10.04.2009

take a look at yourself



do you ever take self-portrait photos -- either via the mirror or using a timer or with a long, extended arm? i've tried a few times since i have become a picture-taking fiend a little over a year ago. but each time i have attempted this, i am very unhappy with the results.

i feel i look too strange in them, especially when i try to hold the camera out with my arm, facing the lens toward me. the extended arm does funny things to my neck and makes me look completely different than how i see myself. {and, oh, how i hope it is different than how others see me!}

but with my crossover from 37 into 38 {and 40 quickly approaching}, i wanted to try to artistically capture the person i am right now. the real me. the "girl" who stopped caring about what she looks like in a mirror or to others because she's too busy looking outwardly at all the things her camera might capture. the one who will throw on any old clothes and pull back her less-than-perfect hair in a clip to go out and take pictures. or even to stay in and shoot what her little eyes can find.

still, this girl would like to look at least somewhat nice in a photo -- whether taken by myself or by another. so i was pleased when i finally got some shots that i was not quick to delete. and to be honest, it's not even the "me" part of the photos that i like that much. it's the surroundings. i took them in my bedroom because the amount of natural light was best in there. i loved how the shade on the bedside light looks in most of these shots. and i loved the texture that the dusty mirror lent to the photos.

i know these are blurry and dusty photos {... something i like, since it hides the flaws and blemishes that are beginning to appear with age}. but the artistic look i achieved in them was exactly what i was hoping for. {well... it's artistic to me, anyway. i know it may not be a style that is liked by everyone else.} i also love the coloring in these. i'm only posting these four here, but you can see the rest of the set on my flickr site.




i'm finding {with age} that i am less and less comfortable in my own skin. sometimes i'm downright uncomfortable. but with these shots, i felt a little more at ease. not so self-conscious. a little more relaxed and accepting of my outward self. perhaps i can also do the same with my inward self -- a little self-portrait {in the form of words} of the me that is attached to this shell. but i'll save that for another post.

so what's your take on photographing yourself? yay? or nay?

19 comments:

ginny said...

i love these... and the honesty of them... i especially love the one of you in your blue top looking down and the beautiful line of your shoulders.
i do understand how you feel as i too often take self portraits that i delete and do not wish to keep... i am now in my early 40's and am starting to feel more comfortable in who i am as a person but the aging process and retaining a positive external self image i find a little harder at times.. i have a large gray streak within my dark hair.. sometimes i consider henna but at other times i like it as it is who i am. your post today has encouraged me to look again and document 'me' and who i am ... flaws and all, at this time in my life.
thank you.
warm wishes
ginny x

Peter Tschirhart said...

Picture number two...

Sara said...

I love the photos! Especially the first one1 I do...seriously..

You are so beautiful :)

apriliniowa said...

The last photograph is rather nice because of your slight smile. I like the grainy style you chose. I'm a fan of it myself.
As for aging, I'm more comfortable in my skin now than I was in my teens and 20's. But I can understand the aging business. It's a cruel one. But you have a lovely tan and strong arms and that's all you need, buster. kiddo. pal.
hope you are swell. :)

Heather said...

The pictures, and you, are lovely! I am always so impressed with women who will willingly allow themselves to be the subject of a photo . . . I've spent most of my time ducking and hiding and generally avoiding any opportunity to be photographed. Its a shame, really. I'm hoping that as I grow older and hopefully wiser, I'll appreciate my body for what it has given me -- memories, experiences, my family, rather than focusing on its flaws. But I've been growing older for quite awhile now . . . . progress is slow:)

Perhaps I'll try my hand at some self-portraits. Your post has been inspiring!

Char said...

here's my take on it and it's not the popular thought.

1:: I hate photos of myself. Period and no one will probably see a shot of me because I just dislike it so.

2:: I really dislike those 52 self portraits because I just feel it's so "look at me" and I was taught since I was very young that you don't call attention to yourself. It's a deeply ingrained, learned behavior.

3:: It's not that I think I'm ugly or anything of that nature, it's just that I don't like it. I'm very much what they call a socialized introvert.

Char said...

but all that being said - you are gorgeous inside and out. and I adore you madly.

EnnythingGoes said...

i think you look like me in the last one, don't you?

Steve Gravano said...

Great job. I never am happy with photos of myself. I did post on awhile ago. I should try your method, I like you results. I agree with ginny there's a lot of honesty in these photos, unpretentious. The first one ... it reminds me of your photography.

beth said...

having met you in person, I can say that I think you are beautiful and mean it...so there !

and aging stinks !....I have photos of me that I love when I was 35 and now 10 years later, gosh I have a hard time looking at regular photos of me...dress them all up with photoshop and they aren't so bad...

I think most of us are self critical....us as in women....men actually tend to like photos of themselves...go figure !

Jaime said...

Your photos are lovely...and I so so love that beautiful shade of blue that you are wearing.
xoxoxo

Dorothy L said...

I love the top alos. UG...why is it that I can look in the mirror and its all good...then I take a photo and want to cry....that is not me...where did that line come from and what happened to my hair...
Ones perception of themselves in a refection is always so different from an actual photo lens perception.
I enjoyed reading through your posts....very refreshing!

spread your wings said...

i love these self portraits. you look very beautiful. and so natural and young.
i hate photos of myself, but i keep trying. there are VERY few that i can honestly say i approve. i did have a photographer friend in college that was able to capture a few of me that i liked enough to give to my mom as a gift, other than that...

Chris said...

Love the shots, they are gorgeous.

I am more and more into self portraits, especially with an artistic twist. I have fun making them, they tell a little about the time I took them, and they are fun to try to create.

I guess I feel the opposite of you. While I don't like aging, I'm more and more comfy in my own skin (not so much right now though, ha ha). Yeah, I'd like to lose weight or clear up my skin or dress better. But I'm a bit fascinated by the visible changes in me as I age and mature. And I guess I feel good because I am with someone who loves me for who I am, which is one of the best gifts I could ever have in my life.

So, long story short, yes. I like to take self portraits :)

Joy said...

I'll have to look at the rest of the photos of you... as for self portraits (of me)... oh, boy. I take pics and then I think, "gads, and I thought I looked so cute..." or else, I think, "man, my face is sagging!" or, (and husband has even CONFIRMED THIS...) I look like Bert on Sesame Street!!! Yikes!!

Joy said...

Okay, I just looked at a few of your photos on flicker. I like the lamp with the strange green shade. And that is a gorgeous cobalt blue top you have on.

~Hurricane B~ said...

You look beauitful, your words and photos show you are also that on the inside. Thank you for wanting to share the Real You..I like the dusty look to the photos. I think it plays up on the crap we have to see through to see the real us, the version people see. Not the harsh one we also paint of ourselves.

emily said...

I love the first one, where you are peeking over the camera, showing us that there is a person behind the lens. I like your comments about capturing the real person you are right now. I think we all have to get there at some point. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures !

kristin said...

real is best! thanks for sharing this today at ss.