This photo essay is the result of an online class with photography master, David Alan Harvey. Over a six month period, a group of photographers from all over the globe shared the roller coaster process of completing a photo essay. Some of us were accomplished photographers, some just getting our feet wet. All of us, in the end, emerged with a project that portrayed our individual style.
Don't Wait Till March
I was in a class when the teacher told a parable that sparked a string of thoughts in me. The lesson began, “Remember when you were in high school and there was the quiet kid that sat at the back of the room. The kid didn’t say much. He was kind of weird and everyone just ignored him. Then, come March, you discovered that this kid was actually pretty cool and you only had a short time to enjoy his friendship because school was basically over.”
How many ‘kids’ have I never gotten to know? How many opportunities have passed me by because I thought them weird or stupid or scary or boring?
With the help of an Internal Family Therapist and lots of self-reflection, I’m getting to know aspects of myself that I once ignored; an understanding of these parts holds the potential to enrich my life in ways I’ve never before considered. This approach to psychotherapy involves looking at thoughts and feelings as different ’parts’ of ourselves. This perspective helps us separate our conditioning from our Self. Through this process, access to Self grows and we begin to live our lives from a more centered, confident, compassionate place.
This self examination inspired me to begin a series of self-portraits, giving each ‘part’ an opportunity to communicate their story through an image, providing insight where words may fall short. When personified in this way, the gap between Self and Part seems to expand, allowing a more objective view of my behavior and deepening my understanding of how I move through this world.
This project is one I hope will never end as I continue to explore the nuances of my inner landscape.