I mentioned before how I am part of a global community of female photographers (#P52radness) who participate in a weekly self-portrait project. It’s become a project that is dear to my heart, simply because everybody in the group has their own battles in getting themselves in front of the camera and yet is so supportive of others who do get in the frame. It is that kindness and encouragement that helps us overcome our fear and also see past the perception we have of ourselves. Something that I would happily give my female clients if they feel anxious about themselves during their photoshoots. I have also written about some of those feelings and shared the reasons of the importance to be in your own pictures, not just for creating a physical memory for your loved ones but also for yourself, in a blog article here.
Last month, the P52radness group had a theme called ‘Let the landscape speak’. The idea of this theme is that the environment or our surroundings take up the centre stage of our images, as opposed to our own portraits dominating the picture. This can be appealing if you find having your pictures taken intimidating, or you just want to have the beauty of the landscape tell the story whilst being in the photo. It's conducive to making an evironmental portrait and helps to set the context of the person in the photo, which I will always try to make a few for my clients using my wide-angle lens. Before I begin a photoshoot, I like to ask each of my clients to pick a location that can be home or outdoors, which are familiar to you and perhaps one of your favourite places to spend time in. We spend most of that time in that location on your photoshoot. By being in familiar surroundings this would put you at ease to be yourself and allow me to capture beautiful pictures that will truly portray you and your personality.
For my self-portraits below, I wore a yellow summer maxi dress from New Look that a friend of mine got for a travelling dress ('Travelling Mustard') project. I am doing this project along with nearly forty other British and Irish female photographers. Each photographer takes a self-portrait in the same yellow mustard dress. I did a collaboration with a couple of these women recently, which I will share later on or you can see them on the Travelling Mustard blog. My own self-portraits were taken using the technique of freelensing with the help of my husband, who acted as a stand-in tripod when it was a windy day on the beach during our family trip to Old Hunstanton Cliffs.