6 1/2 Year Self Portrait Project Documents The Photographer’s Life Living A With Mental Illness


When Rebecca Brown set out on a mission to create a self portrait project almost seven years ago, the photographer knew she had a story to document that would not only serve as a coping mechanism to herself, but also help raise awareness of the multiple mental illnesses she struggles with on a daily basis.

Rebecca’s journey has led her through a lifetime of depression and anxiety as she is continually learning to break away from her illness, trichotillomania and dermatillomania, and live a fruitful and healthy life. Trichotillomania, a disorder which makes her impulsively pull at her own hair, and dermatillomania, a condition which compels her to pick at her skin, are not common conditions, but they are very real as Rebecca’s project so poignantly points out.

Take a look as Brown tells us her story through this ongoing and stirring selfie montage that is 6 1/2 years in the making.

She started the project in 2007 using the 1.3 MP webcam in her computer to capture the selfies. As she became more seasoned in the project, she made several camera changes and now takes the portraits using an iPhone or and a Canon 600D (Rebel T3i). At the time of posting the video, the images covered an expansive 2,374 days and was compiled using roughly 2100 photos. She says she fully intends to keep moving forward with project and add photos as she goes on. Needless to say, we will be tuned in to her future artistic endeavors and will be continually wishing the best for the her.

[ Rebecca Brown via Upworthy ]

  • skydvr

    I like the “photo a day” portrait concept – how do you line up the eyes of every photo?

    • Tiffany Mueller

      According to Brown:
      “Q: How do you get yourself to stay in the same position?
      A: I try to pose the same every time, and then I re-align every photograph in my video editor. Very time consuming – but it works”

      • skydvr

        Thanks, but my question is basically – how is that re-alignment done? Just a matter of sliding an image around until it “fits” on the one before it? That seems too haphazard to me, but maybe that’s all there is too it…. Thanks for the info!