Posted by: ableanna | March 9, 2009

Portrait of a Decade

10 years

10 years

What initially started as an exercise in self-caricature for an illustration class wound up to be a ten year process of developing a self-portrait. I admit that at 21, the impetus to continue taking photo-booth portraits was that I was absolutely fascinated by the fact that I suddenly looked pretty good in front of a camera. (Chalk it up to being almost 6 feet tall and never being asked to dance in high school, but I had had pretty low esteem until I hit my 20s. Actually, I STILL had low esteem even after I could take a decent picture, but that’s whole other post…no, a whole other blog. Well, maybe better explored in a mini-series. Or on the Discovery Channel.)

The point is I decided to continue with the photo-booth portraits. The significance of Time influenced my decision just as a platform to watch myself age in an interesting visual format. The more interesting part of it came along when I began to do more than just pose to look pouty or like a lost heroin addict and began to story-tell within the visual space/time span allowed for four individual poses. How I wanted to share my message was mitigated by the confines of the booth and the three second delay between each flash; it was kind of like putting on a show, or producing a small clip in a film reel. I documented every emotion I think I’ve ever had from sad to argumentative, bored to extremely horny… it’s all there. My eyebrows. The shape of my eyebrows… it’s a fascinating evolution in itself. I found my self-esteem somewhere along the way, too. I also had my heart broken, lost my eyesight, traveled, got my degree, quit smoking many times, fell in love, got pregnant and gave birth to the most amazing little person. I really love that this project started from such a self-involved place and ended up expanding into this place filled with humor, love, passion, expression, compassion and hindsight.

(And yes, I just about died when I saw Amelie.)



  1. This is great! I want to start one for each of the kids. Are you going to keep it up?!

  2. hey you!!

    you’ve disappeared from FB but at least i know I can find you here. 🙂

    Read through some of your posts. This photo montage must be absolutely amazing!

    One post I did love though was the one where you referenced the other blog about the Hermit Crab.

    You write really well. I like. 🙂


  3. Annebelle, I had a not-sp-smart moment and thought I couldn’t write to you because you turned facebook off again and I don’t know how else to reach you, but blog comments work!

    The one on Grey is the one Essen goes to, so you will see him tomorrow! They’re very relaxed, very nice people. I’m very happy with it. The only minus I can think of is that it might be a bit boring for older kids, say 3 and up maybe, but I only say that because the kids who are there now are all 2.5 or younger as far as I know so the programming is geared toward younger kids. I really like it though. What time are you going tomorrow? I might see you there.

  4. Oh yeah, and my email is X

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