Capturing the Mundane, yet Marvelous Through Self-Portraits

untitled (47 of 61)As we are reinventing our blog, we want to start sharing more about what we have learned as we find ourselves and our voice through personal work. We’re working on a catchy name for this series…but haven’t gotten one yet. With our week of {with me}, or self portraits coming up, and knowing full well that many people are dreading it, I thought I would share my recent experiences with self-portraits.

The theme for this month is “Mundane, yet Marvelous” and I want week three’s theme {with me}, to be a celebration of self-portraits in what many would call mundane situations. Be it running errands, doing dishes, having coffee, having a meltdown (kidding, but not really)…whenever you find yourself in a mundane moment, but one in which you can still feel and see the beauty that is our life.

IMG_8102I very recently started a project that arose from me on the verge of a meltdown. Nothing serious, just your run of the mill mom meltdown. I was trying to cook dinner amongst the wreckage that was my kitchen.  The stove was one and there were still dishes from lunch that had yet to be washed. My daughter kept asking me questions, my husband was busy elsewhere, and every time I tried to put my son down he would start screaming. I felt helpless, frustrated, and alone. Instead of pushing through or ignoring these feelings, I took a breath. In that breath I became an observer, rather than a participant for a brief moment. I saw how genuine, how real, this moment was in my life and had the intense desire to capture this moment. I put my son down, who immediately starting screaming again, walked in the other room to grab my camera and tripod, set it up and set a timer. I then picked my son back up and returned to the moment. I let the feelings flood back in as I wrestled with my sanity. Then I heard the click of my shutter and I felt a huge release. Capturing that moment gave me power over it and made it much easier for me to deal with the emotions I was dealing with and move on.

IMG_7319I have continued this process as I find moments that the observer in me sees as genuine and important. I hardly ever have the desire to capture self-portraits when I’m playing with my kids and having fun because there is nothing in those moments I want a release from. I want to be right there with them. For me, these self-portraits are for those times that are less than ideal. For those times when my failings are all too visible and joy is not the primary emotion I am feeling. These mundane moments are a part of our lives and for me, they demand to be captured.untitled (35 of 60)

I am so excited to see what everyone comes up with for Week Three of our month of “Mundane, yet Marvelous”. There are a million excuses to not take self portraits, but find a way that makes them doable for you. Find a moment you want to capture and just take the picture.

IMG_7372Amanda Voelker

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5 Comments

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  1. Amanda, This was such a good post. I think many of us feel this way but don’t always share. Thanks for inspiring us to share. ❤

  2. So so good spoke right to my soul – thank u so much

  3. Beautiful! What an inspiring project 🙂 So proud of you, Amanda!

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