Category: One Little Word

All the Love for Self-Portraits

FRIENDS. I’m freshly back from Story Camp with Ali Edwards and I can tell you – WOW. SO GOOD. I can’t wait to share the projects I made this past weekend. I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned and how it has shifted my memory keeping for the better!

But first, we need to talk about self-portraits.

One of our homework assignments for Story Camp was to bring a selfie. If you have followed me for any length of time, you probably know how much I absolutely *love* selfies.

Self-portraits tell us so much about who and where we are. I have used them over the years as a way to dive in to myself. To check in. To see where I’m at and work on being better.

At the start of this year, I did a daily self portrait project to help me work through depression (post-partum mixed with seasonal depression, not to mention the chaotic/depressive cultural zeitgeist at that time (right after the election)). It was SO HARD.

Thankfully, I know myself well enough to know that there is a way for me to work myself out of it. I’m a naturally mellow person. I live in a cold weather climate. I have life drama that drags me down, at times. So whenever things come my way, I know what I need to do to pick myself back up.

And I did it. Slowly. And I used self-portraits to help myself along. I’ll explain.

Self-portraits are a way that I check in with myself. You can fake all you want with friends and social gatherings, but when you’re with yourself, the camera doesn’t lie.

It tells the story in the subtle curl of your lips. In the water in your eyes. In the color of your complexion.

The answer is always there. If you know what you’re looking for.

So when I’m not myself, I use a daily self-portrait as a barometer for where I am. And I take it, no matter how imperfect or silly or strange it might appear to be.

And I keep going.

For this year’s project, I did a lot of face-on selfies because I knew what I was working with. And I knew I needed it.

So there you have it.

I have SO MUCH MORE to share. This is where we begin.






One Little Word 2017 | Beginning + Daily Self Portrait Project

There is power in words. Words evoke feelings, emotions, they suggest deeper meanings and infer sentiment, context.

This is true in the words we use, in how we relay them, and how they are perceived by others.

You may have heard of Ali Edwards’ annual project One Little Word, a project fully dedicated to the expression and exploration of choosing a word, inviting it into your life, and exploring it in the context of personal growth.

I’ve been doing this project, in some form or fashion, since 2013. Here are my past list of words:

  • 2013 – Sustain
  • 2014 – Forward
  • 2015 – Cultivate
  • 2016 – Magic

Lately, I’ve noticed myself using a lot of negative words to describe my life. I say things like “well, it’s okay, but… (insert negative statement).” I can’t take compliments. And I find myself just .. grumpy. Unsettled. Not myself.

It’s winter here in New England, and most of us experience some form of Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD), which is prevalent during cold, rainy months when people are trapped indoors and don’t have enough time outside. The lack of sun, the temperature, it can be hard on the soul.

Coming off a hard year (2016), I’m in need of a personal revolution of sorts. I need some serious time and energy invested solely in my own well-being, along with a dose of warmth, and more opportunities to engage, connect, and smile.

This year for One Little Word, I chose the word SECURE.

This Year’s Project

Because of where I am this year, because of how much I NEED a personal revolution, I’ve added several personal development layers on top of the OLW project itself.

You can read more about my personal project here.

This first layer, and the biggest inspiration for this project, is about feeling secure in my body.

I know, touchy subject, right?

But it’s just SO necessary for where I am right now. And if you want to learn more about that, you can read my opening letter to 2017.

In addition to some really healthy practices (like eating better + daily exercise), I’m doing a self-portrait project.

And I’m SO excited.

I’ve done one before. Back in 2015, I took a photo EVERY DAY for the entire year. For more on that, here is a post on my WHY from last time and here’s a small album My Selfie Scrapbook.

This year, it’s a different project for a different reason. But the goal is the same: one photo a day, a few words, a quick dip into where I am and how I am. It’s my way of checking in. Catching up. Tracking progress in a more telling way.

I’m adding in favorite quotes, tracking progress, and keeping it real. REALLY real.

For supplies, I’m again keeping it SUPER simple with whatever I have on hand: Canon Pixma printer, a traveler’s notebook, date stamp, my staedtler pens, some adhesive, and a black Archiver’s Ink stamp pad.

So that’s the beginning! Check back here regularly (weekly?) for updates on the project, my favorite layouts, and continued progress on this project.

Happy Documenting, friends!