Tuesday, September 6, 2011


When I first entered the world of social networking and online dating, it was very important to me that I had a good profile picture.  A self-portrait.  An image of myself that I liked and thought accurately portrayed myself.  I would spend hours alone, trying to create the perfect image.  I would put myself in front of a 35mm (real film... gasp) and utilizing the self-timer, would push the button, run to the other side of the room, and pose.  I spent a small fortune of film, and a quick minute figuring it all out and perfecting the shot.  I would take cues from professional photographers that I saw on episodes of America's Next Top Model, and try to emulate their shooting technique - all the whole trying to be like a model.  I would think about angles, lighting, how my lips looked, my eyes, to smile or no, the background, clothing, etc. etc...
It was almost a hobby.
And before my digital day, I would do all of these shots within the confines of how many different poses and looks I could get onto a single roll of film.  There was one time where I even spent a good amount of time drawing on my face with eyeliner - drawing - tattoo like designs.  But then I didn't like it, so I washed it all off, and just did my makeup a little heavier than usual.  Then I slicked my hair back, used a skirt as a tube top, stood at an angle to the camera, parted my lips, and snapped.  To this day, I am proud of this picture.  It basically represents me at the very beginning of my digital age... to which I owe a bit of credit.

And what's even more is that now I am familiar with the digital stuff, I can alter things.  I can mess with lighting, shadows, highlights.  I can see a picture instantly.  And if I don't like it, I can take 7 more until I get to the one that is right.  And then, I can go back and reflect on the others, and delete the ones that I don't need anymore.  It's an amazing phenomenon really.

And getting back to the point of today's lesson, is the ability to take self-portrait.  
Some days it is hard to stare into a camera...  it almost hearkens to the belief that when a camera takes a picture, it takes some of your soul.  And that may be fairly accurate.  Photographs are images that are frozen in time - good or bad.  All of your particles, and any surrounding you, are captured and put into one frame as a snapshot of that very moment.  A self-portrait is meant to document that moment of your self.  And if you keep a log of those images, you can see a progression of yourself (of your soul) through time. 

Just to share a few...
Still looking for that first one.

I hope you had a good Tuesday, and that the rest of your week goes well!  :)

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