Week 1 - My New Photo Project, My One New Year's Resolution, and 40. / by Trelina Anderson

Let me start by saying that I hope your 2015 was so full of awesome! I know mine was. Never one to rest on my laurels though, I've taken on a project for 2016 -  The Dogwood Photography 52 Week Photography Challenge! This is a fun and challenging year long photo project with a different theme for every week. Some weeks are easier than others - I'm not going to lie, pretty much every landscape week is going to be a threat to my sanity. 

I started the first week, not on January 1st, but on January 3rd, so my weeks are running from Monday to Sunday, not necessarily with the weeks of the year. I tell you this, dear reader, so as not to be confused as the year progresses. 

WEEK 1 (January 3 - January 11): PORTRAIT: SELF-PORTRAIT

I've talked about making a self-portrait before, you might remember. If not, that post can be found here: The Instagram Challenge. In that post, I explained the trial-and-error process that is self-portraiture. This time around was no different in that regard, only this time I decided to add an additional element, a flash! 

I've used flash before, but it's a skill I'm still working on honing. I love using flash in my photography for a variety of reasons, and at least one of those reasons is that it's a new skill to learn and master. I love learning new techniques, I love trying out those new techniques first hand, and I even love failing at those techniques, because it means revising the process and trying again...and again...and again. 

That said, I don't love self-portraits. 

I really, really don't love self-portraits. 

Did I mention I don't like making self-portraits?

OK, I'll stop whining for a minute or two and get to the rest of my story. 

So I spent the whole week trying to decide what type of portrait I wanted to make. Did I want a moody black-and-white? A high-key or low-key image? Indoor or outdoor? Did I want something artsy, or traditional, or glamorous, or sexy? Did I want to pose, or did I want something more "life style"?  In the end, I decided on an outdoor, traditional, posed portrait, with natural hair and make-up and clothes, and only the barest minimum of processing. It all sounds pretty straightforward, right?

Well, I spent over an hour on my make-up to achieve a "natural" make-up look. Not a "no make-up" look, mind you, but I wanted the make-up to be what I typically wear when I wear make-up. However, understanding how cosmetics look in person versus on camera, it was no easy feat to achieve the look. 

I didn't even do my hair. 

After setting up my equipment, I set about to posing...WHAT? Posing yourself is so hard!!!! Do I look this way, or that way? If I tilt my head like this, am I going to get a double - or worse, a triple! - chin? Is my hair - that I did absolutely nothing with - getting in the way of anything vital? Do I look respectable? And why is it so ridiculously cold outside? Oh right, it's January.

In the end, I got a few photos of myself that I thought were not too bad. I asked my husband which one he liked the best, and that's the photo I ultimately went with for this challenge. Looking at it, I would never ever pose a client like that, or light her in that manner, but I was working under some limitations that couldn't be helped. (The size and shape of my deck, the weather, and some very heavy, wooden deck furniture, for example.) All in all, I don't hate it. 

This is the face of 40, ladies and gentlemen! 

I also decided to wait until my birthday for my portrait, even though it was at the end of the week. 

Oh yeah, did I mention that I turned 40 on the 9th? I hear it's a pretty big milestone in the life cycle of us humans, but to be honest, when I woke up on my birthday, I felt exactly the same as I did the day before. Which is to say that I felt pretty awesome!

Which leads me to my next item of discussion - and this will be short - New Year's Resolutions. Do you make them, or are you not about that life? I make exactly one resolution, and it's the same resolution every year. It's a resolution that I feel is completely attainable by everyone, and therefore is a realistic goal to strive for.

BE MORE AWESOME THAN LAST YEAR!

And with that dear friends, I wish you all an AWESOME 2016!