When I was doing my last CreativeLive class I had the honor of spending time with the 9 in-studio audience members, both on set and off. Each day we would go out to dinner, shoot, and talk while building memories together. This is the stuff I live for.
While shooting on the eve of the first day, we gathered in our hotel meeting space. A boring room with boring lighting and boring furniture. Nonetheless, I was determined to kick off the shooting by taking a self-portrait of myself laying on a table, to later composite on top of a giant mushroom.
Soon everyone started shooting, taking their cameras out and snapping a few shots here and there. I offered myself up as a subject to get the ball rolling, and in no time I found myself balancing on a chair, being suffocated in fabric, and posing for the picture you see above.
The person who took it, Beth Olson, also took another on the last day of our class. There is a stark difference between the two, and in the most perfect way possible, she captured the two sides of how I feel…perhaps without realizing it, or perhaps she did. In the top image I am fragile and contemplative, and in the next I am curious and imaginative. That is me, inside and out. Shy, daydreamer, fragile, imaginative…all of these things rolled into two images.
Isn’t it so amazing how an image can capture something so true about a person. I take many self-portraits, and as a result I feel that I know myself very well. I understand what makes me who I am, and I often try to capture a part of that in an image. But when someone else steps in to take a few shots, and they get it so exactly right, I can’t help but smile and nod. That’s me.
Thank you Beth and everyone else who shared in our beautiful adventures those few days. The photos that resulted are wonderful and I am grateful to have been a part of it.
Thomas Oscar Miles - i love that idea so much and i am so inspired to capture something beautiful and honest in a surrealist way! Amazing ! 🙂
TomNewforge - Wow. So then I jump in here and…….that first image of you is gorgeous but I absolutely love the second. I know that it’s a prop from the shoot and although I am not sure the circumstances around how this image was taken, knowing you I’d say you were just being playful looking into the window at the time. My point is that it likely wasn’t some amazing concept yet to those seeing the image for the first time……it appears to be a very fully realized concept. I love it. Bravo Beth.
Pink Light Images - i love them both a lot!…..
now …oddly i like that your hair is blue in that 2nd one LOL
Andrea - When do you come next time to germany…?
Paulo Alexandre Carvalho - Is so good when we have the opportunity to live among people who share the same passions, the memories … To me that’s the magic of life. I absolutely love these two images. And if you ask me which one I like best, I would say that I have no answer. Impossible to choose! Beautiful! Excellent work, Beth.
Kathryn Dyche Dechairo - I love how she was able to capture these elements of you. Self portraits are something I really struggle with but something I would like to explore more.
Beth Olson - Brooke-
It’s so interesting to me to read about your take on the BW image. I had to think back and try to remember if I’d spoken to you about it or not and I’m almost positive that I didn’t.
I think I see you as a very outgoing introvert (like myself- my logo is the 2 headed crow which comes from having those same two aspects of my personality). I thought about how strange it must be, in such a relatively short time, to suddenly have the spotlight on you, all eyes, so much recognition, clamoring for your input and attention and loving it but at the same time needing some dark quiet moments for yourself to recenter and catch your breath.
The lighting was an experiment for sure (how can you call it a portrait when the face is in the dark?) but it makes my heart swell (and perhaps my eyes a little too) that you feel I captured an honest part of you. I’m sometimes torn by the thought of how much I project myself onto the people I shoot but, at least in the this case, maybe it’s just because I see those same parts in me too.
I think this is also a testament to your incredible openness with those around you. It takes a lot of energy to be that true and honest with the people you meet and interact with daily- especially on the scale that you do- it certainly doesn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated.
Fátima Ruiz - Hi Brooke, first of all sorry for my english, I’m spansih and I don’t speak very well english.
I don’t know exactly where I put this comment, but I need for communicate with you.
I just to say “Thank you”, thank you for be yourself. I love with photography but when I discovered you “prommoting passion” I was falling in love.
Today I bought your “Inspiration in photography” book, and I am very grateful with you, because you are fuel to catch my dreams.
Please, you never stop to doing this.