A Look Back at 2015 in Self-Portraits


Every year for the past few years I’ve done one of these end of the year posts, a round up of my favourite self-portraits from the past year.

It can be mighty powerful to gather our favourite images from the past year together, to see the story of these individual images and the visual narrative they capture for us collectively.

You can check out the 2014, 2013 and 2012 posts here:

One thing I noticed happening this year was an epic return to using my DSLR. It wasn’t something I had as an expectation of myself, but happened largely because it felt joyful and extra magical to use my DSLR again. I think a lot of that magic was sparked since my friend Sylvia showing me this app and using my iPhone as a remote and to frame photos. Being able to frame my photo that way felt like it opened the door even wider to getting creative with self-portraits!

These posts are also so important to me, to bring together the visual story of the year. As always, there are stories underneath what you as the viewer will see in these.

Some of epic moments, like the story of standing on those cobblestones street in Riga, Latvia sorting through the emotion of coming home to a place I had never been but felt connected to my whole life. Or the stories that you’ll see in the October of my travels in Scotland and Ireland and how deeply nourishing that trip was. I travelled abroad more this year than I have ever in my life (I’d only ever been out of North America once before this year, to Ireland). Or that day there was suddenly a beautiful and fancy chair just sitting right in the middle of one of my favourite photo spots and it turned into an epic selfie photo shoot, the kind I’d hope to offer to a photo client and that I had to push myself to offer to myself. Or that moment drinking a glass of Rose on the Oregon Coast with truly lovely friends staring out in the Ocean looking for whales.

Others, of simple moments like that moment before the sun set in the pinkish photo taken near my parents place. Or the regular photo walks around my neighbourhood standing in those beautiful pink petals or that last ray of light of the day. Or that day when my inner protector let her voice be heard.

An unexpected muse of this year turned out to be this small koi point in the community garden. I’d put my camera on the ledge on one side (carefully of course) and stand on the other side often with the photo focused on the lotuses that grew there. It wasn’t my intention, but the imagery of the lotus representing self-compassion feels so woven into these photos and into this year, moving to a place this year in my own body love and self-compassion journey where I was able to settle into a place where all the work I’ve been doing these years to let go of the old stories of self-critique feels more embodied, more a part of my new normal and opened up to a more peaceful place with myself this year.

If you have a draw to try this kind of post on your blog…I highly recommend it! It takes a bit of time to gather them (I organize my photos by month throughout the year which helps) but seeing them altogether is a really powerful year end reflection exercise. This year I’m thinking of gifting myself with printing each of these years out in a soft cover book like this one and be able to look back on these years and the stories they hold for me.

So here they are, my favourite photos of this year.


























  • Susan BorrerDecember 11, 2015 - 2:52 pm

    OMG that app is SO! MUCH! FUN!

    (I may now have multiple shots of me tying my shoelaces!)ReplyCancel

  • Alison MiyakeDecember 12, 2015 - 5:26 pm

    Oh, these are all so beautiful, Vivienne! I hope you do make a whole bunch of photobooks. I am thinking about doing the same. It really feels like a good way to wrap up the year and start thinking about new dreams. And thank you for linking back to the timer app post. I realised I hadn’t read it (remember we talked aobut it in Vancouver?). Will check it out today!

    Lastly, I would truly love it if you wrote a post about how you organise your photos. When you take so many, it must be difficult to keep up. I put mine in monthly folders, and upload some to Flickr, but don’t do any tagging or labelling or printing out. Need to do more printing out! A great idea I saw yesterday is to print small ones (like the little Polaroids, put them on carboard, add lots of washi and then hang them on your tree at Christmas. I am totally stealing this idea!ReplyCancel

  • ErinJanuary 10, 2016 - 8:59 pm

    All of my faves are in this post. I loved getting to know you through your selfies this year, and can’t wait to see where 2016 takes you.ReplyCancel

  • Anne JutrasJune 14, 2016 - 7:51 pm

    Hello Vivienne!
    Your pictures are simple amazing! Love the light, love the pose, love the emotion. Each photo are so beautiful and it’s amaze me even more to know that is self-portrait. Fabulous!ReplyCancel