Why self-portraits?

34/365 :: 201543/365 :: 2015259/365 :: 2015

Breaking down isn’t pretty. Breaking through is beautiful; beautifully painful and painfully beautiful.


For more consecutive days than I can count (3 years and 5 months), I have made a daily photographic self-portrait chronicling the cycles of my life, death, and rebirth. The project, Talking To Myself :: 365, is a raw document of self-discovery and introspection. In the beginning, I was depressed; haunted by feelings I couldn’t remember, words I couldn’t forget, and beliefs that revealed themselves as lies.


At the edge of the abyss, I had two choices: fight for my life or turn my back on living. Choosing life wasn’t easy, choosing death was impossible. Using a camera to save my soul was a logical jump, even though photography has been a fickle lover. Discontinued films, papers, and chemistries have repeatedly challenged me to reinvent my wheel and fall in love with the process all over again. In this moment, my love and respect for photography is the one constant that ties my past to my present.


Choosing to turn the lens on me was a leap of faith and trust, faith in the process and trust in myself. While I have made self-portraits throughout my career, I hadn’t made the commitment to see myself. Self-portraits were this other thing I did, and I consciously minimized their importance and hid their existence. I was unwilling to be seen and blind to myself. Through self-portraiture, I have learned that If I can’t accept how I look, respect my emotions and embrace my whole being, how could I ever expect anyone else to?