I can’t exactly remember why it was that I joined the Self-Portrait Challenge. I remember surfing random blogs trying to find something worth reading when I landed on Chronicles of Me by Boho. The post I was reaidng was a challenge she had recently completed, and because I was intrigued by the idea I followed the link to the SPC page, and I was hooked.
I saw SPC as a way to give me a structured prompt which would motivate me to post at least once a week. I could meld my love of photography, writing, and yes myself into something worthwhile. Since I started, each prompt has allowed me to take time and self-reflect on how to represent myself both visually and textually to a wider audience. I believe in the concept of photography as image creation, and so I shun the snapshot because to me that is merely image recording. For me each week is an exploration of the limits of art that revolve around images of myself. Photographing the same subject week in and week out can become tedious, especially when that subject is yourself, as a result this challenge has forced me to see myself in a new light each week. I find this therapeutic, self-affirming, and enjoyable.
Having said all that, after Christmas I needed a break. I was too busy readjusting to being back in Malaysia after a great trip home, and I didn’t have the time or the desire to think up resolutions. So here we are now in February and the prompt is wide open- Black and White. I have always loved B&W, but since this prompt does not give much direction I will need to really examine what it is I want to do with each shot.
Those of you have been following my portraits know that I often alter my appearance in one way or another. This behavior is not new. When I was in my twenties, I had a new hair color every week, and I had a hard time feeling comfortable in my own skin. On the other end of the spectrum, I know people who have had the same hairstyle since high school. This is insane to me. I figure if I am an ever-changing being than how can I look the same everyday. I am sure they look at me and say that they are comfortable with who they are, and that it is me and my own inability to know myself that leads me to change my facial hair every other day, or to shave my head or grow it out, but I still believe that change is good.
In the midst of this constant change, I felt it was important this week to simply try and capture who I am these days in an honest, simple portrait. I figured that black and white, at least for this week, would be a perfect tool to be simple and real: To be myself. There is a story of being comfortable with who I am these days- Of a great weekend spent with my daughter- Of a productive week at work- Of a man living the life he always imagined- of total contentment. But I think you can see all that in the eyes. Till next week, here I am in B&W:
For those of you who are at this site for the first time from SPC, please have a look around, and those of you have been here before, make sure to check out these shots I took of an amazing festival here in malaysia.