A Series of Slow Shutter Self-Portraits

These photographs are all long-exposure self-portraits. I consider myself to be primarily a self-portrait artist currently, though I began my journey into photography shooting mostly documentary, lifestyle and portraiture. The shift in genre happened very organically. At first I was just testing out different lighting environments and taking my own photograph for bio pictures. Over time, my self-portrait taking increased and became a platform through which I could explore my inner landscape. I found the process to be very cathartic, healing, and helpful in so many ways. It seemed as though I had finally found the voice I had been struggling to find my whole life.

This particular series of self-portraits were created using long expsoure/slow shutter technique. Most of the shutter times range from 1/5-1/15.  When I set aside time to create my self-portraits, I almost always experiment with long-exposure for at least a handful of frames. I use the term experiment, because using this technique seems to always surprise me at least a little–and sometimes outright astounds me–with the results. On a whole though, I find self-portraiture in general seems to hold more uncertainty and surprises for me than when I shoot other genres–to be both making the frame and in the frame simultaneously is a practice in patience and in trusting the flow of the process and the results that develop.

I am drawn to long exposure for more than just the unpredictable results. I find it reveals a unique opportunity to study the relationship between subject and space. By slowing down the shutter, the subject has the ability to flow and float through their environment. Conveying motion by blurring the subject can give an unsettling, stirring, even ghostly mood to the photograph. Oftentimes, I am inot even recognizable–there is a loss of identity within the movement.  And I wonder as I look at them if I am appearing for disappearing.


We are all Oceans and Streams

It’s only a small world behind the curtain

Future Faces


A Shield for the Void


Let ALL Her Pieces Live


After the Clouds Soaked up Your Tears

Not Staring at the Past


Be the Shelter, Be the Storm


Designed to Dance Outside the Lines


And you Said Yesterday was the Past


The Petals were Poisoned with Leashes

My Visions Hang on My Bones


A Long Time Ago Tonight

Dreams in Reverse

Play Hard, Play Soft

Dancing in my Blue Dreams

Memories are Unsteady Strangers

Libra Noir

When She Awakes I Hold my Ghost

In the Deep Ends

Try this Trick

Head of Blue

Spin it


When You Are Strange

Coming into Being

Wings of the Fire

The Wheel of the World

Maybe a Blue Bubble is Better than No Bubble

Pulling Flames from the Freezing Rain

See Me or Don’t See Me

Everything is Energy

A Fifteenth Second of Fire

Washed up in You

Double Exit


Face me!

I am human, nothing to do with me. Nothing to do with you. Everything to do with us.

May my arms catch up with my heart

Lost in Lunation

Silencing Creates Emptiness

Leaving The Box.

On my way to me

You were never going to catch me when I fell




Natalie resides in Peoria, Arizona, with family. Her artistic journey has taken many twists and turns but photography and writing have become the primary outlets for her artistic expression. She is an artist at Offset.com, Lensdrop and Adobe. Her work/photography has been published by National Geographic Your Shot, Lensbaby, Beyond the Wanderlust, and has been licensed for ads by Samsung and other companies for advertisements. Her best days are filled with loving and guiding her offspring and pups, music, reading, creating photographs and writings, hiking, yoga, cooking, and sky-gazing. In the social media world, she can be found on Instagram @natalie_a_wheeler, and as a moderator for @theechoesinside, a hub for self-portraiture.

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