The Porcelain Doll

This is part of my Forever Grateful project.
As I was selling my home and placing my business on hiatus for a period of time, I took portraits of about 30 people who influenced my career over the past 12 years. This was my way of saying “Thanks” and letting everyone know that I couldn’t have done it without their support.


Before “Selfies” had a name. Before online dating profiles were filled with snapshots people took with their phones in bathroom mirrors. Before Facebook… You posted, on MySpace, a photo that you took of yourself with your SLR camera in the bathroom mirror at The Viper Room. I’m not sure if it was the grittiness or the blank stare on your face, but something about it stuck in my head.

Photo by Haven Heartman
Photo by Haven Heartman –

Several months later, I walked into a bathroom at a Tower Records in New York City. It was completely covered in graffiti. I loved it. I remembered the shot you had taken of yourself and, since I had my camera on me, I decided to do one myself.

photo by Blake Gardner Photography

I know, it’s not groundbreaking or anything. By now, I’m guessing millions of people have photos of themselves in bathroom mirrors. But over the last decade I continued taking photos in bathroom mirrors whenever I had my camera with me. Now I have this great documentation that tells the story of my life… in bathrooms…

From short road trips…

photo by Blake Gardner Photography
California Rest Stop

… to oversea adventures.

photo by Blake Gardner Photography
Café des Deux Moulins – From the movie Amelie – Paris

From weddings…

photo by Blake Gardner Photography

… to corporate jobs.


From Boston to Orlando…

photo by Blake Gardner Photography
… literally from Boston to Orlando… on a plane.

And even at my photo shoot with Jeff Bridges…

photo by Blake Gardner Photography

It’s kind of like a pictorial timeline of my life that I get to add to from time to time. There are now about 60 images in my “Mirrors & Porcelain” series. It has been a fun project and it probably wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the photo you took of yourself at The Viper Room.

Forever grateful,


The Story Behind the Shoot:

Well, I think the story behind this shot is clear. It was about time to get Haven into a bathroom shot with me… and so we did.

photo by Blake Gardner Photography

You can read more from my Forever Grateful project HERE.

3 thoughts on “The Porcelain Doll

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