Saturday, May 29, 2010

Atkinson Nebraska Lifestyle and Art Photographer: A Long Hiatus, And A Major Personal Challenge...

The end of the school year comes, and every year, I swear I will be more prepared. It never happens. I always seem to get behind. Some may not know, but I am a high school English teacher. I am also our high school yearbook sponsor and co-sponsor of the Junior class. After about April 1st, I am full speed ahead working on prom and trying to get the school's yearbook completed. As a result...well, the project 52 blog got put on the back burner.
School is over for the summer, and I have somewhat got my to-do list in order. I am a member of several photography forums online, and this week a challenge was posed to get the photographer out from behind the camera. I have several photography students who are SO creative with self-portraits, and while they are teenagers and can get away with their super creative and edgy portraits, I felt rather weird about it. Rather, I should say that I felt REALLY INSECURE. I've never felt myself to be photogenic. Like many women who may not be in the best shape of their lives, I prefer to NOT have my photo taken. However, I have realized, how can I expect my clients to get comfortable in front of the lens if I can't make myself do it? As part of my summer self-makeover, I decided I better get brave and just do this. Each week, I will do one to document my progress. I think this is called self-accountability.

SO, the challenge was actually a professional one, but it is very personal to me. Though I create lifestyle portraiture, this challenge was to create a self portrait that while non-traditional, is professional. THIS IS HARD! It was so hard to get the focus right and get the light right to convey the "tone" I wanted. Then again, what was the tone that I wanted? A lot of thought goes into a classic self-portrait. The biggest element is authenticity. I wanted an authentic portrait.

I decided to try two things. First, my husband loves my natural smile (though I don't always). He loves the pictures where I look down to earth and all natural, and those who REALLY know me would probably agree that I am a bit bohemian and and goofy. So, I wanted to make a portrait that I thought reflected that sense in a professional way.

The second thing I wanted to try was simple, yet a bit dramatic in angle and lighting. I really didn't know what my best angle was, but I wanted a "feminine" picture of myself. This is difficult when one doesn't really consider oneself to be "feminine". However, I think EVERY woman WANTS to feel feminine. This was VERY VERY VERY hard for me, so if you leave a comment, please be gentle.


  1. Very admirable undertaking! Wish you the best for your quest! I admire your courage so much. You are a very strong and beautiful person and I am proud to call you friend!

  2. The first photo is the Katie I know, the other two show other sides of your personality. Nice!

  3. You look beautiful because you are beautiful! We are too hard on ourselves as women.....listen to your hubby. He is right!

  4. Thanks ladies! This was a challenge! I think it is what is called "immersion therapy"? LOL! My husband is a wise man, and I am so blessed to have him in my life!


Katrina Lee Photography is a professional custom photography business specializing in natural light and location portraiture as well as fine art portraiture.