a look of pure joy and a slight bit of embarrassment since everyone was starring at me. See, my neck is turning red and splotchy from all the starring. This is what happens when fair skin and public photography mix.
This photo was the last shot I took on the fall round of 7 Days this year and it was totally inspired by the lovely Mandy. She took a gorgeous self portrait with no makeup and it was angelic. Click here to see her photo. I thought if she could be that brave, so could I. No makeup, no photoshop and there I am.
7 Days is exactly the kind of group that inspires me. A collection of diverse, interesting, creative people who join each other for a short time each year to discuss, tease, and talk about our lives and photography. I think that's what this whole Reverb Broads group has been about for me too so far. Getting inspired by you all, sticking with the daily writing thanks to you all and having such a great time because this month is a group effort. I'll think I'll skip 7 Days this time around though. Because Reverb Broads is 31 days and I don't have to show my face everyday. I'll spare you the open mouthed laughing with all my teeth showing like I'm about to get a dental exam, or the embarrassing public photography and the quest for shiny self portrait worthy surfaces and I'm just going to try to keep up with the writing this month. Just the writing. And probably some super adorable photos of niece and nephews over the holidays. Those photos I can guarantee.