52 Self Portraits

At the start of January I embarked on another journey of self-discovery, using Vanessa Oliver-Lloyd’s self portrait class.

It’s a series of prompts to take one photo a week and represented your self. Unfortunately the class is no longer available to purchase.

Like all of Vanessa’s classes, it’s developed its own meaning and become so much different from what I thought it would be.

I decided to take her class because I felt the need to rediscover who I am. I’ve been away from home from a long time and now being abroad is my home. I’m surrounded by a new language and cultures and struggling to make sense of where I belong in this new life I’ve started.

I used the prompts heavily in the first month or so but as the weeks went on, I’ve started to use my own prompts, to record who I am now.

For the project I decided to use my Instax camera (hipster alert) and record a caption in a cahier notebook.

Week 1 and 2

The first two weeks were about defining who I am. I’m a desert girl, an Arizona transplant trying to find my roots and use my art and writing to make sense of the world.

Week 3 and 4

The last weeks of January were based on the prompts. Week three was about how I miss dancing. I was a ballroom dancer in high school and I often miss the active lifestyle, the elegance I always felt as a dancer. Week four is about my love of reading and collecting books. I’m a collector of stories, if nothing else.

Week 5 and 6

Week five is about my current obsessions: Turkish coffee from Egypt and black tea and honey from London. I pictured myself making some Turkish coffee, although the photo didn’t come out as planned. Week six was a bit more difficult. The prompt was about your chosen city but I have no chosen city. At one point I thought it was London but now that I’ve been living in Spain, I feel unsettled, unsure about where I want my roots to be. For this photo I place all my travel knickknacks on a map and held a compass I’ve had since a teenager.

At this point using the instax was starting to become easier but it is difficult to take a selfie and I’ve had to become creative and just accept whatever the outcome is, regardless of if I like it not.

Week 7 and 8

Week seven was Valentine’s Day and is of me and my partner. Week eight was taken during a tough week for me. I had just started taking Spanish classes and working in the office full time and was struggling with the language. I’ve started to get over my fear of communicating with people without knowing the language but my childhood shyness has quickly been creeping back.

Week 9 and 10

Week nine was about routine and the first time I took a photo for this project in public. Week 10 was about the women’s March in Madrid, which I was fortunate enough to witness.

Week 11 and 12

Week 11 was taken at work and represents my other life, the day job of Moriah the Journalist

Week 12 was based on the prompt of friends. But for me, all of my closest friends are all over the world: San Francisco, D.C., London, Abu Dhabi, Glasgow. So instead of taking a photo of me and my friends, I took a photo of the things that remind me of them, the little knickknacks I keep to remember them by.


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