Friday, September 21, 2012

{in the picture} our interview series is back!

I am happy to report that our {In the Picture} self-portrait interview series is back after a summer hiatus!  Today you will meet Shelly. I discovered her work on Flickr earlier this year and realized we have a mutual love for all things vintage, black & white and Francesca Woodman. Shelly has done some amazing work in the abandoned homes near where she lives (which I must admit makes me so envious, as I don't have any of those handy in NYC). Take a journey through Shelly's world, you'll be glad you did...

1. Was there ever a time when you couldn't imagine taking self-portraits or have you always been comfortable in front of the camera? Do you remember when the self-portrait "bug" bit you?

Was there ever a time?? My entire life I've been uncomfortable in front of the camera, and even now if it's not my timer, my camera... well, let's just say I still dislike it.

My mother passed away 3 years ago ~ and I purchased A DSLR, thinking she'd want me to make memories. I came across Sparkleplenty's (my friend Debbie's) stream, and just was in awe of the beauty, emotion, and confidence. I wanted to be able to be me in front of the lens, I was so afraid of it. Well, I wrote Debbie, and she encouraged me. Thanks so much to her. I can't even imagine my life without my camera.


2. Your love of shooting in abandoned places is evident from your body of work. Tell us a little about this--how do you find these places and what's it like going inside to take your self-portraits?

I moved a couple of years ago, from a big city to, well, the middle of nowhere really. There are a lot of forests and beautiful scenery, but there are also a lot of wild animals. There are really so many abandoned homes around here, I mean, I can probably walk to at least 4, possibly more. They're roomy, full of character, and sometimes full of interesting props. So much beauty in the decay.

I love going inside. Every house has its own story waiting to be told, shown or just loved one more time. Honestly I love to dance and daydream so I tend make up my own stories most of the time.

She cant be really gone
Any given day...

3. Do you have a favorite self-portrait or series of self-portraits?

My favourite series at the moment is the Francesca series, or anything to do with motion, and abandons. I got absolutely hooked on the black & white this year, and the motion they are so much fun to compose and execute. For a long time I don't think I even had a favourite picture or series. I do find, that my personal favourites change, steadily.

Always in my dreams I dance with you..
“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”  ― Friedrich Nietzsche {EXPLORED}
Wallflower 2 (Francesca Woodman)

4. Do you feel that you have discovered anything new about yourself through your self-portraiture?

I've discovered behind that lens, and in front of that lens I'm me. On any given day you can find me looking for adventure, and dancing someplace random. I've discovered I'm perfectly imperfect, just like everyone else and sometimes what I learn is the doubt, the crooked smile, and sometimes the sheer silliness of being who I am, is fabulous. I've also discovered how much I love to play. I really am that four year old that jumps in puddles, and daydreams regularly.

For me you'll always be eighteen and beautiful..
so she dances

5. Do you have any advice for someone just starting out on a journey of self-portraiture?

Advice.... I'm not much of a giver of advice, but I would say let photography take you to the places you dream of. Make the most of every still moment you have. Do what your comfortable with, photograph the things that make you who you are. Because in the end, the art you've made should tell the story of you. Most importantly ~ have FUN!

Jumping .. for me again Monday  {EXPLORED}
The Forgotten Garden

6. Do you have any goals for your self-portraiture? You know, something that's been on your "idea list" for a while that you've been wanting to try? Maybe something a bit outside of your comfort zone?

Goals......there is so much to learn, I feel as though, I get to play on Flickr among the real stars of photography. My biggest goal is to be the best me I can be. I would love to master the motion, or the still ghosts.

Soon enough you're going to think of me, and how I used to be...

* * * * * * *
Shelly was born and raised in a big city in Ontario, and now lives in the middle of nowhere, near abandoned homes she calls her playgrounds. 

Shelly, thanks so much for joining us here today at {In The Picture}. Your unique style and love of abandoned homes is such an inspiration to me!

* * * * * * *

First time joining us at {In The Picture}? Click here if you want to catch up on prior interviews, themes, etc. Our optional theme this month is New Perspective and our September linky party (with giveaway!) will be next week ~ Friday, 9/28. I hope to see you back here then.

In The Picture
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Anika said...

LOVE these images! Another great interview!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a great interview and incredible selfies. Such inspiration here!!

seabluelee said...

Great interview with another wonderful self-portrait artist! I share her affinity with those abandoned places. Now I want to find something like that where I live. Thanks for the inspiration.

Heather Mattern said...

Oh how I found this at the perfect time. I've only recently MADE myself play around with self portraits. The first were basic, like headshots. But then, I fell in love. That first session made me feel as though I saw myself for the first time. The real me. Lovely post!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for asking me to do the interview, and to everyone who's read it.

Anonymous said...

how I wish to live near abandoned places. what an amazing playground. You can see that in her pictures. they are amazing!!!

Liza Bartis Gonzalez said...

I rarely take a self-portrait, except for the occasional iphone shot. I feel too self-conscious. I know I should try.

Bella Cirovic said...

I am so intrigued by Shelly and her photos. Love this interview!

This is Belgium said...

i never think of taking a self portrait.. so much else to photograph
but I do enjoy this interview and meeting Shelly
great how she brings movement into her shots
have a great weekend

Unknown said...

I love her movement photos that first one is magical.

Anna said...

Glad you interviewed Shelly! I especially like her dreamy images. They're beautiful and full of mystery.