"We have to be vulnerable if we want more courage; if we want to dare greatly." - Brene' Brown
Our family has an annual tradition of writing down our New Year’s resolutions. We started this at about the time when our oldest daughter, Tess (now 22), was old enough to catch wind of this thing called New Year’s resolutions. Tess, being one who equally loves goal setting and making lists, appointed herself the family secretary. So we don’t just share our resolutions with each other, we write them down and revisit them the following year, all of us holding each other accountable.
Prior to Tess taking on this role, I never gave my resolutions much thought. I would make a few resolutions at the end of December, think about them for the first few weeks in January, and then usually get caught up in our everyday routine and discard them. But once Tess put herself in charge of our resolutions that all changed. I had to think and speak carefully about what I resolved to do, because the whole family would be listening, and then a year later Tess would read aloud the resolutions from the previous year. And who wanted to be the one who didn’t follow through? Certainly not me!
Fast forward to December 30th 2017 (a day early this year), we all curled up on our living room couches with only the soft light of the still fragrant Christmas tree, anxiously awaiting the recitation of our resolutions. Some resolutions were fulfilled, some discarded in the early weeks of 2017, and those belonging to Hugo the dog evoked laughter. Yes, even the dog has a New Year’s resolution! Hugo’s is a big one for 2018 – improve greeting skills.
After feeling good and bad about the resolutions we did or didn’t carry out, it was time to declare our intentions for 2018. When it was my turn to share I gave me usual list of business and health related resolutions. It was a carefully thought out list and I felt good about what I resolved to accomplish in 2018. Then Tess asked what my personal photography projects were for the year. I hadn’t quite settled on any yet, but at that moment I blurted out, “Self-portraits! I’m going to focus on self portraits this year because there were no photos taken of me during Christmas.” Like many moms and especially moms who are also photographers, you will find me in few photos from the entire year. I did make a few self-portraits over the summer after being encouraged by my teacher and mentor, Stacey Ilyse Craft, but had pretty much given up on them once the fall routine amped up.
So in the small, red "resolutions" notebook under “Mommy”, the final entry is: “Self Portrait Photography Project.” I’m determined that come December 31, 2018 I will proudly hold my head high, and proclaim, “yes, I did that!” And with that, here is my first blog post of 2018, dedicated entirely to my self-portrait project. I am going to try to blog monthly on my project and would love it if you would follow along on my journey. Maybe you will even be inspired to make a self-portrait too!
If you made it this far through my first self-portrait installment I want to say a sincere THANK YOU for starting this journal with me. Getting in front of the camera is HARD! I do it so rarely and almost never by myself. I hope my project will inspire you to do the same, whether by taking the photos yourself, having a friend or family member take a few images of you, or by hiring a photographer. You, my friend, deserve to be in photos. Until next time...