I've been making a lot of self-portraits some years ago. It was my way to learn about photography and a part of self-discovery in my late teen years. I got my first digital Canon for 20th birthday and celebrated wildly through a couple of following weeks by making different sorts of photo-sessions, experimenting with monochrome and then learning some Photoshop. I really got into it!
I was photographing myself - it was the easiest, most accessible way to continue doing portraits and develop my artistic language. Landscapes and abstract were good. But it was the eyes and human body that I wished to explore way deeper. I was with myself 24h/7 so there was a good deal of collaboration.
It never felt like posing. It is so intimate.. The soft anticipation before you go to the other side of the camera to view what have become out of your attempt..
And it was before I've ever heard the word "selfie". Or perhaps before selfies even existed.
No. They existed. I remember this sort of pictures on some of MySpace profiles back in 2004. MySpace was what facebook is today. In a way..
So yes, for me the self-portraits were different than that. Different than just posing to capture the look of my face.
It was one of the glowing channels for my magic.. And it continued to spring for several years onward.
Then at some point I stopped. I guess it was about the same time I started travelling. 2011.
I was 22 and have been playing with the camera for over 4 years then (at first I was using my Grandparents' Lumix - they are both photographers). I started to gain a different focus. I wanted to travel light, I stopped taking camera with me. It was still there when I first ventured to Ireland, but then I quit..
And the self-portraits never really returned.
After my journeys, self-photography was not something I was interested in anymore. When I gave it a thought - it felt like it would have distracted my focus too much onto material things.. the external looks.. the images.. the computer work.. I was on a whole another wave then and wanted to remain afloat.
But what I see now (and couldn't then), is that I developed a sense of "not wanting to make an impression of a self-centred person". Yes.. the slight fear of judgement was underlying my choices.. and not that I was a self-centred person - though I think we all are, to some extend - but I just didn't want to be perceived as such.
And today I recognise that I was not altogether free in my choice. I was actually getting attached to that "new version" of me - One Who Didn't Photograph. One who did not try to capture the moment in the lens. And for sure one who did not try to capture herself in the moment- what's the use of that.
So now, as I begin to hear a silent call from the familiar direction - I'm getting interested!..
I'm thinking to myself: "Oh, so you want to try that again?"
How would it be to photograph myself again after almost 8 years have passed?
I am a different person now. A different woman.
I carried my first child, I gave birth, breastfed, carried in a wrap, was entwined with another being... and that everyday! I swam among the sea of new responsibilities and callings and impressions...
Next to that I've been living in a relationship with a man- the longest I've had so far.
There was indescribable beauty, and there were some dark days and nights too, some of them probably the darkest in my life...
How would it feel now - to photograph myself ?
What would my Self feel?