Monday, May 18, 2009

the softer side

the softer side

This is my entry for week 3 of the Self Portrait Challenge theme diptych. I tried to go softer with this one, including white in both photos and a slight aging effect on the processing. This wasn't too terribly creative, but considering I was fighting off a migraine all day long today and never even took time for Bench Monday, this is as good as it was bound to get.

I also wanted to contribute this to Shutter Sisters' Invisible Photographer challenge today. I remember less than a year ago, before I went out on a very shaky limb and started weekly entries to Self Portrait Challenge, I was never seen in photos if there was any way I could help it. I hated to see myself in photos and I mean that astonished, sickened, disassociated kind of hate. I just had no connection to myself that was a puzzle that didn't fit. I could feel about myself one way, but when I actually saw myself, I felt totally different and not in a good way. It was weird, but I know that I'm not the only one who has felt that way and certainly not the only one who has spent more than my share of time hiding from the camera that I love so much.

So, now that I've been participating in SPC for the last 10 months, contributing every week and then finally building up the courage to just turn my camera around whenever I feel like it or hand it over to someone else and let them capture me the way they see me, I actually like it. I like not feeling invisible anymore, I like not having a wave of sickness wash over me just because I saw myself in a photo, and I like getting to know "me" better. This self portrait was taken just that way, I stood outside in natural light and turned the camera around, aimed at my desired focal point, and clicked the shutter. Such an easy exercise now.....but was admittedly painful to begin with. With each click of the shutter it gets easier and my view of myself, flaws and all, gets better - and that's a good thing!

So, now I'm asking you.....When is the last time you turned your camera around on your beautiful face and clicked the shutter? hmmmm? Are you ready to join me at Self Portrait Challenge or take the Invisible Photographer challenge? If you're not comfortable with putting your image out there, then just take this challenge at home. Upload those SP's on your own computer for your own eyes to see. I think you would be so happy with the way you'd begin to see yourself and learn about yourself. If you do, leave me a link....I would love to see you ;)


Lena said...

Very inspiring!
I love the pictures you put together!
Nice processing too. I love the softness!
Thanks for the link to the Invisible photographer.
Looks cool!

jenica said...

oh yes. i know exactly how you feel. i remember feeling like the spc group must be a bunch of narcissists to be taking pics of themselves all the time. but now... now i have no fear, no shame; i'm simply at peace with the woman that everyone else sees.


randi said...

My summer plan is to use my camera lots more. Be more creative, take more chances. I feel like I take the same pictures over and over, you know?

Photos of myself? Hmmm...not too sure about that one. I run from cameras, just like my older kids! ;)

jess said...

I don't know you and I already love you! :-)
I am doing the same thing these days... I always felt like those pictures were me at my worst, and that wasn't how I wanted the world to see me. It freaked me out. Then I realized that my friends (and the world in general) did NOT see me that way. They didn't look for every little imperfection. The camera has a really difficult time capturing the living, breathing person.
Now, I can let people take pics of me. Big deal. I am not at my best... my smile isn't perfect in this pic... my face looks too fat in that pic... I have always loved myself.

Char said...

I love that people are brave and do SPs but they're just not for me. I'm very weird I know. But, I think you did a fabulous job n this.

Amy said...

Do you know, Sandra, that every single time I see a picture of you or even a portion of you in a picture, I think that I would like to know you in person, that you have a calm peacefulness that exudes from you that I would like to share. I feel as if I could sit and chat with you and watch our children play together and you would not pass judgement on me or my own, but would help me to walk away feeling inspired to improve in any one area of my life. And all of this, not just from your words, but from YOU. Thank you for working up the courage to share your real self. I like you! :)

spread your wings said...

i am just discovering your blog and I LOVE it. Your photography is beautiful and i enjoy the way in which you write.
I've looked around your blog a little and right away I though "she's beautiful" how could she not like seeing herself. I have such a hard time with this challenge. I can totally relate to what you expressed in starting out on this challenge. I can look at myself in the mirror sometimes and think I'm ok, but the minute I start taking photos of myself I'm sickened at the sight. I'll keep trying. and keep coming her for inspiration.

t does wool said...

great SP...definitely the soft nice!!

Andrea said...

I feel inspired to hear and see your honesty about photographing yourself. I feel it too. My sister shamelessly photographs herself, usually pulling silly faces, easily and endlessly. I'm a bit jealous! Maybe I just need a bit of courage to just do so boldly, like her, like you.

I really love this diptich by the way. Beautiful!

Andrea @ The Train To Crazy said...

I don't mind photographing myself, I just don't think about it unless I'm searching my files trying to find a picture of myself and can't find any!

gkgirl said... described how i feel about myself
in photos in a way that i could never have
put words to.

but as i read your words,
i recognized myself.

{love the dip, by the way}