“Don’t spend all of your time trying to FIND yourself. Spend your time CREATING yourself into a person that you’ll be proud of.” – Sonya Parker
I have always thought I had to find who I wanted to be as a photographer in order to find meaning for my work or to find an avenue to provide myself with fulfillment. Like searching for someone else’s lost item in their attic. This is not my attic. This is not even my lost item!
And then, I came across this quote, “Don’t spend all of your time trying to FIND yourself. Spend your time CREATING yourself into a person that you’ll be proud of,” a quote by Sonya Parker, an inspirational author. And, although today is the first time I have ever come across this quote, it is EXACTLY what I’ve been doing these last two years, unknowingly, and is the reason why I am undeniably happy with who I am as a photographer and as a person.
Last year, I created a series of self-portraits. Each month was an exploration in skill and technique, and with that came creation. Creation of images that did not exist before. Creation of myself as a photographer. Creation of experiences and lessons learned.
I am forever growing, but not just in the sense of the natural growth of the body, but growing in my individuality. With passion for the “love of myself” and the “love of photography,” deeper is the pursuit and growth. I have come a long way from my self-portrait in January 2017!
And the remaining months…
These images are from my direction and creation, but exploration and growth is not solitary. Without us evening noticing, we build a team, and everyone is creating something that attaches to the soul of the team and becomes part of each, individually. Caitlyn Shaw, Make Up Artist, Nizar Wogan, Photographer and Entrepreneur, Charisse Herrera-Windebank, Fabric Specialist, Rebecca Thalhammer, In-A-Stitch, Emily Bradley, Evany Franco and many more became part of my team, and I know, for some, grew in some facet of their life, as a result.
And with all of this growth, all of this enrichment, I created a stunning December portrait. Rich. Luscious. Passionate. Sultry. The lighting is brilliant, a fortuitous gain. The wardrobe is sumptuous (if you notice, it is the same blouse as was in my January portrait). Not by far, because I enjoy all of my self-portraits, December’s has become my favorite self-portrait of 2017.
I will no longer waste time following the paths of others. I will create my own path at my own pace. Yes, it will be influenced by other inspirational artists, as we all are influenced by those around us, but ultimately, it will be my path on my own time.
With love, with passion.