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If you have been following along for a while, you are probably aware that each year I shoot a new set of birthday self portraits.

This year I got to shoot them in the new co-op studio I just moved into on Columbia and 3rd – stupidly close to some craft breweries (coincidence??)

Birthday self portrait of a woman with silver hair and tattoos on her inner forearms wearing black posing and smiling at the camera by Vancouver contemporary portrait photographer Angela McConnell

I wanted to challenge myself this year by not overly editing my images. Something I had been guilty of in the first few years of doing my self portraits, to accept and celebrate what my body actually does for me.

I have never really had the best self image.

From my pre-teen years I started to restrict food which developed in my late teens into severe restriction and disordered eating behaivour, like a lot of young women in that age group. This was part and parcel of ongoing mental health issues which I struggled with for a number of years. I still have issues with forms of food restriction when I am really stressed or feeling particularly out of control.

Looking back at photos of when I was in the middle of my disordered eating and I still think that my body looked good, although I can also recognise that it was clearly unhealthy.

I have been doing yoga for nearly 2 years now, and I’m definitely not the most skilled or technically great yogi. It does however help me to stop the incessant chatter in my head for an hour or so. 

Well that is until my lovely brain decides that shavasana is definitely the most appropriate time to sing “Venga boys are back in town” in it’s entirety.
Or if the teacher is having us do something like a never ending chair pose, in which case I am thinking very rude words.

Since doing yoga classes 3-4 times a week, I have toned up a lot and have definitely got a lot stronger than I have been in years (cardio fitness still needs some work!) but I am never happy with how my legs look. In particularly my thick thighs and calves.
My calves are definitely my least favourite thing, I can’t wear a lot of boots because I can’t physically close the zipper – and I love boots! So normally I end up with ankle boots.

Birthday self portrait of a woman with silver hair and tattoos doing downward dog pose on a blue yoga mat by Vancouver contemporary portrait photographer Angela McConnell

This year I am trying to be kinder to the parts of me I don’t love so much, and in the spirit of that, I decided to do a photo shoot that celebrates what my legs allow me to do…
Hopefully my legs and hips will allow to get my splits by the time I do my 2019 self portraits for my 40th birthday.

Birthday self portrait of a woman with silver hair and tattoos sitting on a blue yoga mat by Vancouver contemporary portrait photographer Angela McConnell
My face after most classes - WTH just happened?

You can also check out my birthday self portraits from previous years

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