Why I Take Self-Portraits

Because I’m taking control of the way I see myself in photos

Because I love going for photo walks and taking that space for myself

Because I’m redefining my relationship to beauty, on my terms

Because it is playful and lets a part of myself out that otherwise is often contained

Because capturing the twirl of a skirt or a light flare feels like magic to me

Because I am chubby and I don’t want people to believe you need a certain body type to take self-portraits

Because I am telling an ongoing, ever-evolving visual story

Because I know how it feels to not feel free in your body and to be told your body is wrong

Because it makes me slow down during my day and notice the world around me

Because I don’t want to be absent from the visual story of my life

Because I want people to be inspired to turn the camera on themselves

Because it is me, showing up for myself

Because I can look back and see my life through photos, with me in them

Because it is not vain to take your own photo. It is a tool to untangle negative stories and transform them into new empowered ones!

Oh…and if you’re craving to explore seeing yourself with kindness through your camera & explore self-portraiture, join me for Be Your Own Beloved!



  • Lelainia LloydSeptember 27, 2012 - 6:34 am

    -Because for years, I was not in any photos.
    -Because when I take photos of myself, I am telling my own story in an authentic way which is very empowering.
    -Because looking at my self portraits helps me see and appreciate things about myself I didn’t know before.
    -Because sometimes I want to remember not what I was doing, but how I was FEELING at a certain moment in time.
    -Because some day when I’m gone, this is what will be left behind to remember me by. I’m building my own legacy.ReplyCancel

  • kolleenSeptember 27, 2012 - 8:11 am

    because i am free to do as i wish in the photo … without anyone setting a boundary or telling me what to do.

    because sometimes it is really cool to capture a moment … that no one else is around for.

    viv…this post is beautiful … thank you.

    i often wonder if people think it is vain when i may post a pic of myself on instagram, etc… but what you wrote here helped me to let go of that feeling!

    “Because it is not vain to take your own photo. It is a tool to untangle negative stories and transform them into new empowered ones”


  • FannySeptember 27, 2012 - 8:18 am

    You, your images, your words: so, so beautiful. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • gotham girlSeptember 27, 2012 - 8:52 am

    Oh Vivienne how you inspire me. My promise to myself is to start doing selfies soon for ALL the reasons you state.ReplyCancel

  • Debbi JacksonSeptember 27, 2012 - 9:48 am

    There is so much power in all of that “because”. I can honestly say my relationship has changed with myself as a result of taking your course on self-portraiture. I take pictures of myself several times a month, because those pictures seem to be the most authentic and represent who I am in that very moment.ReplyCancel

  • GenniferSeptember 27, 2012 - 11:02 am

    I absolutely adore this! Thank you so much, Vivienne!ReplyCancel

  • staceySeptember 27, 2012 - 12:26 pm

    wow! i have never turned the camera on myself.
    this post has inspired me. thank you for this!ReplyCancel

  • Blake McMasterSeptember 27, 2012 - 3:19 pm

    Hi viv, love and admire you so much! love your words and love your photos. “Teach your parents well” is so appropriate, Love you, DadReplyCancel

  • SarahSeptember 28, 2012 - 10:17 am

    This rocks!!ReplyCancel

  • vivienneSeptember 28, 2012 - 10:42 am

    Thank you for sharing your reasons and thank you for your kind words!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Click. The Good NewsSeptember 29, 2012 - 5:37 am

    ADORE this! I’m so happy you are encouraging others to embrace photography to see themselves as beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • HeatherOctober 1, 2012 - 10:40 am

    Oh this!! YES. I’m new to self portraits but already, I am so grateful for the push from a friend that made me explore. I feel as though I’ve learned so much about me, that for the first time in a very long time, I SEE ME.ReplyCancel

  • C. E. BahnsenOctober 1, 2012 - 9:02 pm

    “Because I can look back and see my life through photos, with me in them”

    I was looking through family photos and realized there are several chunks of my life that aren’t recorded by photos, generally because I was the one behind the camera, or sometimes because there was no camera. It made me want to shout out, “But do I exist! I exist!”

    “Because it is not vain to take your own photo. It is a tool to untangle negative stories and transform them into new empowered ones”

    I’ve heard this one before too. And you know, you don’t have to be beautiful to be told you’re being vain. That’s a hard one for me to get past.ReplyCancel

  • DianeOctober 3, 2012 - 7:10 pm

    Just today I tried again, for the second time, to try taking a few self portraits. None were really successful (for me on my terms) but I’m now determined to do it.
    In the past when I’ve tried they were all terrible and I hated how I looked. I’ve gained a lot of weight and can’t believe how badly I look in photos. But I also know that I shouldn’t dislike myself or my looks in this way. So, that’s why I’m making an effort to take some successful self portraits and hopefully learn to accept how I look. I’m so afraid to share those self portraits. I’m so glad I came across this post. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • ValAugust 10, 2013 - 4:04 pm

    The thing I had never considered until I took Be Your Own Beloved was that this was a way I could tangibly, visibly say… “I write my own story.” I am so thankful that you are helping me to do this kindness for myself.


  • Niki CAugust 10, 2013 - 7:26 pm

    Great post! I have been thinking about doing some photos of my self.

    I have had professional photos done, and I am looking to do them every five years…

    I think I need to snap myself sooner than that 🙂ReplyCancel