poetry, prose, and image by Brittney S Holland

Self-Portrait Gallery

inspired by Karen Walrond @ chookooloonks

Well, dear readers, here ends my 28-day experiment.  Thank you for following my daily posts.  When I was feeling particularly unphotogenic, it was my promise to you that kept me going.  And thank you, Karen Walrond, for the nudge.  Every woman should try this; it's surprisingly very therapeutic.  What has this experience done for me?  It's helped me discover a genuine sense of self.  It's helped me see through my own eyes the very, real beauty that is me.  

...and one more for good measure
(my grandmother's wisdom)

Day 28
I love my furries!  They truly make me happy.
Unconditional love is very, very beautiful!

Day 27
Advent is here, my favorite liturgical season.  As I try to still my spirit for the coming weeks, I find myself waxing philosophic.  Someone was terrible to me today, callously trampling my already raw emotions.  But setting my eyes tonight on the celebration of my savior's birth, my spirit quietens, and in walks Peace with all it's splendor. Peace is where I strive to spend my days, with peace in the midst of chaos.  I don't always succeed, but I'm learning.  May peace be with you, dear readers, during this holiday season.

Day 26
One of my favorite things about me?  I'm not afraid to act the fool.   
When I finally "got over myself," life got much easier, much more fun.

Day 25
Tonight's self portrait is for my sister...a portrait without my glasses. I've gotten so used to seeing myself with glasses, I'm not sure what to think. I still like my dark eyes though. Oh...and I bought a different hat on Black Friday...just for you.  :-D

Day 24
In the world of Catholic imagery and iconography, I most identify with the Sacred Heart. Since childhood, I have ached for love and kindness, yearned for peace...both for myself and for all those I see around me. My heart, with all its scars is my most beautiful feature. It sometimes bares the weight of the world; it sometimes realizes its own delicacy. But it never ceases to love.

Day 23
An experiment for today
and gratitude for a hand-me-down iRobot that's cleaning my floors.
Ugghhhh!  Housework.

Day 22
A relaxing Thanksgiving with my family...now that's beautiful!  
(Polaroid self portrait #2)

Day 21
I snapped this quick pic on my way out Wednesday night, (which used to be my night to cook my Thanksgiving feast).  I can't get used to this empty seat at my table though, so going to Canoe is a nice alternative. The food is divine, and I always love dressing up.  This outfit's crowning jewel is my grandmother's evening bag.  Truly vintage and truly beautiful.  

Day 20
I know, I know...another hat portrait.  But I wanted something graphic for a shadow portrait.
My knit cap just wouldn't fit the bill; neither would my ball cap.

Day 19
Hmmm...what does this portrait say?  That I have nice symmetry?  That I wear them well? This isn't the portrait I planned.  I promise!!!  Today my hubby hiked the first twenty-one miles of the Appalachian Trail.  I volunteered to run drop-off/pick-up shuttle with visions of wickedly cool portrait ops: Simon and me walking on the AT...vivid fall foliage...my camera on the ground...timer set.  The weather just didn't cooperate, and I was ill prepared.  I chickened out.  Sorry!

Day 18
I love this hat!  I really do...which is funny because I'm really not a country and western girl. I'm a city girl. I live in a subdivision. I drive a station wagon.  So why this hat? Perhaps it's because this hat makes me feel just a little bit adventurous.  

Day 17
A bit of humor for today
and gratitude for the beauty that's found all around.

Day 16
Aging gracefully is difficult.  I remember the first time I looked down at my hands and thought, "Oh my goodness, those are my mother's hands!"  And these jowls...these are my grandmothers.  Perhaps the secret to aging gracefully is embracing such moments of recognition, instead of frantically trying to erase them with fancy creams and foundations.  I am a daughter, a granddaughter, and a great-granddaughter.  I am fortunate to have known and loved (and still love) each of these women.

Day 15
BeYOUtiful!  (Polaroid self portrait #1)

Day 14
This is me, girl behind a lens, the girl who filled albums (and more albums) with shapshots in school, the girl whose bff in the www told her that she should be a photographer when she grows up.  Well, Keefer, it's not my day job, but I still love to shoot.

Day 13
Tonight's portrait documents the completion of #3 on my Life List.  
I now have a passport!  First stop, Italy.  Next stop, the world.

Day 12
I designed this self portrait is to capture what feeds my soul: my passion for writing and reading, my love of music and photography, my affair with cooking and eating (note some of my favorite cookbooks),...and Simon, who is worming his way into this shot.  He is my ever present reminder that I am always loved unconditionally and unabashedly.

Day 11
hear no evil; see no evil; speak no evil
live beautifully

Day 10

Day 9
I love the colors of fall, and I think they agree with my own coloring.  I was a fair-skinned baby and an 80's adolescent.  Those were the days of rubbing Crisco or iodine-tinted baby oil on our skin in hopes of getting that killer tan.  I never could... and I'm finally okay with that.  

Day 8
This is me, twenty pounds lighter than I was in July, 
wearing new jeans and last year's T.   Just gotta say...I'm diggin' those curves.

Day 7
Regarding beauty..."I think, therefore I am"...?

Day 6

I am more than a face.  More than brown eyes.  More than these hands. My formless me speaks most of beauty.  Be still and listen.  Look within.    
Day 5
I'm not a bum girl.  Never was.  For me, it's all about the eyes.  So today, I've tried to take a portrait that brings out my eyes...because next to my skin, I think my brown eyes are my best feature.  Deep. Warm.  Expressive.  

Day 4
This is proving much more fun than I expected.  I left work today, excited.  Excited and a bit anxious. Anxious about what I might do for today's shot, anxious I would lose the light before I could get home and set up, anxious about what I would do with this unruly mop (it's a bad-hair day).  But I threw on my scarf from this morning and grabbed my knit cap and dabbed on a bit of lipstick and...here it is.  Today's self-portrait.  When I try to look for something I like about myself in this portrait (Karen's rule, not mine), I still like my skin the most.  But my cheek bones are nice today.  And so are my eyes.  Okay, Karen, thanks.  I get it.  I really do.  
Day 3
William Wegman makes it look so easy!!!  Then again...William would have made sure his equipment was ready before bringing in the dog(s).  Oh well.  I like this flawed portrait anyway; it captures the essence of me (filled with good intentions in spite of my flaws). Look at the colors, the energy, the setting, and the opportunity to learn what Life needed to teach me today...
Chance favors the prepared mind:
forgetting to charge the camera battery = epically brief photo shoot
forgetting the tripod = limited self-portrait options
forgetting the puppy treats = tragic

Day 2
I took this one with Photobooth, an idea I got from Karen.  I've had my Mac for a couple of years now, and I've never really played around with its webcam.  Not bad.  I like the light shining through the window next to my desk.  If only I could find a face cream that would make my skin look like this in any light.  
Day 1
I've chosen to start with this one, one already posted on Simon Says, because it's one of the few pictures I have of myself that I actually like.  I think it captures the happiness I feel when I'm with Simon, and I think that sheer happiness is beautiful.  Oh, and yes, this is a self portrait.