Project 52: A personal journey through self-portraiture in 2018 | #P52radness Self-Portrait project | Diana Hagues Photography

2018 was about rediscovery and being fearless.

It wasn’t intentional, but somehow it seemed the most logical thing to do. It wasn’t so much as redefining who I am, as realigning the values I have as an artist and photographer along with all the other familiar hats I wear as well. It was about cultivating and nurturing my voice - a creative voice - and safeguarding it from the self-doubts or voices that goes on externally and keeps us staying within our comfort zone. As an artist, I believe in showing authenticity as well as pushing the boundaries of our vision and creativity. I believe I more than did so last year.

Self-portraiture and P52radness

Last year, I continued my journey in self-portraiture with the P52radness group. This group has been instrumental in bringing together a supportive network of female artists to see the value of self-portraits and get themselves in front of the lens. It was a pleasure to watch some of these ladies grow and to see their artistry. They are breaking their own preconceptions of what self-portraiture is about, which invites us to look deeper within ourselves, explore vulnerability and truly embrace who we are.

When I first got involved with the P52 project, my intention was to create images with my children so I am in the frame with them and have photographs to show I was there too. I get incredibly sentimental and nostalgic over long-forgotten moments, and photographs are one way to bring back the memory of a loved one.

This last year though I had to admit that my self-portraits were more an exploration of my self, my emotions and the voice I wanted to express inside. I was ok with that. More than anything I found self-portraiture helped me to connect with my emotions and understand myself, which is important to me as an artist. You don’t get the full story unless you know the person behind the images, and part of me, is the creative - the artist. My children will have images that show that side of me, and I am also proud to say, a few of my portraits have made its way into publications, including the very recent announcement of the Click & Co Voice Collection.

Through the themed self-portrait challenges in our P52radness group, I pushed myself ever harder, creatively and technically, than I did before. I learnt new things along the way. Above all, I learnt to share a story and a voice that is authentically my own.

2018 collection of self-portraits

Below are some of the portraits of me made last year.

Several artists have connected together to share our journeys and self-portraits in a blog circle. If you want to see more incredible self-portraits, go to Melissa Ortendahl Photography the next artist and follow the circle until you reach back to me.

Starting your own self-portraits

For those who are considering to embark on giving self-portraits a go, you might find these two guides I wrote helpful: You, Your photos, Your legacy | Part I: Self-portraiture & getting in the frame of your family photos and Part II: SIX fun & creative ideas to get in your family photos and show your kids you were there too. Feel free to ask me any questions about making self-portraits in the comment boxes below or send me an email - if you are willing to share about your journey in self-portraiture I’d love to hear from you.

Dear Photographer Magazine: BLACK & WHITE ISSUE | Published work | Cambridgeshire Documentary Wedding and Family Photographer, Diana Hagues Photography

With the summer holiday now over and the kids seen off back to school, I have only just been able to sit down and have a proper look through my copy of the Dear Photographer Magazine that landed on my desk last week.

This stunning coffee table magazine features over 120 artists’ photographs inside eight collections. The collections included: The Interesting Composition, Portrait, Movement and The Moments In Time. There were also seven articles written by featured guests artists, who are all beautifully skilled in using the art of black and white photography.   

A portrait of me appeared alongside some amazing self-portrait artists under the P52radness collection. One of my most raw self-portraits and photography I have made so far. It was so lovely and an honour to see this in print after my image was also featured under the Powerful Monochrome P52radness collection in this blog HERE back in the Spring.

Once again, I would like to thank the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Janel Peyton, and the founder & CEO, Adri de la Cruz, for their dedication and hard work to create this magazine. Also for giving a platform to share and support artists in this art form of photography. 

Thank you.

Diana x

Dear Photographer Magazine Black + White issue
Artist Diana Hagues self-portrait in black + white

Let It Teach Us About Us - Some poignant words by artist, Ana Myer, on what a good black & white photo can teach us about us, as well as the moral of a story in a black and white photograph.

An article inside the Black and White Edition of Dear Photograph
Internationally published Diana Hagues Photography, Cambridge U.

Part II: Landscape Speaks + The Travelling Mustard Dress project | Personal Self-portraiture {#P52Radness} | Cambridgeshire Wedding and Family photographer

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.

Black and white portrait of Diana Hagues photographer at Hunstan
Colour portrait of Diana Hagues photographer in yellow dress at
Stepping onto the sand at Hunstanton beach in yellow dress and b
Black and white portrait of Cambridgeshire photographer Diana Ha
Self portrait of Cambridgeshire Photographer Diana Hagues at Hun
Self portrait of Cambridgeshire Photographer Diana Hagues with h
Dancing portrait of Cambridgeshire Photographer Diana Hagues in
British Travelling dress project - artist Diana Hagues in yellow
Toes on the beach next to a razor shell
Travelling mustard dress - Self portraiture - photographer Diana