Weekly Photo Challenge: Express Yourself

“I quote others only in order the better to express myself.”

Michael de Montaigne

(8  photos)



This week Krista has challenged us to demonstrate self expression. For a photographer every photograph is, to some degree, an expression of self. After all, each capture offers the photographer’s perspective on the subject at hand. Beyond that though, as I considered the challenge, I found myself thinking about the ways each of us finds to express our uniqueness.



“The goal of art is the vital expression of self. ”

Alfred Stieglitz

The way we dress, for example, says a great deal about us. One might think the wearer of the shoes in my opening capture might be a bit different than the wearer above – although you never know what a horsewoman might wear when stricken by the mood to dress up 😊 .



 “Beauty without expression is boring.”  

Ralph Waldo Emerson

You’ve heard the expression “from head to toe” right?  So what about hats? Surely they are a means of expressing who we are and what might be our mood on a given day. A hat with a certain style does more than protect us from the sun. It’s also a sure way to set oneself apart from the crowd, don’t you think?



“Creation which cannot express itself becomes madness.”

Anais Nin

On a more serious note, we find many ways to express our individuality; the arts for example. Even the youngest among us are fascinated by music’s ability to communicate our thoughts and moods.



“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.”
Victor Hugo
Music is a passion that can remain with us throughout our lives. I recently read a report on Alzheimer’s which said that music is one of very few things patients are able to remember as other memories disappear. Who can forget the image of Glen Campbell, deep in the throes of the disease, playing his guitar as beautifully as he did at the height of his career?


“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”

Aldous Huxley

Painting, drawing, writing, music, photography – each is a way for an individual to express him or herself without a spoken word. Used therapeutically, the arts can give abused children a means of communicating their pain – often a first step toward recovery.  Many who suffer from neurological issues like Autism have shown amazing talent for art – again offering a tool for self-expression when words are inadequate.



“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

Albert Einstein

According to the American Art Therapy Association, patients’ and clients’  artwork helps them to “explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem“.  I’d say that’s a pretty powerful set of tools for self-expression, wouldn’t you?



“Live life as though nobody is watching, and express yourself as though everyone is listening.”

Nelson Mandela

I chose Nelson Mandela’s thoughts to close my post because it seems to me that if everyone followed his advice, ours would be a much better world. How might you act, and what might you say (or not say) if heeding his counsel?

To see how some other bloggers have expressed themselves, click here.

138 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Express Yourself

  1. Those shiny shoes are brilliant, just what I would imagine a beautiful southern belle to have 🙂
    Great take on this subject, and while you have caught the sense of ambition with the young sketch artist, the final shot with the artist’s hand is something else ~ leaves me wanting a bit more, but also perfectly happy with seeing it all as it is. The quote from Aldous Huxley is gold and I must remember these words “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”

    • Thanks Randall, actually they’re not my shoes–I just WISH they were! 😉. I really liked that shot of the artist’s hand…even tho I didn’t capture the artist. But of course, that’s just me 😉

      Sent from my iPad


  2. A beautiful post Tina, about two of the most fundamental human needs that make us essentially different from other animals — the need to create and express. You have expressed it beautifully through words and images.

  3. What a thoughtful post to this week’s challenge. There are so many different ways to express ourselves, I love the ones you captured.

  4. I really enjoyed reading this post…the expressions of self through shoes, hats, music, art and so much more, loved the quotes especially Nelson Mandela’s one..I enjoy your writing a lot, thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Such a thoughtful and thought provoking post Tina. The quotes are just perfect and the photos, as always, are superb. I often look at the way people dress and admire their style, or lack of it…

  6. what an enjoyable post – loved the shoes! and your thoughts about music are so true. music has a way to reach the soul, and it is a very unique gift. although my Dad was mentally sharp as a tack until the end, his last battle in life was with cancer, and he was physically very weak on what turned out to be the last day i saw him alive. i was actually planning to stop by again the next day, too, but it was not to be. in any case, he was too weak for conversation or for being read to, so my mom and i began to sing some songs. and although he couldn’t sing along, his fingers suddenly began to tap the beat.
    i was very grateful for music on that day, and it turned out to be one of my last memories of him. actually shared the story in greater detail in a post for father’s day last year. but in any case, music really is a very wonderful thing. not to be underestimated, for sure.

    • Thanks so much for sharing that story Kris, you really touched my heart. I had a similar experience when my dad passed and had I known it would be my last visit I’d have stayed far longer. Will visit your Fathers a day post later, thanks.

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