Innermost / by Rebecca Tillett

Last year I moved from a pretty big house with a lovely-sized front and (private) backyard to the second floor of a Denver condo building. I love the building and I love my place but it might just be one of the most uninspiring locations I've ever resided. For me, this means my self-portraits suffer pretty ridiculously. I'm hardly inspired to shoot any and when I do, I feel limited in my options of where and am then underwhelmed at the results which sucks. And since many of my self-portraits tend to contain nudity, my choices of location outside of my home are also limited. This also sucks. I'm also tired of my own face even though I neglect to include it in many self-portraits anyway, but seriously, it's hard to be excited at shooting the same face I see in the mirror every day, the same face I've been shooting in an artful capacity for the last 10+ years, the same face I already have enough qualms with and never wanted to shoot in the first place. Obviously, I've never made peace with my face.

I've also gained weight and am nowhere near as comfortable in front of my camera as I used to be. And in related news, my boyfriend has expressed much interest in taking my picture and just the thought makes me apprehensive. Maybe that's a fear I can conquer soon.

So what now? As I was shooting this intimate set last weekend and scrunching my face up in disapproval at each glance of every image, I thought to myself "Maybe this is it for my self-portrait work. Maybe it was a good run but I'm getting old and less thrilled at my appearance and maybe it's time to retire as my own model." And now especially, with a lack of a good spot for photos, the incentive to give this side of my work a break is quite high. This is indeed somewhat of a glum revelation but it's easier to swallow than facing myself in photos I despise for the next ten years, am I right? Of course, taking a step back from the front of the lens is only that, a cautious step back. I could never commit to never for good.

To any other artists and photographers out there, if you're out there, who tend to create self-portraits (or not): Any effective tips and tricks for keeping yourself inspired? Or do you find that a growing distaste in a subject matter you've always loved capturing is a sign to move on and evolve as an artist?