What I’ve Learned Doing Photography Challenges

Today I shared the entire last year of self-portraits from March 2014 to 2015 that I captured weekly for my 52 Weeks of Self-Portraits project. I thought I’d also write down some of my thoughts about the project/challenge and why you may want to start one of your own or not. Also quick side note, apologizes if this post might not be as polished as I usually strive for. I’m still recovering and bed ridden from a concussion I received last week coincidently from my last self-portrait shoot so I’m off my game.

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52 Weeks of Self-Portrait: A Year in Review

If you wish to view each post, click here!


52 Weeks of Self-Portrait: Doppelgängers

52/52 Doppelgängers

*I’ve rebelled for the last 52 Weeks post and instead of choosing 1 photo I’ve chosen 6. 

52 weeks of self-portrait  (4)52 weeks of self-portrait  (5)52 weeks of self-portrait  (1)52 weeks of self-portrait  (2)52 weeks of self-portrait (2)  Inspirations:

“And I’d unmask each one ’til they exile me”

Limplifter ‘Hostess’   

I am finding it hard to write this last 52 Week of Self-Portrait post, and not just because right after taking these the corner of this lovely and very heavy mirror fell onto my very large forehead and gave me a concussion. But please do excuse me if I’m a little off my game writing this – I’ve spent the last two days lying in bed not being able to stand upright and function and am just getting back into having my full brain capacity back (is it really ever truly back?). So this week’s photos are supposed to be some meta type style post where I show you the Doppelgängers of photography. That weird notion that what I’m showing you on a weekly basis is such a narrow view of what’s actually happening. How I can change the perception of myself and my appearance at will to create another version of myself. In most of these I’m directly showing you the camera and using the mirror to show that other side and even how different the same person can look at just the slight difference of angle. It’s really the absurdity of self-portraits. When I see self-portraits done by professional photographers all I think about is their setup, their crew, the behind the scenes, what that looks like. How much thought they had to instil into that one image to create the perfection that can truly be expressed with self-portraiture. As you can tell by my series over the last year I don’t often use tripods and in fact when I do I look 100% more awkward and out of place with what to do with my body and my face. I always feel like the camera is an extension of my arm and when it’s not there I am at a loss…which I guess in theory makes me probably not a suitable photographer for self-portraiture. I’m unsure. I often realize I do self-portraits because I have an idea, something I want to create but do not have a model to test it on, which is a weakness I have to work on and this project has enforced that. I’ll be discuss more about my final thoughts about this project next Thursday so I won’t go more into that but basically thought for the last photo I wanted to share what it actually feels like if you were to be my neighbor and were looking out your window on occasion and seeing me in all manner of outfits taking photos of myself. How I can create my own Doppelgängers and transform myself. I’m not 100% happy with the final photos, I will be directly about that and they weren’t the original idea but fuck sometimes you just end up with the shots you end up with. Sometimes you end a project by giving yourself a concussion with the prop you are using – life happens. It’s the end. 52 Weeks came and went on Sunday.

52 weeks of self-portrait  (3)


52 Weeks of Self-Portrait: 90s Child

50/52: 90s Child

52 weeks of self-portrait 90s style52 Weeks of Self-Portrait is almost finished and I can’t believe I only have 2 more to do before completing an entire year of weekly self-portraits. The name for this week’s, 90s Child came about because of the amazing fake fur jacket I found at H&M yesterday. It’s an incredible find (only $30 on sale from $90) and I just had to pick it up because in the late 90s I always wanted this raver style jacket. It also has a bit of that Spice Girl’s vibe to it, so very 90s to me for some reason. Plus it has bear ears, so I think it’s supposed to be polar bear coat? Regardless it is now my favourite coat that I own, the only disappointment is I won’t be able to wear it very much this year as Winter is starting to disappear (there is a lot of hope in that statement since after week of beautiful weather it just snowed all weekend). The outfit is also very Batman. I don’t even know why I own a Batman pin and pants of the same logo but I do now and I love it. I picked up the pin in Toronto last month and for some reason a week ago when I saw these pants I decided they had to be mine even though I am only a fan of the original Batman series. I love the outfit and I never do OOTD’s – in fact I didn’t even know what that stood for until a week ago so I thought what the hey and did one before the project was through. The shirt is also H&M if you care and the two pigtails are going to be my new thing this spring so you might see me rocking them a lot. I haven’t figured out exactly how I want to style them so these are just quickly pulled together but I can’t wait to learn how to do more complex variations. Hope you are enjoying the end of your weekend and just a quick note that I will be taking the next week off because I need to do some work on both of my websites plus a few projects that I’ve been neglecting so I will see you next week on Sunday for the next 52 Weeks post!

 More detailed shots of the outfit and hair!

52 weeks of self-portrait (3)
90s outfit
90s outfit (1)90s outfit (2)


52 Weeks of Self-Portrait: Flawless

49/52 Flawless

52 weeks of self-portraitThis week’s self-portrait makes me very nervous and was one of the first ideas that came to me when I decided to do the 52 Weeks of Self-Portrait project. I know it may seem like a regular photo to you but this photo was very hard for me to take and shows one of my biggest insecurities just out there for all to see. If you didn’t notice on my right knee I have a scar that is 8 inches long going straight down the middle (I like to joke the grim reaper made it with his scythe). I received this scar at the age of 13 after getting knee surgery to temporarily correct an incurable genetic knee disorder that I have in both knees (basically my knees dislocated whenever they want and I usually end up in the hospital every few years to get it put back in, and afterwards I can’t walk for about a month). I only have the one scar because I didn’t get surgery done of the 2nd knee as the surgery was so brutal I still haven’t recovered feeling/full motion 16 years later and the surgery doesn’t cure the problem instead it’s like a 4 year band aid. Although it’s a part of me I do go to great lengths to hide it from everyone, in fact there are some people who’ve been friends with me for years who’ve never seen it and don’t even know I have it. I almost never leave the house without wearing pants, leggings, or over the knee socks because of it and I can’t even remember what it’s like to wear shorts in the summer. I’ve worked on my insecurity a lot and yes in the last few years my rules about leaving the house with it covered have loosened and inside my house I wear whatever the hell I want but it’s still not something I go out of my way of share with people so today I’m sharing it with you. I’ve got plenty of other scars on my body that I’m proud of and not afraid to show the world but for some reason my knee one just breaks me down, so I decided it was important to include in this project. It’s who I am, and considering I will always have this knee disorder I should embrace it. I’ve actually thought a great project to do would be to do a whole series of people showing their scars and help them feel glamorous and beautiful despite any insecurity they have, it’s certainly something I need to work on myself!

Oh and it was snowing on me when I took this photo, why, Montreal, why? Although it has been only -3 most of the week the gods will not let us have spring just yet even though the time went back today (yay still sunny at 6pm!). At least it was warm enough to sit outside today barefoot in a large sweater and no pants on…cos that’s normal. My sweater btw is My Little Pony, so glorious. Check the photo below for a better look at it. Hope you have a great week and are feeling flawless today.

52 weeks of self-portrait  (2)Another note, if you follow this project and noticed the number just leaped up from 43 to 49 today you are not crazy. I am apparently terrible at counting to 52 and for the last few weeks have been thinking it’s crazy that I had so many weeks left to do when I started this project in April. So yesterday I looked back at all my posts and realized a few of them had the same number and in September I actually put a number that was 6 weeks behind for some reason even though the week before was correct and have been counting 6 weeks behind since….I know…you can shake your head. I realize it’s really dumb of me and I’ve vowed never again to start writing this post at 3am as apparently I can’t count late at night, lol. That means only 3 weeks left!


52 Weeks of Self-Portrait: Statue

48/52 Statue

52 Weeks of Self-portrait (2)The self-portrait for this week’s 52 Weeks Project is not my favourite, am I allowed to say that?

I shot it outside my work on my lunch break, which I mean I think you can tell I did this last minute. It’s easy by looking at my photography to see I am a fan of natural lighting and clearly I don’t own a soft box and any fancy equipment that allows me to shoot indoors at ease. So when it’s the winter I get very overwhelmed by how little light there actually is. This week I had training at work which meant I had to be at work every day for the entire amount of sunlight that Montreal gives us this time of year and then had 1 day off this weekend before working another day shift today. I’m not complaining (too much) but today on the last day I could, I plucked up my camera before heading off to work where it was collecting dust from not being picked up all week and snapped this at the statue in the parc in front of my work. Can you see my frown lines? Yearly projects are draining, some days you hate them, some days you are grateful and again like my 365 Days Project I wonder if I’m missing the point completely?


52 Weeks of Self-Portrait: The Snow Yak

47/52 The Snow Yak

52 weeks of self-portrait snow yak mark ryden mask (1)I can’t believe there are only 10 more self-portraits left before I finish my 52 Week project. This week’s came to me in the middle of the night when I realized that soon the snow might be gone and thought, hey that Mark Ryden mask I have of The Snow Yak should make an appearance this winter. If you want a weather report of Montreal, it’s been snowing all week and -30 except for today so I’m crazy for thinking the snow will go away any time soon. I’ve been all over the place this week so it’s not hard to imagine my braid would leap there. My friend Zara is moving out of Montreal back to the West Coast and I think it’s really made me feel like I need to change up my life some way too so I’ve been obsession this week about organizing my house. Last night I finally hit my breaking point and I started moving furniture around at 3am (sorry downstairs neighbours) and completely changed how my living room/office looks. I had been thinking of turning our entrance room into a library of sorts and making the living room to be more functional as an office so I just started doing it. Right now everything around me is a mess but I feel like the next week I can organize and make positive changes and maybe that’ll clear my head a bit. This week inspirational song goes with the theme by the way, a British indie band by the name of…


“So I took a trip inside my mind
And it opened up these eyes which had been blind
I saw wonders I can’t define
Then I lost control and I fell
From this earthly heaven into hell
how long i stayed there, I couldn’t tell”

Yeti “Never Lose Your Sense of Wonder”

52 weeks of self-portrait snow yak mark ryden mask (2)I love the expression the mask has direct on, it’s so joyful.


52 Weeks of Self-Portrait: Rip My Heart Out

46/52 Rip My Heart Out

52 weeks of self-portraitThere was no way I was leaving my house for this week’s 52 weeks self-portrait as it’s been -30 all week, so instead I decided to play around with Victor’s laser pointer and make heart shapes in my living room. It seems every time I do black and white self-portraits that I do them in here, something I didn’t realize until I went to post this. I notice a lot of patterns when it comes to photo project, not matter how hard you try sometimes you just default to similar themes, locations, ectera. This week’s inspiration song btw makes me crack up. I think I’m the only person beside Victor who didn’t know about this amazing song. I heard it last weekend when I went to see my friend Derek dj and it’s been both of our’s jam since. Give it a listen if you haven’t heard it either. I’m in love with the coco…


“I’m in love with the coco
I’m in love with the coco
I got it for the low, low
I’m in love with the coco

36, that’s a kilo (aqui)
Need a brick, miss my free throw
I’m in love, just like Ne-Yo “

O.T. Genasis “Coco”


52 Weeks of Self-Portrait: Toronto

45/52 Toronto

52 Weeks of self-portrait (2)While I was visiting Toronto this week I thought I should try and do my 52 Weeks self-portrait which was probably not the greatest decision. It seemed the whole time we were there, either there was a snow storm outside or me and Victor were really busy eating and hanging out with friends. I couldn’t even snap one in the hotel because our room bizarrely enough didn’t have a window but instead a view of the hotel’s rock garden….it was like living in a basement suite all over again. Luckily yesterday we found this train museum after I decided I wanted to see the harbor and look at the frozen lake (which we never got to because we were too cold and had no idea where to go). It’s hard to see in this photo but I’m balancing on the last step of an antique train. I thought it was neat that it looked like I was floating above the snow below. As well I love when snowflakes stick to my hair. Hope you had a good weekend, I’m writing this from the train today as we slowly make our way back to Montreal and can’t wait to be home.


“I was addicted to ‘no absolutes’ kinda
But now I am very simple
Other interpretations possible
All this fear was drug induced
Drug induced
Drug induced”

Limblifter ‘Drug Induced’


52 Weeks of Self-Portrait: Cotton Candy Do

44/52 Cotton Candy Do

52 weeks of self-portrait (2)The 52 Weeks self-portrait this week is of my newest hair, which I officially duped the Cotton Candy Do because it really reminds me of watching someone spin cotton candy. There are just so many various gradients of color and the tonnage from the top to the ends is pretty epic. I was a little sad that I made it darker than I intended but it feels great to have gotten rid of my roots and updated the color. I can’t wait for it to get a bit more faded and more pastel. Today also marks the end of January and hopefully the end of being trapped inside. This weekend I actually had a lot plans before my friend who was supposed to be coming into town for a trip but flaked out and didn’t come last minute. I still did end up dancing till midnight last night for 2 hours in -22 weather but otherwise this week I stayed curled up tight inside my house except for when I had to go to work. I am pretty bored of taking photos on my balcony and house but next week I’m in Toronto and maybe I’ll get a chance to take a more exciting photo. Hope you guys have a good week.


Aphex Twin – Demos

(I didn’t know these existed until last night and have been listening to them non-stop since – there is 110 of them and Aphex Twin created a fake Soundloud account and just started uploading them some time last weekend.)