Monday, October 18, 2010

Please Don't Look

A few weeks ago, guest blogger Tessa Roche wrote about self-portraits on my blog. During that same time, I invited Tessa to the photography class I teach since I had already planned to do a lesson on self-portraits. Some of the students initially felt that self-portraits seemed very "self-absorbed" but after the lesson, I think they began to see another side to photographing themselves. Although it can be challenging (technically and emotionally), we talked about how self-portraiture can really help you to work through things partly by just focusing on what you are feeling and why. 

Juliette is one of my students who initially had some reservations with photographing herself. If you've followed my blog for very long, you may remember Juliette from my Forever Families project on the adoption of older children from other countries. That was about a year and a half ago and even back then, Juliette impressed me with her maturity. Now that she is taking my photography class she continues to impress me with her dedication to the things she loves, her work ethic, and her gratitude towards me as her photography teacher. A class period or email never ends without Juliette expressing her sincere thanks for whatever I've helped her with that day.

So, today I wanted to share with you one of Juliette's images from the self-portraiture assignment. I recognize a lot of similarities in the way Juliette approaches her work and the way I approach my own work, so I continue to encourage her to recognize her strengths and not to be so hard on herself. The following self-portrait by Juliette, entitled Please Don't Look, was my favorite of the images she submitted for this assignment. I believe the title shares her reservation in photographing herself.

Please Don't Look - A Self Portrait by Juliette Osen
 Overall I've been very impressed with the students' work and with their dedication to the class. They also encourage me on a weekly basis to continue pushing my own photography. In the future, I hope to expand my class offerings to include a film camera class and possibly an image editing class. Do you know of a student in the Bozeman area who would be interested in a photography class? If so, let me know. I'm in the planning stages for classes to be held in the Spring and Summer of 2011. Additional possibilities for 2011 include classes for adults and online classes for students outside of Bozeman or in other states. Do you know of anyone who might be interested in adult or online classes?


Tessa said...

Juliette is a very talented photographer, I hope someday she embraces that! Self portraiture is a hard subject and I am still exploring it myself. Good luck on the continuing classes and I will spread the word that you may be offering them :) Thanks for a great post, Leslie!

Leslie McDaniel said...

Thanks Tessa!