There are some of you who are here with me on this journey from the beginning and know the whole story about how my blog developed from fashion, lifestyle, travel to photography portfolio with articles in which I ramble about life and existence. Since the beginning of this year, when I got my Canon 5D Mark IV I’ve decided to experiment with self portraits even more because it has built-in wifi you can connect with an app on your phone, which makes the wholeprocess much more amazing. But let’s go back a bit so I can explain how I got into the advanced selfie game in the first place.
It all started at Christmas of 2013. when I started this blog. As a graduated fashion designer, I wanted to open up a blog where I’ll post cool shots of my outfits on some badass locations. I never liked following trends that much. I wanted the blog to be some kind of ”personal online closet” where I could experiment with things I wear and make, because I was always in the mood for redesigning everything I buy, just to make it a bit more mine. Then, I spent most of my hours at Tumblr and WeHeartIt and got drown in all the beautiful photos other people were taking- I wanted to be the girl in the photos. So for a year and a half I would torture my friends, my mom, anyone who was available to take my photos. I knew exactly what I wanted to get out of those photos and always spent countless hoursgetting ready, choosing what I’ll wear, doing my hair and make up, packing the rest of the outfits with me so I can change along the way, searching for new exciting locations etc. I was never completely satisfied. I don’t wanna be rude, I’m eternally grateful for everyone who took my photos, it just wasn’t the way I saw them in my head. And it’s not only them of course, it was my fault too, I was such a rookie at everything I did. I didn’t know the most basics of Photoshop or Lightroom and I edited all the photos on my phone via VSCO app then transferring them to pc. Imagine that quality lost. Hahaha it’s so funny to me, because now, every time I see a photo I like I know exactly how to edit it to get the desired effect. It took me 5 years of constant learning, researching, trial and error, so if you fail at getting something you want from the photo and you’re at the beginning of your journey, don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
It took me four months to give up the first time because I was never completely happy with the photos. I quit posting in March 2014. I came back in June the same year on constant complaints from my mom on how I’m pushing away that creative part of me for countless stupid reasons and that I should get back at it. And I did. That Summer I started experimenting with posting photos I took, of my travels, milkshakes, outfits hanging at some cool scenography I decorated, DIY projects I did etc., but still kept torturing people to take my photos and published them in between. That was the Summer I connected with myself on more spiritual grounds and started writing my thoughts about life, people, experiences, feelings, anything that caught my attention.
Everything I did with my blog didn’t feel quite right. And right about here was the breaking point for me. I used to look at those photos after the session and though about how my face just doesn’t look right, so I’d always hide it or ask people to take photos with my back turned to them. This was my last session.
I was desperate really, because I liked those photos in one hand, and in the other, they just didn’t satisfy me completely. There was always some more work left undone, I just didn’t like to pose for others, didn’t see myself in the world of fashion bloggers and it just felt wrong, so I became ”Wear fabulous underwear even if you’re the only one who will see it” type of person, and most importantly, I started learning, like really learning about photography. I’d spend my days and nights, scrolling through photography blogs, listening to lectures, YouTube tutorials, read books and learned everything about my camera at the time which was the Canon 1100D. Then I met my first muse Bruna and started with the series Chasers of the Light. That was the moment I realized I’m a photographer. From that moment on, I never left my Canon at home, never.
Around that time I’ve thought to myself, why wouldn’t I start experimenting with real self portraits with my Canon when everybody is taking selfies with their phone? So in the Summer of 2016. my first self portrait came to life.
Then the fun actually begun. The more photos I took the more I started relaxing in front of the camera and the better I eventually became at it.
Then I started working with 4look Academy and had to take photos of my new hairstyles. Luckily, that was the time I upgraded to Canon 60D which had flip-out screen and everything became so much easier. I also got myself a wired trigger which was another relief, because before, I had to run to the camera and back in 10 seconds of the timer, and nailing the focus was such a pain in the ass. It used to take me 100 photos just to get the two right. And since I had to take self portraits all the time, I relaxed in front of the camera and myself in the end more and more every day, because the more time I spent looking at myself, the more I realised I’m actually okay. The person I’m looking at is me, I can’t escape from myself, change the way I look or anything like that, so I’m okay. And right about there started the path of self acceptance.
From then until now is almost two years. In that time a lot of things changed. I stopped working with 4look, changed my hair color to my natural brown, went to Fotosofija photography seminar, traveled my ass off, had a pain in the ass job for 5 months, finished 4 semesters of college, broke up a long relationship, met new people, traveled some more, renovated my apartment. And through all that time, I took self portraits along the way. Through them I can evidently feel myself change and open up more and more every day. I started loving myself again and liking what I see in those photos, because when I take them, they’re exactly how I imagined them in my head. Here are my favorites from last Summer until January when I got my Canon.
In January 2018. my heart was at ease because I finally had the camera I always wanted and could do miracles with. I started crying when I first saw him and I couldn’t believe what is actually happening. So in February when I was home for my mom’s birthday, I didn’t have any people to shoot, so I would run around in the house and took my own photos. It was so much fun and I felt complete doing that in a way, because all my teenage wishes were finally coming true. I create and I am the one who’s in those creations. I started open up more.
And when I got back to Rijeka, I did a beauty photo shoot of myself. My friend Sendi did my make up,we drove to Campus and found some cool location near the buildings. I put my Canon on the tripod, connected it with my phone and made some photos I’m really proud of.
Around that time I left Instagram. The whole thing was just too much for me. I was going through a come down in my creative life and life in general, so I took a step back for two months to find my niche again and create some badass content while nobody’s around. I broke up with my boyfriend and started living alone for the first time in my life. I went out a lot, traveled to 5 countries, met so many new and exciting people and after all, took self portraits along the way. Everything that happened to me changed me to the core. I finally started realizing which are the things that matter most, and first ones was always being a friend to yourself and always doing whatever the fuck you want because it’s your life, your choices, your mistakes, it’s you you’re gonna see in the mirror every morning and it’s you who’s gonna beat yourself over the things you wish you did. I got my strength back and I became one with myself, my true self again, no matter how stupid that may sound.
In June this year I discovered Sorelle Amore. I instantly fell in love with her. She’s a travel influencer that takes her advanced selfies while traveling the world. I was so happy when I discovered her, I couldn’t believe how strong she is about doing what she wants, living so free off-limits and boundaries pushed on by society. And her energy was so clean and strong, she just didn’t give a shit and I loved that. Few weeks after I came to Vinkovci I decided to take my self portraits outside. Sorelle really influenced me about this. So what if everyone looks at you like you’re a crazy person while walking with a huge tripod and a camera. I always felt that way, and she gave me the push I needed to overcome that small piece of fear I had for selfies in the public. So I took my equipment and took a favorite photo of myself.
I was falling in love with my work again, with my life, with everything I did, because what I did, finally started feeling right. I’ll be forever grateful for discovering Sorelle and for her ”I don’t give a fuck” positive energy that pushed me towards taking my advanced selfies outside my comfort zone- in the open. (Please check her Instagram HERE and her YouTube channel HERE)
After that, a new chapter opened up- I started recording myself talking on my Insta stories, the thing I never imagined myself doing, and a month after that I recorded my first YouTube video in which I actually talk with my viewers in English. It’s such a huge step for me and taking my own photos, opening up to myself in front of the camera and to every one of you who see my photos online and like them in the end, really gave me a big positive boost to keep doing what I love- taking photos, but more importantly, taking my advanced selfies and never hide who I am.
A week ago I came to Pag on my vacation and I couldn’t stop thinking about how much more self portraits I’m gonna take while I’m here. Ideas just started flowing into my mind and every time I take one I think about the concept for the next one. And with every new one I take I feel more and more like myself, like I’m doing something right and good, something I’m really really happy with. And I’m also happy because countless people just started contacting me on Instagram, saying how much I inspire them and asked me for advice on self portraits. That’s exactly what I always wanted to accomplish with my work- inspire people and give them a good advice.
The whole process of learning, trying, failing, letting go, accepting, growing lasted for a long time and it’s gonna last for much more, because I never wanna stop learning and trying and failing and trying again, falling in love over and over again with what I’ve created. My advanced selfies made me connect with myself on a much more deeper level, no matter how silly that may sound and I think that’s evident on my face. I love pushing myself towards, always trying something new and stepping out of the box. I accept who I am and I love what I create.
I hope this post will maybe inspire you towards taking some of your own advanced selfies. Not only does it do good on more deeper grounds, it’s do damn fun! 😀 Thank you for sticking until the end of this post. I appreciate you guys so much. Thank you for all your support, there are plenty of more advanced selfies coming your way. My last thought is this-if you wanna get something right, do it yourself, especially when it comes to taking photos your own photos 😀 Sea of love, S.