Photography & travel tips from an award-winning photographer, educator & wanderlust

My 2018 photography project

Starting out in photography many moon ago, photographing myself was a rapid way to grow through practice and experimentation. There was no need to recruit a willing model to build his/her portfolio, when I was willing, I had a tripod, a shutter-release capable camera and lots of patience (even if it took 150-200 shots, no kidding). Ideas came from online photography class’ assignments, Pinterest, magazines, photography techniques or just randomly clicking around PS. Read further to see some examples of my earlier work.

Over the years, while photographing others and various travel destinations, one thing became obvious – I either didn’t take the time to take a picture of me or didn’t really trust another person to do it (partially blame it on the complexity of modern day DSLRs). Hence, there are a few coffee table books with MY photographs, but the evidence of me being there is slim. Sigh!

Luckily, having a chance to visit with my mom (also a photographer) once a year, we make it a point to update my profile shots. These experiences are always helpful to understand what people feel like while on the other side of the camera, what type of directions are helpful and how to evoke a certain expression or feeling. Which side do I prefer more? Probably being a photographer – being in charge, having the creative control and no need to get all dolled up/slimmed down and cute.

At the same time, looking at my earlier self portraits, another fact is evident and that is: “I ain’t no spring chicken no’ mo'” (as they say). We grow, we change, we age – those are irreversible stages which we should welcome and appreciate. So, what is a photographer to do? You got it – start a new photography project!

Since I’m turning 33 this year – a beautiful number, no matter how you look at it. I figured it would only be appropriate to celebrate this fantastic time of my life with 33 self portraits. Ideally, I’d finish them prior to the big day and on Christmas, Santa will gift me another Coffee Table book, but this time there’ll be no doubt who it belongs to 😛

Below are a few examples of my earlier work:

If you’d like to follow along on the Project 33, follow me on Instagram at @allaponomarevaphoto

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