One of my professors told me last semester "We need to see more of you in the images... not what Marie knows but who Marie is."
It's been a struggle for me to really put me into the work. Not to go too much into it, but I find it hard to really put it all out there for the world to see and judge. In an attempt to become more comfortable putting myself in my images metaphorically, I've been making an effort to put myself into them literally. There are three very good reasons that pushed me to do this:
1) Since my niece was born, I have been more concerned about how my sister, my mom, and I all act the second the camera is turned on us. The "Oh no! Not when I don't have makeup on!" and "Ew, I look disgusting..." commentary has become an annoyance to me in general, but I never ever want her (or any daughter I may someday have) to feel the way I have about my own image. It's a habit passed down from Mother to Daughter, and I, for one, want to do my part in stopping this. (Okay... off my soapbox.)
2) I'm hoping this may get me to be less... fearful? Anxious? Paranoid? (There are several words that could fit here.) ... about putting me in there. Maybe this will help bridge the gap in my work that I'm trying to fill.
3) There's something important about understanding how others feel when they become your subject. I don't think it's ever fair to ask another person to do something you aren't willing to (including being in an image).
So there you go. Still working on how I feel about these, and have found that 80% of the time I set out to do a self portrait I delete all the images from the shoot anyways. I guess like my photography, I'm still a work in progress.