January 14, 2011

the lovely VIVIENNE McMASTER...

i have been so darn excited about today.s post i could hardly stand it.
i am honestly thrilled to share with you my very first "guest"on cul*ti*vate.
this woman is one of the most beautiful, authentic souls you will ever meet.
her photography is going to knock your socks off.  
her self portraits are especially jaw dropping and i am joyful to share that viv is on a mission to bestow unto us many of the truths she has learned 
through her journey into self-portraiture and photography.
i can truly say "i love her to death!" and mean every scrumptious letter of it.

Letting Ourselves Shine {a Guest Post by Vivienne McMaster}

I met the lovely Chrissy last year at an art retreat.  I adored her the moment I met her.  Why?  Because she is radiant.  Truly.  
Her spirit shines through her so brightly.

So when pondering what aspect of self-portrait photography 
I wanted to share in this guest post I thought of talking about radiance and letting our inner spirit shine through.

Perhaps you, like me, have struggled with getting your photos taken.  I never felt like who I really am shone through and I get critical of the physicalities of myself in the photo.   What is really at the core of whether I like a photo or not isn’t about my body (though my psyche sure likes to pretend it is).  
It is whether or not my essence shone through.  

It was a big realization for me when I saw that I was capable of taking photos that did indeed let that spark of who I truly am appear.  
Sometime I let the sunlight help me radiate my own light, other times playfulness and movement bring it out in me.  

Perhaps for you it might be your radiant smile or the way your mama self shines when you are in photos with your kids.  Maybe it is when surrounded by friends or after a beautiful walk.  What makes you shine? 

Let’s try and remember to shine our light when someone aims the camera at us or  we aim it at ourselves.  Let’s remember what makes us feel like our most true selves and let that radiate.  Sometimes it can be awkward or challenging to push through and find ways to do that but I swear it makes all the difference with the way we relate to photos.  

Of course there are some days when we don’t want to be shiny and bright.  I’ve learned through continually aiming the camera at myself that those photographs are equally valuable to me.  

Whether it is someone else taking our photo or inviting ourselves to step into the photo as a self-portrait I am on a mission to encourage us all to play around with how we can find ways to feel seen in photographs, to feel beautiful or playful or truthful when we see them and to capture moments along the way.

Let’s let ourselves shine.


Vivienne is a photographer that is head over heels for self-portraiture and the potential it has to shift our self-perceptions.  She teaches e-courses in self-portraiture and developing our visual voice through photography.  You can find out more about her  and her courses at www.viviennemcmaster.com

starting january 17th vivienne will be hosting the online class
or you might was to jump in with both feet and check out 

either way...you will NOT be disappointed...i promise!

thank you ever so much lovely vivienne...i am so blessed to call you my friend!

cul*ti*vate your own radiance


  1. Beautiful words, beautiful girl(love that photo of her). And she's so right...you are radiant. ♥
    Much Love,
    Jenny :)

  2. i think this is such a common struggle about liking photos of ourselves...i am so inspired by her lense!!! her photos are gorgeous...& i am also w/she & jenny about chrissy being radiant!
    here's to capturing radiance in us all!!!!
    loooooooove! xoxox

  3. ooh this looks very interesting indeed! thanks for sharring : )

  4. LOVe her photos! Thanks so much for sharing Chrissy, what an inspiration!

  5. well.....i always love me some Viv and the incredible images that only
    she could capture.

    i loved that we all met on that beautiful oregon coast and reading her
    wonderful words here.

    now i think i will go try to polish my shine....feeling a bit tarnished this morning!

    i love your radiance C....so much


  6. Great post - so interesting! Radiance - will try that one, for i often look quite stupid on photos ;) Your blog is radiant too sweet one, and so are you!

  7. i absolutely *adore* vivienne!! i just discovered her amazing e-courses and photography the other day!! eeeee!! SO lucky of you to have met up with her!!

    wonderful, beautiful words vivienne...*thank you* for this today...

    prairie XO

  8. That's the second time I've come across Vivienne today - it must be a sign! Lovely post :)

  9. Is there anyone sweeter, shinier and lovable than Vivienne? So glad that our paths have crossed. I definately can relate to the not having the essence of my true spirit come across in pictures.
    Love you gals!

    Thanks for spreading the love Chrissy!

  10. Thank you for sharing this Chrissy! It's something I've been thinking about lately. I'll go right now and check out Vivienne's place.
    P.S. I'm doing Soul Restoration right now. Yay me!

  11. lovely post! i popped over to Vivienne's website to take a peek at her pictures....and oh my goodness, i'm sure you've seen the twin redheads on the children's page...at least they look like twins. adorable. you know i'm partial to twin redheads. :-) and i thought about what Vivienne said and "your mama self shines through" and realized that's when i feel most beautiful....in pictures with my girls. thanks for sharing this!

  12. Thank you for sharing Vivienne - oh my goodness, LOVE!

    I AM LOVING Soul Restoration! Took me a bit to get started, but I am loving every minute. I hope to make it to the actual camp some day!! A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!! XO

  13. that girl is pure sparkle and shine. she takes amazing photos, they take my breathe away!

  14. It's great to know that there are so many out there, so willing to help others...all of this is VERY inspiring.

  15. Thanks for the encouragement Chrissy. I wish I was further along on my journey. It's hard being patient with myself :)

  16. I have been eyeing Vivienne's e courses. Lovely that you got to meet her in person. I love her photography. ~Theresa

  17. just love Vivienne's stuff! so glad she guest posted, Chrissy. She is the real deal it seems ;)

    miss and love you, girl!!!


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thank you so very much!