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Weekly Photo Challenge: Self Portrait…

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“The most difficult thing for me is a portrait. You have to try and put your camera between the skin of a person and his shirt.” Henri Cartier-Bresson

Weekly Photo Challenge: Self Portrait... At home...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Self Portrait... Same place, same day. 😉

This particular challenge posed some difficult moments for me. Like my blogger friend at This Man’s Journey, I didn’t want to expose myself to an additional level of scrutiny by declaring that the visuals you see of me mean more than just what they are; a representation of a small part of my life. Of course, some of you might see the irony in this share because I do have pictures of myself on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and a few other social media sites. However, I put them there for site requested verification and they are not identified as self portraits. There was something quite daunting about the term, self portraits, as it brought up visions of Van Gogh, Picasso, Frida Kahlo and all the greats whose self portraits continue to thrill the masses. After all, I am a bit of a shy person. Who knew, right?

“The countenance is the portrait of the soul, and the eyes mark its intentions.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

Weekly Photo Challenge: Self Portrait... In a hotel bathroom in Seattle

Weekly Photo Challenge: Self Portrait... aiming for an old world feeling here - in Seattle

Nevertheless, as I considered what made me feel so vulnerable about this exercise, I had to admit to myself that like anyone else, I don’t like being judged or making such sweeping declarative statements that might suggest my pictures are the be all and end all… It is for that reason that I kept a picture of myself off this blog. I don’t want the content and context of this blog to be viewed through the lens of my portrait and what it might mean to others… There’s something soothing about selective anonymity as it helps clear the mind of the debris accumulated from years of stereotyping and second guessing each other. You understand, no? 😉  What is also interesting about this subject is that I do take lots of self portraits in hotel bathrooms when I travel… just one of my quirks. But they are for my memory’s sake and private consumption. Anyway, I have added a few for your perusal. Your feedback is always appreciated. Happy Holidays!

“We demand that people should be true to the pictures we have of them, no matter how repulsive those pictures may be: we prefer the true portrait in all its homogeneity, to one with a detail added which refuses to fit in.” Pamela Hansford Johnson

Weekly Photo Challenge: Self Portrait... In a NY hotel room after that massive power outage...

I took this photo in the aftermath of that nasty October storm that knocked out our electricity for several days.  I wanted to hold a memory of that time and also because, admittedly, I always take pictures in hotel bathrooms, I had to have it. I like that frenchified beret as it actually brings back memories of my time in Paris. I dressed like that almost daily… What a hoot; the natives must have been so over me and my Parisienne ‘l’artiste a besoin de lutter un travail plus créatif ‘ left bank (La Rive Gauche) look. I love comfortable clothing and black is a favorite color that I wear often. I don’t know about you, but I can take photos with my glasses on or off and though you can’t see them, I am wearing them. Oh yes, the room was comfortable. More below. 😉 Happy Holidays!

“In the business of portrait photography, one must combine the artist and the craftsman.” Louis Fabian Bachrach

Weekly Photo Challenge: Self Portrait... Yes, another hotel bathroom in Sun Valley Idaho.

The picture above makes me laugh because I know I’m channeling Jimi Hendrix or one of those bell bottom fashionistas from the 1960s. I saw these Alexander McQueen pants online and my inner rebel wanted them desperately. They were so out there that when I walked into the Delta Airlines business lounge on my way to Sun Valley, I raised a few eyebrows. I love those pants and whenever I find myself being so self-conscious and stiff, I throw them on… they are refreshing. I played around with the color and texture to give it an old photo feeling. 😆 What do you think? What about you? What did your self portrait look like to you? Was it easy/hard to find the right photos for your examples of the self portrait? Were you drawn to specific examples for the prompt? Do share? Thank you! 🙂 Happy Holidays! 🙂

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Weekly Photo Challenge: Self Portrait Self Portraits! Take a picture of yourself – artistic, close-up, from afar, in your favorite spot, where you live, however you want to express yourself, and share!

Positive Motivation Tip: Our portraits share only a part of lives; the rest remains embedded in our memory and personal history…

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from my personal collection.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

70 Comments leave one →
  1. 22/12/2011 9:10 pm

    It takes courage to be so vulnerable. I commend you. 🙂

    • 22/12/2011 11:21 pm

      TY Eric! It felt a tad odd to do this but I had to step out of comfort zone and embrace the project… 🙂

  2. 22/12/2011 9:28 pm

    Very nice self-portraits! You were more courageous and did a better job of it than I did. Way to go!

    • 22/12/2011 11:22 pm

      Oh TY too for your comment… I decided to push myself through my reluctance to engage at this level. 🙂

  3. 22/12/2011 9:53 pm

    I like your style …
    Can you play with mirrors and reflections …
    It should also be a bit ‘of irony in the life …
    show for what it is, is bringing people together ..
    Are you afraid that someone might recognize you on the street?
    wow, for me it would be nice!
    Thank you for this pleasant meeting, I am glad to see you.
    I embrace you … and soon! 🙂 Merry Christmas!!!

    • 22/12/2011 11:24 pm

      TY for your support and your beautiful blog. I love your pictures even when I have to translate the content… Glad to meet you via cyber too! 🙂

  4. 22/12/2011 10:55 pm

    nice to see you! thanks to the mirrors!

    • 22/12/2011 11:26 pm

      Righto! Those mirrors don’t lie Frizztext! Glad to have met you too 🙂 And you can now tell that I love comfortable clothing and black is a favorite color that I wear often. 😉

  5. 22/12/2011 11:14 pm

    🙂 thanks!!!
    We are a people who dare to know!
    That’s my mom’s bicycle 🙂

  6. 22/12/2011 11:20 pm

    Good post! Thanks for pinging my blog 🙂

  7. 22/12/2011 11:25 pm

    Thank you for returning the blog love! I enjoyed your post and will check in to see the next one. Happy Holidays! 🙂

  8. 23/12/2011 1:32 am

    In all honesty, you have a kind, sweet and compassionate face. Now I know as well as the other readers the face behind the posts that inspires them daily. You have a face that exudes love, hope, generosity and wisdom . I’m glad you shared this part of yourself. It may not be easy but I think it’s worth it both for yourself and for those who follow your blog. It makes us all feel connected in a beautiful and inspiring way. Happy Holidays to you and your family……heres to an amazing 2011 and a super amazing 2012!

    • 24/12/2011 1:09 am

      TY for your generous spirit and beautiful words. Your words are so poetic and I’m grateful for the connection. 😉
      Happy Holidays! 🙂

  9. 23/12/2011 1:49 am

    I think this is my favourite post of yours yet. It’s lovely to see the face behind the blog!

    • 24/12/2011 1:06 am

      TY Tilly! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. 😉
      Happy Holidays! 🙂

  10. 23/12/2011 3:20 am

    I absolutely hate having my photograph taken! Well done!

    • 24/12/2011 1:05 am

      TY and I hear you… Not an easy challenge this one… it brought up a lot of anxiety for some of us… interesting, right? 😉
      Happy Holidays! 🙂

  11. 23/12/2011 4:37 am

    Oh Dog! I LOVE your self-portraits! The one in the bathroom with all the reflections is way cool, but the best part is seeing the happy face that is you! Happy holidays my friend!

    • 24/12/2011 1:04 am

      TY Rumpydog! I know I’ve been MIA, but I will catch up this weekend. Thanks again for your patience! 😉
      Happy Holidays! 🙂

  12. 23/12/2011 5:10 am

    It’s neat to see images of you! I love the Hendrix-style rockin’ as well. 😉

    In law school, I used to buy tons of thrift store clothing at $1 or so a pop, then pass hours taking photos of the results. I needed cheap entertainment, and that fit the bill!

    It’s been a while since I really tried taking self photos. I’d say the last time I did so was while I was pregnant with D. I wanted to capture the moments. Since then, I haven’t seen much I wanted to capture, but I’m getting there again!

    • 24/12/2011 1:02 am

      We must have been related in another lifetime. I used to do the same thing when I was in college. I spent my money in the village and on the east side; digging for gems and I scored a few over time. Who knew! 😉
      Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones! 🙂

  13. 23/12/2011 5:19 am

    Thank you for this lovely post! I like seeing the face behind the words. And girl, you’ve got style! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Jimi Hendrix “look,” maybe because it brings back memories. 🙂

    • 24/12/2011 1:00 am

      Cecelia, you’ve got mega style! TY for your feedback and I am so wowed by the love for my pants. I love them too! 😉
      Happy Holidays! 🙂

  14. 23/12/2011 6:00 am

    Wonderful shots. I like these photos.

    • 24/12/2011 12:58 am

      TY Cocomino! I haven’t forgotten you or any of my blog friends and will resume commenting on your blogs asap… Thanks again for your patience!
      Happy Holidays! 🙂

  15. 23/12/2011 6:56 am

    I LOVE them all . . . but that 3rd shot in a shot in a shot . . . AWESOME!

    May your days be Merry and Bright . . . and your nights be filled with Love, Laughter, and Light!

    • 24/12/2011 12:57 am

      Ty Nancy! I love that one too and have a variety of versions taken in the same hotel bathroom. 😆
      Happy Holidays and Blessings of the Season to you and yours! 🙂

  16. 23/12/2011 7:14 am

    I love, love, love this post. You are beautiful! For whatever reason, I do not like photos of myself and allow only a few to be taken of me.

    • 24/12/2011 12:55 am

      Ty Angeline! I hear you and I don’t like adding mine to this blog but here we are… Phew! 😉
      Happy Holidays! 🙂

  17. 23/12/2011 8:20 am

    Hi Eliz, this is a very lovely post! All pictures are nice and I like it 🙂
    I am glad that I can see you now 🙂

    • 24/12/2011 12:52 am

      I’m glad we have now connected visually on cyber space. Always a joy to chat with you. 😉
      Happy Holidays! 🙂

  18. 23/12/2011 9:18 am

    LOVE the pants! You can rock that look girl! Someone so beautiful should not be so camera shy, but I understand that dilemma. Having worked in the fashion industry, as you have, we want to be more than just a pretty face. I think it’s our age and our experience. I am just now feeling more comfortable in my ‘older’ skin.
    Great post!

    • 24/12/2011 12:49 am

      You nailed it Barb! And slowly but surely, we all get to that place of comfort. Glad you arrived there safely. I got such kudos for those pants I might reach out to the McQueen people to request they make more. TY! 😉
      Happy Holidays! 🙂

  19. Bree permalink
    23/12/2011 11:07 am

    I’m happy you embraced the project and set aside the concerns. The pictures are beautiful and they show different moods. I want those pants, they are rocking! Merry Christmas to you!

    • 24/12/2011 12:46 am

      I want more of those pants too. 😆 TY and Merry Christmas! 😉

  20. Bree permalink
    23/12/2011 11:23 am

    I forgot to say that I get what you mean by not
    being judged and wanting people to respond to your blog not your image. It is human nature to judge, we all do, but it is the stereotyping that is hurtful and messed up. We are human first and some choose to ignore that. Their loss! You look beautiful and stylish and I love reading your positive, uplifting blog.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family and to your blog friends and readers!

    • 24/12/2011 12:44 am

      TY for your insights and feedback. Yes, I concur… we are human first. Well said. 😉
      Happy Holidays to you and yours! 🙂

  21. 23/12/2011 12:00 pm

    “The most difficult thing for me is a portrait. You have to try and put your camera between the skin of a person and his shirt.”

    What a fantastic quote! So true.
    Your photos are beautiful.
    Happy Holidays to you.

    • 24/12/2011 12:41 am

      Thank you for your feedback. I love that quote too and Henri’s work as a photographer is simply amazing. Happy Holidays! 🙂

  22. 23/12/2011 12:19 pm

    Love the self-portraits and channeling Jimi Hendrix. I’m pretty sure I have seen a picture of him in pants very similar to those. Rock on!

    • 24/12/2011 12:06 am

      Oh you had me laughing… That would be awesome if I found a photo of him in the same pants… I get it! 😆 TY! Happy Holidays! 🙂

  23. 23/12/2011 12:23 pm

    I know this was difficult for you, but you are beautiful and should take pictures of yourself more often. Funny how many of the pics are in a doorway. Some habits die hard. Miriam

    • 24/12/2011 12:05 am

      TY Miriam! Great to see you here and Congratulations on your MBA! Well deserved… Now, you got me thinking about the doorway thing… Almost all are taken in bathrooms and the mirrors are near the doorways but hmm mm…. Great observation. Happy Holidays! 🙂

  24. 23/12/2011 1:26 pm

    Very nice to see you!! It can be intimidating to post photos of yourself, but you are courageous. It’s wonderful you made the step! I’m not there yet.

    • 24/12/2011 12:02 am

      TY for your feedback Fergiemoto! I came close to scratching the whole thing but I’m glad I threw off my concerns and posted it. I hear you and you’ll do it when you are ready. Happy Holidays! 🙂

  25. 23/12/2011 5:27 pm

    The images are lovely and your thoughtful words reveal your beautiful spirit.

    • 23/12/2011 11:53 pm

      TY so much! I struggled with this one but I’m glad I did it after all. I enjoyed your post on it too. Happy Holidays! 🙂

  26. 23/12/2011 6:14 pm

    I had a smile from beginning to end as it was enjoyable looking at the different self-portrait photos and the uniqueness that comes out in these photos. My favorite one is the one in the Idaho hotel with the bell bottom pants. Love the yellow and the beautiful energy you exude. 🙂

    • 23/12/2011 11:51 pm

      TY dear Sufilight! I can still see you smiling. 😉 I love those pants too and the funny thing is that I almost didn’t include that picture. I’m glad I did… Happy Holidays! 🙂

  27. 23/12/2011 7:57 pm

    You are beautiful, inside and out. Happy Holidays, Elizabeth!! xoxo

    • 23/12/2011 11:45 pm

      Karen dear one, TY for the kind and generous words all year long. We should meet and hangout someday. You are equally beautiful too! Happy Holidays! 🙂

  28. 23/12/2011 8:36 pm

    I love the face behind this blog….you truly are an amazing woman-
    I wish we were neighbors,,, Happy Holidays to you Eliz and the twins!

    • 23/12/2011 11:42 pm

      TY! You are an amazing woman too Jackie!
      I love Chicago so you never know. 😉 Happy Holidays to you, your daughter and your family! 🙂

  29. 23/12/2011 9:32 pm

    Beautiful images, Elizabeth! Love the one with multiple mirrors and the one with those fantastic Jimi Hendrix pants! Happy holidays!!!

    • 23/12/2011 11:39 pm

      TY! and Happy Holidays! I love those pants too and wish I had bought them in two colors. 😆

  30. Savy permalink
    24/12/2011 6:29 am

    Not easy to do a self portrait… still not ready to do one….

    • 25/12/2011 11:49 pm

      I hear you! It was a big step for me on this one and I considered skipping it… but I’m okay with this; although I wont be in a hurry to do another one. 😆 Happy Holidays!

  31. 24/12/2011 1:36 pm

    Finally putting a face to the words I’ve been enjoying all year! (Gosh, you never mentioned how beautiful your skin is! I can see it in your hands on the first picture!) I’m still not brave enough to reveal myself…

    • 24/12/2011 6:52 pm

      Oh you are too kind… TY for the love and you know the sentiments are mutual. 8) Happy Holidays! 🙂

  32. 26/12/2011 6:22 pm

    Yes, you are shy – LOL – not exactly a big smile with eyes looking directly into the lens, are they? 😉 Love the pants one though.

    I can imagine self-portraits are very difficult for a photographer. I loved the one with the mirrors, but I think it would have been great to see YOU! 🙂

    I’m cheeky, huh?

    • 26/12/2011 7:53 pm

      I hear you… You saw me; just not posed and smiling into the camera. I get it. 😆
      If Henri said portraits are difficult, I believe him… he was a master photographer.
      You’re not cheeky Robyn. I love your directness. 🙂

  33. 26/12/2011 7:36 pm

    You remind me that I’ve still to do this challenge. I agree, it isn’t easy to do. Love these shots of you, they capture you very well.

    • 26/12/2011 7:54 pm

      TY Marcia and since we have met you know this is me for sure. I look forward to seeing your choices! 🙂

  34. 29/12/2011 1:58 pm

    Love your post! This challenge certainly changed the focus which was rather confronting to say the least but I love what you have done with it and the fun you had with it. As for those fabulous trousers, you wear them so well! BTW, did you catch the Alexander McQ exhibition in NY?

    • 30/12/2011 1:28 pm

      Thank you I agree with you that it was rather confronting… and a tad unnerving. Glad you liked it. Will stop by to check out your blog too. Yes, I did catch the – See my post on: Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty – exhibit and wrote a post on it with all the pictures I took; a rather difficult thing to do as security was giving everyone grief about our photo taking. It was a memorable exhibit!

  35. 03/01/2012 11:38 am

    Elizabeth pleased to meet you! So glad you’re there. Love your photos and your blog. Also don’t you feel its liberating to allow yourself to be vulnerable?
    Have a happy,healthy and peaceful 2012 and look forward to ‘seeing’ you again.

    • 22/01/2012 2:39 am

      TY Gilly! Love your blog too. I’m glad I checked this post again or I would’ve missed your comment. Many blessings to you too in 2012! 🙂

  36. 14/01/2012 8:03 pm

    You are a beauty.

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