Why do we take selfies?

Photographer Vivienne McMaster teaches others how to see the beauty around and within you. In an ‘August Break‘ photographic prompt this week she asks:

Why do we take selfies? Or why might we want to?
We may want to because it is a chance to feel seen, by ourselves.
Or because it allows us to tell the story of our day, of our lives.
Maybe because it is a tool for seeing ourselves in a new way.
And because we are as worthy of being in front of the camera as anyone else is.


Selfie with son

My favourite way of taking a selfie is when my arms wrapped around a loved one. My family and friends are my world and I feel humbled when I view upon my life from the outside looking in. This shot reminds me of my connectedness to family, our place of belonging in this world, the joy we experience when together, and that it’s these precious little moments that need to be remembered often. My son is growing stronger and smarter each and everyday, and although now he is not so keen to have me snapping happy in his face like I used to, he was super keen to be up front on this day – because we were in it together!

I encourage you to join ‘The August Break’ photographic project with me and take a selfie today. Let’s explore how it can be a way to connect with ourselves and the world that surrounds us!

#augustbreak Thanks Vivienne!



What ignited my creative spark?

Christmas 1997 - Me and Grandma Russell

Christmas 1997 – Me and Grandma Russell

It was more a case of ‘Who’ than ‘What’ ignited my creative spark? Being the grand-daughter of the late Joan Russell, that’s what! Grandma was a consistent creative role model throughout my entire life, until 7 years ago when she left this world. Aquarian born like myself, she had a flair for design and new ideas. She excelled in poetry, writing stories, painting, drawing, illustration, fashion design and construction and all the craft trades under the sun; specifically silk ribbon embroidery and lace work.  My love of illustration began before I even started school, when she would assign me to the task of drawing or painting the pictures of a story she had written. I remember one of these stories vividly; of the vacumn cleaner that came to life and tidied the house all on it’s own before the family came home that day.  I took on this task very studiously and together we created a book that immortalized one of the most influential factors of my creative upbringing. Since these early days, I have always taken colour to paper and picked up a needle or pen as a natural extension of my own hand. In my teenage years, I spent many hours sitting at Grandma’s dining table. We would share our poems and stories over a couple of pots of tea.  She would ensure that she always had a stash of home baked treats (of which scones were my favourite) awaiting for my after school arrival.  My poems would have a new refreshing light cast upon them.  My heart would be soothed from pains and tribulations of dating boys.  My unsuccessful sewing projects would transform into magnificent creations under her watchful eye. My baking skills improved as I came to learn how therapeutic the smell of home baking was. My love of strong tea was established (even though Grandma would cringe every time she saw me adding milk and sugar). These memories are so deeply etched into my mind, that to this day, I can still hear her voice over my shoulder as I work. I will hear words of encouragement and acceptance or disdain if I failed to unpick that dodgy seam I just made in my sons new trousers.  It just occurred to me that she might be the reason for my needing to be meticulous when it comes to creating things. Ah, I need to let that go in this world of creative exploration. Regardless, I’m sure she would be proud. Here’s to you Grandma – a tribute!