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A Series of Slow Shutter Self-Portraits

 

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

 

These eleven 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. 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 in a way that begs the question whether the person is appearing or disappearing.  Conveying motion by blurring the subject can give an unsettling, stirring, even ghostly mood to the photograph. Oftentimes, the subject isn’t even recognizable–there is a loss of identity within the movement.

 

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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