Sunday, December 30, 2012

Self-Portrait | December 2012

Some months are easier than others to decide what to capture for my self-portrait, and luckily December was a piece of cake!  While most people have an insanely busy holiday season to contend with, I have the opposite situation.  Since Kevin and I don't have any family in the area, we weren't running off in a million directions attending holiday celebrations like most of you probably were.  So, I spent the entire month of December blissfully relaxing and regrouping while I was curled up on the couch watching movies.

One of my favorite holiday traditions is to watch Christmas movies and I have developed quite a collection over the years.  I usually get the movies out the day after Thanksgiving and watch them all before New Years, when I once again tuck them away until the next holiday season.  Unfortunately, I ended up coming down with a cold the day before Christmas this year.  So once I ran out of Christmas movies, I continued to run through several more random movies from my perch on the couch while I attempted to nurse myself back to health.

I opted for a bit of an environmental self-portrait for this month because I wanted to include my surroundings in the photo.  This was the first time in 3 years that I put up a Christmas tree or set out any decorations, and I have to admit that I found myself really enjoying the season for a change.  Now that I no longer have to deal with the cold winter weather in conjunction with the Christmas season, I've started to find more joy in it.  I absolutely loved glancing over at the lit Christmas tree and seeing all of my favorite holiday decorations surrounding me while I was enjoying my movies.

I was trying to make this image as authentic as possible, so I let the dogs curl up with me like they usually do when I'm sitting on the couch, pulled my hair back, put on my favorite old sweatshirt, and snuggled under one of my favorite blankets.  And I think I succeeded because when I look at this picture, I definitely see my month in a nutshell!

As I look back over my 2012 self-portrait series, I feel like I want to label them "all or nothing" because they are either shot from a wide angle and show all of me and a lot of my environment or else they are an extreme close up showing just a very small part of me. Perhaps in 2013, I can shoot for (no pun intended) a few more "middle of the road" type photos.

I can't help but look back at my self-portrait project and feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.  First, it feels like an accomplishment that I've simply managed to keep it going all this time. Second, I feel like I continue to grow and stretch my creativity month after month while taking these images. Capturing interesting photos, while staying true to myself and what is happening in my life each month is a constant but welcome challenge. I look forward to embracing it and continuing along my self-portrait journey in 2013. I hope you will continue to join me for the ride.

Did you miss some of my past self-portraits?  Clicking here will take you to all of my self-portrait blog posts. Clicking here will take you to my self-portrait Facebook album.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.

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