While I love spilling stories into blog posts, I often feel like I am most at home telling stories in photos, so why don’t I start by telling you a bit about how I discovered photography and how it was a catalyst for healing for me.
I often read stories of how folks discovered photography at very young age and never looked back. That isn’t my story. Not because it wasn’t available to me, but because I tried on all sorts of other creative adventures before getting to photography. Yet none of them (theatre, songwriting, performing music, sewing, pottery, knitting and on and on) felt quite right. They didn’t feel like a fit. But I had this perception that photography wasn’t just picking up a camera and shooting and was intimidated by all of the information I thought I needed to know to take a photo. It turns out I was wrong.
So if you decide to join me in an E-Course, know that I come from a place of playfulness, of experimenting, of discovery. In fact, one of my favourite mantra’s in my classes is:
When I started falling in love with photography and realized how accessible it was (oh how digital photography had perfect timing blossoming around this time) my love grew quickly.
As you saw in the video, I discovered photography around the time that I was emerging from a rough patch (aka a depression) and a major part of this journey was turning the camera on myself. I knew I was no longer the same woman, but I had no clue who this ‘new me’ was. I felt like a blank canvas with no clue how to start the journey to figure out how to paint her image again.
My new love for photography was the perfect tool. It allowed me to just start in the moment. With a simple shot of my feet that made me feel like even if I didn’t know all the answers, in this moment I was taking a photo that just let me feel like ‘I am here’. So it began.
My love for self-portraiture blossomed big time and it became a regular part of my creative journey, so much so that I started to get a lot of questions from folks about how I was doing them. It was around the time when E-Courses were just starting to appear and it seemed like an incredible format to share my love for self-portraiture, so I created You are Your Own Muse, a 6 Week Self-Portrait journey and these 2 years later I’ve been totally honoured to teach hundreds of women from around the world (Brazil, Portugal, Switzerland, Australia, China, the UK, Iceland, the US, Canada and more) about finding their own muse.
At the core of all of my classes is that sense of playfulness, but also that we are our own guide. That our stories, our experiences are a vital part of our creative voice and that while photography and other creative mediums might feel overwhelming at times, with so many people accessing them, that you have something unique to say and that You can be Your Own Muse.
In these past 2 years of teaching online and in person workshops, I’ve expanded my offerings to go beyond self-portrait photography to have such offerings as the Montage Video Classes, Rule-Free Photography, the Light Hunters courses and now the Be Your Own Series of workshops!
I’ve also created some E-Books such as Tips and Tricks for taking Dreamy Photos (more new ebooks to come in 2013) and the free E-Book The Dangers of Self-Portraiture (very risky business, you might find yourself seeing your own beauty and other oh so dangerous outcomes from turning the camera on yourself).
Vivienne is a contributor to Liz Lamoreux’s book Inner Excavation. She can be seen on the cover and throughout the pages of this gorgeous book.
The article in Somerset Life features five pages of writing and photography by Vivienne.