I’m Vivienne, a photographer, Body Trust Provider and Trauma Informed Coach, based on the West Coast of Canada, in British Columbia.
In this work we explore photography as a therapeutic tool, with a particular focus on selfies as a tool for body acceptance and cultivating self-compassion. We do so through accessible and experiential workshops and activities that put our body acceptance into action and reclaim our power back. You don’t need fancy gear or photo experience to do this work though. Whether it’s a smartphone, a point and shoot or a DSLR, all tools for photo exploration (and all skill levels) are welcome.
I help incredible people who have already done so much in healing their relationship to their body to explore what might feel like the 'final frontier' of being in photos. It's often something we avoid even once we've done work healing our relationship to food and movement.
I believe that the camera can be a doorway to seeing ourselves in a new way, inviting in more compassion and more self-kindness. For many of us, photos likely haven’t felt like a place where we have been able to see ourselves through a lens of love.
I believe that it is because we have these tender stories and experiences in our relationship to our self-image through photos that it can also be a place of reclamation, of learning to stand in our personal power and to rewrite the visual story of how we feel about ourselves in and out of a photo.
I do this work because I have lived the experience of having a deeply negative self-image. I didn’t think there was any way those ingrained beliefs about myself could change, nor was I looking for photography to change them for me. But it did. It was through the lens that I came to be able to transform those old stories of self-hate into an ever evolving relationship of kindness and compassion. I do this work because I’ve lived it and I believe that this kind of compassionate change is available to all of us (especially now that cameras have become so accessible).
Photography arrived in my life in my late 20’s and took it by storm. I picked up a camera just as I was emerging from a rough patch (aka a depression) where the stories of myself were changing under my feet. In a time of profound changes, I felt like a blank canvas that I had no idea how to begin to paint. The camera became that guide and slowly but surely helped me start to see the woman I am with clarity, kindness and helped me weed out all the external voices of who I should be or what should define me and reclaimed my own voice. I knew as I emerged from this time that I needed to share that the camera didn’t need to be our enemy and it fact it could be our ally, our guide back to ourselves.
I’ve been teaching online self-portrait based classes since 2011 (oh my gosh...more than 10 years) with the focus increasingly directed at selfies as a tool for body acceptance and fat liberation.