Self Portrait in Martha's Vineyard

Annabelle Agnew Wedding Photographer

In my BFA Photography program all those years ago there are a lot of student self-portrait projects, simply because it’s so much friendlier on your student budget to use yourself. Also it can be easier to direct yourself vs. directing someone else. That said, I find it harder to direct myself because of my internal hyper critic.

I drove down with friends two weekends ago to Martha’s Vineyard — we are grateful to have been given access to a beautiful place there and this was our second visit, but our first time in summer.

There is this giant field has a magical quality to it and when I started watching the sunset from our balcony (while we drank wine, ate tapas and laughed A LOT) I knew I had to get down to the field to make something.

It takes a while during a self portrait to arrive at what you like if you don’t have an idea fully formed, but know that you have all the desirable working pieces. This pose felt POSED when I got into it, but really it works. It’s what I say to my couples sometimes “I know it FEELS weird, but it looks great on camera”. We have a tendency to shrink inward when we’re being photographed, especially women. I’ve talked about this before but it comes from a place of not wanting to appear like a show-off, or vain, or a certainty that no matter what we do, we’ll look bad.

What I also know is this: I look back at myself, even five years ago and think: you’re an idiot for applying so much self-hatred to your appearance. It’s a time waster and I was drastically wrong. I can appreciate now how I looked THEN and am working on appreciating how I look NOW.

That’s all. xAnnabelle