When did you start your Instagram page? And why did you start your page?
In September 2021.
I couldn’t be all aspects of myself in one place. I almost died giving birth to my son years ago, and it took me a very long time to get some semblance of my body back. I’m a single mom in my 40s; I work as a creative and also as a healer with metaphysical abilities. I am highly sensitive to energy, introverted, sensual, artistic and feel and move in the world in a different way. It short circuits people to see all of that in one place. They don’t know what to do with it, or it makes them not believe in me or my work, even if I understand that it is because they are at a different consciousness level. But at this point, I would rather expend my energy putting my creativity, passion and healing work out into the world in a way that makes people feel alive and good than have to constantly explain myself to people who will never understand. But I also like the mystery of my page. Many find it alluring. I can’t control how my images are received, but I like that it stirs something in people. The response to my page is really such a curiosity to me. I still can’t believe it when I get a like or a comment. That may sound strange, but it’s true.
We are in the midst of great transformation both globally and personally. We are all sorting through the conditioning, wounding, trauma and projections of others so that we can awaken to the truth within ourselves, not what society or someone else told us we had to be. We are waking up to our own sovereignty and self-possession, taking our power back. Doing a page like this has helped tremendously. The majority of people probably just view it as a boudoir page, but it has been a lot of self-growth for me.
I see from your profile all your photos are self-shot and edited by yourself. What is the hardest part of the process?
It takes a lot of time. And I work in a very small space with limited light, unless I can borrow a friend’s space from time to time. That also makes it more creatively challenging, along with a camera that doesn’t like to work in low light. I also don’t have much patience for the technical aspects of it; I tend to work more intuitively in the moment. I also don’t have fancy editing software. I try to do simple editing, so it actually looks like me.
Your photos show a very high understanding of lighting, how did you learn about lighting?
Ha, do they? I laugh because “I think a very high understanding” is a very generous comment. I’ve always had a fascination with light, and how it moves and changes and evokes different moods. I have friends and family who are/were photographers, and I am a good student. I pay attention. I would love to work in more spaces with different lights and a different camera.
Where do you get your inspiration for your photos from?
I work intuitively. Sometimes an idea will pop into my head which is generally too challenging to achieve on my own, so I do what I can to put that energy into it. What tends to happen is it doesn’t work out, but then something else will. But like many, I think creatives ricochet off of one another and inspire each other. Inspirations come from viewing other images or life and sort of steeps into our subconscious and can birth itself in our own work in our own way. I had always envied the thin women with smaller breasts who could pose anywhere, doing anything and just look ‘artsy’ and delicate, but I quickly learned that’s just not my body. So I am learning to own what I have and who I am, and it has been a very empowering process. Authenticity is sexy. Natural bodies are sexy too. If I can empower or inspire others to explore and be themselves, then I think that is a good thing. There are a lot of illusions out there, but I don’t think it’s an illusion if it’s an aspect of self.
Do you have any future plans beyond Instagram?
For these types of photos?
I would like to work with some photographers whose work resonates with me. I’m still self-conscious and pretty skilled at photographing myself because I’m still working through the conditioning that “models” have to look and be a certain way. I always say it’s angles and lighting, which is true, even though I have a specific body type that is attractive to some. But I think it would be interesting to see myself through another’s lens and give up control over the process. I also think it would be amazing to collaborate and have an image in print or be a leg or lingerie model for a day, working for a brand I admire.
So what do you like to do when you are not taking stunning self-portraits?
I’m an introvert. I like quiet time to myself doing something creative. I’m also pretty domestic. I like to cook and bake. I like to be outside, near the water. I think people see my photos and tend to think I have some hot, exciting lifestyle when the truth is I’m probably spending hours taking photos of flowers or sunsets or working on my spiritual development.
Is there any advice for our readers on how to take a good self-portrait?
I’m flattered by the question, but no, I don’t think I’m the one to give advice on the subject. I think it’s a process one should figure out on their own, depending on what they are trying to convey. Sure, there are tips and tricks, but I am still learning as well.
If you had to choose one photo from your Instagram feed being your favourite which one would it be and why?
Hmmm, I think each time I take a photo it’s my new favourite. Each photo reminds me of what was going on in my life when I took it. I don’t have a favourite honestly. Here are a few of my favourites for the interview.
If there is an artist or photographer out there that would like to draw you what is the best way for them to contact you?
It says ‘No DM’s’ on my profile, which many disregard, but you can DM me and if I resonate with your work, I’ll let you know. I am currently in a very busy time in my life and am already behind on requested material. So, I can get to it when I get to it. I do my best to be a kind person and respond when I can (even when people DM to ask who took my photos and the only information on my profile is ‘Self Portraits’ and ‘NO DM’s’). I’m happy people like my photos because it does really mean a lot and I have made some fantastic connections through this profile, but I just don’t have the time to respond to everyone. It would literally be a full-time job answering everyone’s questions or giving attention to everyone that needs or requests it. Again…let it be a delicious mystery.
If you want to see more of R. work head over to her Instagram sips_from_the_edge
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