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Self Portrait Marathon – A deep dive into myself, fears and all

It’s time for me to get a little personal…

As a photographer, I ask my clients to dive into some deep subject matter. Having your photograph taken means facing some very personal insecurities for a lot of people.

If you’re one of those who shines in that camera centered spotlight, congratulations! I envy you!

For the rest of us, it’s not an easy task.

As a professional portrait photographer, I often hide behind that role. The space in front of a camera can be a very intimidating place. Trust me, I get it.

I grew up in the dance world, in a very specific subgroup of humans who are critical of every part of their bodies. What’s worse, they’re critical of my body too. Despite being gifted through movement, it wasn’t enough to keep other dance artists from laughing, scoffing, judging my size, and concluding that I didn’t belong in “their” world.

Wrestling with body image has been a constant struggle in my life and one that isn’t going anywhere. It’s often been my excuse to be the one behind the camera.

Strangely enough, it worked out well for me that it’s now my job. 😂

When my son pointed out that there aren’t any pictures of me on our walls, it gave me pause. Suddenly, I realized that my own insecurities aren’t reason enough to deprive my family of pictures of their wife, mother, daughter, sister…

Time for a personal project! I aim to put myself out there. It’s time to let myself be judged. It’s time to judge myself. It’s time to really examine these body image issues and confront their power in my life.

Enter: Self Portrait Marathon

True to form, I created a table spreadsheet that outlines the details of the project. It’s an experience that I want to be transparent about in hopes that my path will overlap with someone else’s and encourage them.

Maybe that’s you. Maybe it’s your friend or family member. Or maybe you’re here for the entertainment. All valid, and you are welcome here.

I will do 30 self portrait photo shoots. Each one will have its own theme and focus. Each shoot, I will have an opportunity to try new lighting, posing, and styling techniques.

I will blog about the experience; the before, during, and after. I’ll share things I discovered, what I struggled with, and what I learned from each session and share the best images from each shoot.

I will start here with…

“My Why”: “As someone who sees so much beauty in front of my camera, I struggle with finding the beauty in myself. I hear it a lot, that certain people hate being in front of the camera. I am one of them. This is an effort to combat that fear, self doubt, and lack of self value in an effort to see myself the way my loved ones see me. Better yet the way my Creator sees me.”

“My Fears”:

  • Body image

  • Being vulnerable

  • Confronting feelings of worthlessness

  • Not measuring up to normalized beauty standards

  • Feeling judged

  • Being ridiculed

“My Goals”:

  • Build confidence

  • Learn more about myself

  • Learn new lighting and posing techniques

  • Feel great in my own skin

  • Overcome the fears column

  • Encourage others to value themselves

  • Encourage others to see themselves how God sees them

  • Create art

  • Blog about the experience

Pinterest Board for inspiration:

In preparation for my first self portrait shoot, I went shopping. In truth, I love fashion and styling. It is a big inspiration for my work. However, I am 99.999% of the time found in comfy cotton clothes, with no makeup, and hair pulled back. Built for comfort like my life depended on it. 😂

This is going to be an opportunity to play dress up with myself. I added a few things to my wardrobe, bought a few beauty items, and actually had fun doing it.

As I style my first shoot, stay tuned for the outcome.

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4 comentarios

13 nov 2023

Love love love this!! You’re beautiful and have such a sweet glow every time I see you, but I totally get the feelings of insecurity and not feeling “pretty enough”. The older I get, the more I tend to shy away from the camera and attention.. I have always been the short friend, the chubbier friend, the big chested friend, the thick, gymnast legs, friend .. I wanted to just be “friend” ya know?!

I can’t wait to follow along on your journey and see your photos! You’re amazing at what you do!

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Amanda Van Meter Burch
Amanda Van Meter Burch
13 nov 2023
Contestando a

Thank you so much! I TOTALLY get that! I tell my son all the time, you cannot control other people's behavior but you can control your reaction to it. It's amazing how parenting is a hard lesson for yourself. Lol! So while this experience may not change other people's behavior, I am really trying to tackle how I react and even how I feel about it. Let's see if it works... 😂

Thank you for being here & following along!

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12 nov 2023

I LOVE this Amanda!! Can't wait to see more as you continue on this amazing, beautiful, inspirational journey!! God made you beautiful!! :-) :-)

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Amanda Van Meter Burch
Amanda Van Meter Burch
13 nov 2023
Contestando a

Thank you so much, Christina! I'm so excited for the journey and to see how God uses it for good.

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