Last January in an effort to stretch myself creatively, I challenged myself to create a new self-portrait each month- “surely that can’t be hard, I love breaking out my tripod + trigger!” Well, it certainly turned out to be a challenge some months, but that’s the beauty of publicly committing to something like this AND putting it in my Powersheets- I created a monthly obligation for myself!  I did my best to vary both the content as well as composition of each new portrait so that I wasn’t simply lather, rinse, and repeating, and I’m so proud of how the series turned out!

It began after Matt and I went out for a self-portrait in the snow, something we do every winter during the first good snow of the season, and while I’d originally intended it to be an artistic challenge to push me to try different shooting methods, what it turned into was a documentation of our adoption process. So these photos aren’t just material I’m professionally proud, they’ve become part of our family’s legacy!

Here we go, in chronological order!


Self-portrait series by Abby Grace Self-portrait series by Abby Grace

In February, we spent a few nights at Getaway, and I’ve been dying to go back ever since. It was such a peaceful experience. (Go here to read the stories behind my January & February portraits)

Self-portrait series by Abby Grace Self-portrait series by Abby Grace

“Paper Pregnant,” to celebrate the fact that we were officially home study approved! (Read the full story here)

Self-portrait series by Abby Grace

“Waiting,” to mark the fact that we were officially on the “waiting parents” list with our agency. (Full story here)

Self-portrait series by Abby Grace

Doing these slightly out of chronological order, but this was July’s self-portrait- “Matched!” This was how we shared with our friends, family, and followers that we’d been chosen by an expectant mother! (Full story here) This photograph still brings me so much joy! We knew for a full month before we shared anything online, and being able to tell our loved ones in person was such a gift.

Self-portrait series by Abby Grace

And then there’s June’s self-portrait, “Pineapple of my Eye”- when we were matched with Felix’s birthparents, his birth mama was 30 weeks pregnant, and according to the baby growth charts on Pinterest, this made him the size of a pineapple :). More on that story here!

Self-portrait series by Abby Grace

August’s portrait, “Ready, set…” It was a challenge in storytelling to capture, in just one image, the feelings of anticipation, preparation, and nerves that were SO present as we approached Felix’s due date, and I LOVE how it turned out. Full story here!

Self-portrait series by Abby Grace

September, “At Last.” I waited for years to be able to take this photograph, and it still brings me to tears to see God’s faithfulness fulfilled in our lives. Full story here!

Self-portrait series by Abby Grace

October, “What The Camera Doesn’t Show…” Read the full story here. It’s a refreshing reminder for anyone feeling annoyed with the “highlight reel” effect of social media!

Self-portrait series by Abby Grace

Halloween! I didn’t exactly intend for this one to be part of the series, but let’s be honest: the question of “which Harry Potter character will my child be dressed as for their first Halloween?” has definitely been in the back of my mind since we first began hoping for a family. Cutest Mandrake EVER!

Self-portrait series by Abby Grace

This is what I look like most days- jeans, a tee or running jacket, and my glasses. I hardly ever do my makeup, my hair gets styled MAYBE once or twice a month, and I love it. Matt and I only utilize about 10-15 hours of childcare per week, which means our days are split into office time (mornings for me, afternoons for him), and caring for our little dude. Hence the “no margin for makeup” situation on most days. This is, very simply, a portrait of what the best parts of my day look like.

Self-portrait series by Abby Grace

“Wonders of His Love.” This is a scene I’ve been dreaming of since we first began hoping for a family in 2015. Every year that passed, my heart hurt more and more as we ordered Christmas cards that still only ever included Matt and I. 2019 was a year of overwhelming gratitude for our family, but especially during the holiday season as we reflected on how gracious and generous God had been with us- not just in bringing Felix into our family, but in all the ways the Lord has shown us kindness over the last several years of waiting.

My final portrait, taken on Christmas Eve, and a total accident that Felix ended up looking at the camera- it was just me and him in the room, no one was making him look over at my lens!

Self-portrait series by Abby Grace

P.S. I had enough people asking for help with taking their own self-portraits that we packaged everything I know into the new Self-Portrait Guide! It’s a start-to-finish guide with three different step-by-step methods for taking your own self-portraits, so that you never again come up short on photographs WITH you in them :). It’s in the shop for 50% off now through the end of the stay-at-home order in Virginia (whenever that may be!)- no code needed! Grab your copy of the Self Portrait Guide here and get to skipping!

Self-portrait series recap

April 8, 2020

  1. […] struggling with who (if anyone) to hire- I really like how I shoot brand photos, and after my 2019 self-portrait series, I thought, I’m familiar enough with taking photos of myself that I could take my own brand […]

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