with covid-19 keeping everyone at home and shoots on hold, i decided to focus on something i've been meaning to conquer for years: self portraits! follow along while i challenge myself to one shoot a day during quarantine.

DAY 1 // long exposure.

i've been wanting too conquer long exposure for years. i see photographers using it during receptions at weddings to add fun flare to dance photos, and ii've been nervous about trying it. one of my good friends and fellow photogs, marilyn lamanna, uses this technique often, and she always makes it seem effortless, soft, and gorgeous.

besides the obvious timing challenge, the biggest obstacle i came up against was my own ego. i wondered: are these derivative? am i starting farther back than i want to? are people going to scoff at them? i thought about giving them context, writing about how the cut shadow did this, this, and that, and how anxious i felt the entire time i was shooting. instead, though, i'll leave it at this: i love and hate them, i need to try this again, and i need to put more thought into how i can take a concept that has been used over and over again and make it my own.

so today, i say, "here you go!". this is my starting place, and over time i know they'll grow.

DAY 2 // ralph lauren, u up?

so i absolutely hated these when i first flipped through them... buuuuttttt... ok fine i love them.

my biggest challenge today was not giving myself enough time during golden hour, and missing the flare entirely. our backyard is the beach, so i do have some land to roam while florida's beaches are closed (thank goodness). i did, however, forget that the beach loses direct sunlight much sooner than the front of the house because it dips behind the houses before it does the horizon.

that being said, the softer light played really well into the white shirt i chose (which i was worried would wash me out). this isn't the beach's last appearance. maybe i'll catch the sun next time!

DAY 3// what does the... deer say?

no concept. no context. just wanted to be a deer. this is my halloween costume for this year, in case you were wondering.

DAY 4 // rainy day.

i don't get many rainy days at home. i'm usually running to the barn or to work or to an audition from work and then right to the barn. i get a lot of rainy days now. we all do. and it hits differently.

today was difficult. even though i exercised and watched a movie and made food that i love, the rain put a damper on all of that. i took my meds on time, drank a ton of water, and was able too sweat out a lot of me ennui. and i know things will get better. and that we're all going through it. and that these are weird times. and i recognize my privilege-- to be in a big home, to have tons of space, to be able to go outside and hug my family and bike and walk on the beach.

but the rain sucks. and i wish i weren't so sad with all of the lovely things i have despite how lucky i am. and i miss my apartment and my horse and normality.

so please stay home. a bar-b-que isn't worth it.

DAY 5 // all it does in florida is rain.

alone time.

DAY 6 // it's still raining.

today was especially hard. i slept until noon and, naturally, felt like i had missed out on too much daylight, which i was going to miss out on anyway because it hasn't stopped raining since monday. but i still felt like i was missing out (on what exactly i am still not sure). and it makes no sense to me because how could i be missing out on anything when the world is at a stand still because this invisible things is just infecting bodies and taking loved ones from us. it almost feels selfish.

it's frustrating to feel like i am falling back into a place i spent months getting out of. and the scary part is that the falling is easy. you just stand at the top of the slide, take the plunge, and you're there. it's the clawing and digging yourself out that feels ten times harder than hopelessly wanting to just to feel better does. but i guess that's how depression works.

when you're in the thick of it, it's consuming: getting out of bed is heavy because my feet feel like rocks and my heart feels shallow. showering seems pointless (because who am i trying to impress anyway). food loses its flavor, and the world loses its color. creativity feels bleak, like a chore, like an exercise you do for yourself just in case you maybe feel better eventually and want that part of your brain to spark.

each time i start to write for this blog, i am always torn between what is professional and what is not, what is marketable versus what people just don't want to read from a photographer they might hire for the happiest day of their life, who they'll hire to take pictures of their heart horse, who they'll trust to photograph the life of a pet they know they have to say goodbye to soon. but i'm human. and i have bad days. and i have grit. and my feet feel like rocks while i slip out of bed and drag myself to the kitchen to feed myself, to hydrate, to see my family. and it's exhausting. but i love creating. and i love sharing life.

and today, this week, this month, this year, the world is in crisis. and things are scary because people are dying. and i am depressed.

and that's ok.

DAY 7 // the sun finally came out.

i was so touched and excited about the different responses i got to my last photos/post, because they all varied, whether it was to say "i hear you and am here for you" or "i am feeling the same way thank you for talking about it".

i am approaching this period differently than i approached, let's say, where i was at last year, because it is situational, and i can kind of see the end. and while the world is in chaos, and things are terribly tragic, i know that eventually-- though at great cost-- the world will rebuild itself. it'll be a different one, and i think artistic expression, consumer behavior, and how we relate to one another will change (with positive and negative outcomes), but it will still be one.

my best friend-- darling rebecca-- asks us to list five positive things from our week every wednesday. this week, i was having a bad day when she asked, and i just made a list for the sake of making one. here is a new one that is not to thrown together:

  1. i, my family, and my friends have our health.
  2. while i miss her tons and wish i could squeeze her nose every single day, chanel is being taken care of and i even get pictures of her sometimes.
  3. i am loved dearly, and am able to keep in touch with those close to me.
  4. i am taking an online class, and enjoying being back in school mode. even got and a on my exam this week!
  5. i still have music and art, and can spend a few minutes every day creating, no matter what the medium.

i skipped a photo yesterday because i had an emotional hangover, so today i put on a face masks, sang some songs, and am exercising later. wash your hands, take care of yourselves, and see ya tomorrow!

DAY 8 // neutrals.

i decided to get creative again today. my parents had these really cool decorations around the house, and what's a better ballin'-on-a-pandemic-budget backdrop than a bed sheet? my dog even crashed some of them.