A self is always becoming

Sometimes I take self portraits. I have done this for many years now and often the urge to do so comes spontaneously and feels like some outer force navigating my body, instructing it to move, contort and grab any props in order to express what’s necessary. That’s how it feels at that moment. Necessary. 

At times it strikes through emotion such as when I’m in a particularly vulnerable state, other times it’s sparked by colour or light and sometimes it comes from a simple desire to really see myself or see myself, as someone else.

What I’ve come to find is that the whole process is one of which I enter a state of flow where all time loses significance and I am completely focused on what happens both in front and behind a single mechanical eye in charge of documenting the process.  I enter into a kind of inner and outer dialog with myself on both ends. 

The result may not always be one which I’d necessarily share but that’s okay  because rather than always perfecting a final result, what is more important in those moments, is the process of doing. Of releasing something underneath the surface, gasping to get out and in doing so, practicing a sense of focus. 

Then at some point, organically it’s over, and I naturally strip myself of the journey I just went through, placing everything back as it was but with a new awareness of myself and my inner state which had just moments before, bubbled to the surface and now lays imprinted in either film or megapixels. 

It’s these creative inner conversations and the act of sometimes forcing myself to see the inside reflected on my outer human canvas that I believe has helped me consciously and subconsciously heal in times where not much else could. 

I can only encourage you to do the same, even if it may feel strange at first. Next time you feel low and would normally grab something to distract you from your state, grab your camera instead and learn to listen, to engage and express what lays beneath your skin. 

The image above is one from one of my more recent dialogs. 💚 

You can also see more of my self-portraits here

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