Backstage Pass: The Story Behind the Image

I recently began creating a new series, Luna, and wanted to share a peek at what goes on behind the scenes.

I like to incorporate objects as symbolism in many of my self-portraits. For this series, I wanted a type of sphere to represent the moon. I purchased several of the Amazing Wubble Bubble Balls (Have you heard of them?) in white and blue. I also used a 3D printed LED moon lamp (which has some texture. Can you spot it?). Soon I'll be adding in pearl-colored children's ball pit balls for even more spheres. I chose shades of blues and whites because I felt they would convert well to black and white in my post-processing.

I began by setting up some test shots in my backyard to get a feel for things before changing into a cumbersome dress. It can sometimes be difficult with all of the back and forth to my camera while wearing a gown. Often, they end up dirt ridden, torn and tattered, but thankfully, the camera is forgiving.

Test shot to grab my focus, set my exposure, and get the placement of the balls.

Test shot to grab my focus, set my exposure, and get the placement of the balls.

My initial thoughts were to capture the balls in mid-air. This process proved to be complicated. It was tricky to time it out with my camera's shutter release and more times than not the balls landed on my head, knocking my glasses off.

Here you can see that I was trying to capture some movement in my dress.


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In these outtakes you can see how I try to capture some movement in my dress.

In these outtakes you can see how I try to capture some movement in my dress.

Eventually, I ended up with a costume change and a call for back-up. Since I don't typically work in Photoshop, I need to find other ways to bring my visions to life. Sometimes that means asking for help.

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You can see the hand on the left by the dress.

You can see the hand on the left by the dress.

Once I finished, I brought my images into Lightroom and converted them to black and white. I added any texture and bokeh using Alien Skin Exposure software. It only took me about 10 minutes to edit each self-portrait.

Here are a few of the final edits.

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I hope you enjoyed this little peek into what goes on behind the scenes. If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below, and I'd be happy to reply.

Your Relationship With Self and Art

What’s your relationship with yourself like? What about with your art?
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I work on my relationship with myself every morning when I step onto my yoga mat, every time I put pencil to paper (yes, I prefer to hand write everything and with pencil ✏️ 🙂), every time I make the conscious choice to put the time in to nourish my body and not choose the opposite, every time I pick up or listen to a book, every online class I take to further educate myself (we can never stop learning), and in so many other ways.
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The other night I shared a little BTS video in my Instagram Stories of me setting up for a self-portrait in my backyard. It was completely impromptu. I had gone outside with Linhsey (my daughter) while she played hockey in the driveway, but the fading light and woods whispered for me to come.
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I obliged.
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While I didn’t create anything magical, I embodied and relished myself in the process. I spent so much thought and time in the winter pondering why I wasn’t out there creating as much. The cold and snow had never stopped me in the past. Now I see I just needed to lean in and trust in the process. It may call at the oddest of times, or lie dormant for quite some time. I just need to trust that whatever I’m meant to create, I will.
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I needed to go through this process the other night of feeling that spark of inspiration, setting up, making the images, and taking it all down again. It’s within that process that my relationship to self grows the most.
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What about you?

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Trial and Error with Self Portraiture

A little background story- I’ve been having my son film and edit some behind the scenes videos for me that I’ll be using in some upcoming materials I’m creating. Remember when I said I’m a shy introvert? Well being in a video = awkward!
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For those that don’t know, I use a dress form that happens to have a couple of wigs and a bear mask on it to take my place in a self-portrait so that I can grab my focus and set up my shot. 🐻 I’ll include a shot of it to give you a better idea. Just scroll to see.
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So as he began to film me, the head of the dress form with both wigs and the bear mask popped off and fell to the ground. As this was happening I bent over to save it when all of a sudden the entire dress form decided to fall and clobber me in the head/face. 😳😖🤣
So after much intense laughter exchanged between the two of us I was able to complete the self portraits all the while extremely happy that it was done and over with and having my fingers crossed that he got enough footage.
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He didn’t.
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So this self-portrait was from attempt #2, which went much smoother, where I tried to be much more present in the moment. 😅
I just wanted to share that it’s not all fairytales and magic. There’s a lot of trial and error, a lot of mishaps, but the process and experience is what it’s all about for me.

What’s your favorite part? Where do you lose yourself and learn the most? Is it in the editing? Sharing? The actual shoot or the preparation before hand? Share in the comments below and earn bonus points for sharing a mishap 😂

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My dress form that I use to grab my focus. Works like a charm.

My dress form that I use to grab my focus. Works like a charm.

Intro- I'm Sharon Covert

I tend to forget that many of you are new followers and that you haven’t been following my journey all along. I thought I’d give you a little introduction.
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My name is Sharon Covert. Most of the work you see here is self-portraits aside from some still life from time to time and portraits of my daughter. My son is grown and in college now so he hasn’t made an appearance in quite some time. He does spend some time with me behind the scenes though. He’s in the process of putting together some BTS’s videos he filmed for me for my newsletter and an upcoming class I’m teaching. His major is video production. Lucky me 😉
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I began using self-portraiture as a way of self-expression about 6 years ago. I’m a shy introvert but thrive in expressing myself through words, art, and music. Before photography I taught piano lessons to children for many years. It was such a rewarding and challenging experience but I truly enjoyed working with children.
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I currently teach an online course, Expressive Self Portraiture, through The Define School. You could say it’s a dream come true. The women I have met online and worked with have left me speechless and in awe.
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I’m about to graduate from The Institute of Integrative Nutrition in a few short weeks. The year long program has been life-changing and the coaching skills I have learned there have begun to carry over into my photography class. I’m excited for what the future holds.
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I don’t composite or edit in photoshop. It’s not that I’m against it, I just haven’t put in the time and effort to learn the program. I really will one day, but I admit, I am completely intimidated by it! I enjoy the process of creating my self-portraits and finding ways to bring my ideas to life.
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If you’re curious about anything else, or if you’d like to tell me something about yourself, leave a comment below ⬇️! As always, thank you so very much for your support. It means so much to me! ♥️

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Registration is OPEN!!!


Wanted: Creative, emotional Artist seeking her tribe of like-minded Artists.
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My Belief: I believe in creating for self-love, self-awareness, self-discovery, self-reflection, self-guidance, self-healing and introspection. My core belief is that by practicing these things you will become a better person to serve those around you.
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Have you ever been moved by someone else’s art? Have you ever felt connected in some way to another’s magic?
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We, as Artists, are healers.
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My 4 week interactive mentorship based course, Expressive Self Portraiture, through The Define School is now OPEN for registration! We will spend 4 weeks online together learning and practicing the tools I give you for creating art for yourself. You will learn how to think outside the box and bring your inner stories to life in a healing and expressive way. In this course I share everything. I hold nothing back.
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Answer the call and join me by clicking the link in my bio. 
I’m so damn excited for this! ♥️
Class begins February 18, 2019!
https://www.thedefineschool.com/…/expressive-self-portrait…/

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Rejection

Have you ever been rejected?
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It doesn’t feel good, I know.
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But what if you used that rejection to fuel your fire🔥 and become even more amazing?
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Instead of allowing it to bring you down, let it motivate you.
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I’ve been checking my email for weeks in hopes of an acceptance email. You usually can tell by the header. “Congratulations!”
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Today the email came, except it was a rejection email.
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For a brief moment I let the sting set in and bring me down. The questions began circling through my mind. How? Why? What could I have done different?
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I quickly put a stop to it and decided I would continue submitting to them. After all, what’s the worst thing that can happen?
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So many people share their successes and leave out their failures. I’ve been guilty of doing that myself ✋🏼. I think many of us have feelings of shame in rejection and failure. It’s embarrassing.
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Have you been rejected recently? Or have you had a recent success? Either way, I’d love to hear about it! Comment below and let’s lift each other up and inspire one another.

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