Sunday Self #15

sunday self #14-2

I started this post months ago, before I went Blog MIA.   The last time I actually blogged was back in April and it was a Sunday Self, how appropriate that the first post since then is another Sunday Self.  And I think I can honestly say that this image is as poignant now as the day I looked at it’s imperfection on the back of my camera. 

Even though technically the focal point shifted (most likely I moved) and the picture above is just an incorrectly focused image, I saw more to it.  I realized how my own view of myself has gotten blurred. How I don’t see myself the way that God sees me, “the unfading beauty” of my inner self.  How I let my self-criticism distort my vision, how I couldn’t see myself clearly.  

I had a lot more to say about it all those months ago. When it was fresh in my mind. 

What I did (and continue to) do really, is to reset my thinking, to love and embrace who I am right now.  Inside and OUT.  I’ve struggled with pictures of myself for the last two years – I am as critical as the next woman – all I can see is that droopy eyelid that changes my face, those puffy circles under my eyes, that spot of white hair in my eyebrow… and the twenty pounds I need to lose.  (All I can see.)

The thing is, we need to see that inward beauty in a physical manifestation from time to time.  Sometimes we need to FEEL and BE pampered. There is nothing more relaxing (to most women) then going to the spa, having manicures or pedicures (the later I’ve never experienced) or getting our hair and/or makeup done.  When we look in the mirror and feel good about what we see, we walk a little smarter, there’s a kick in our step and our inner beauty spills out all that much more.  And when we feel good, those around us feel good. 

I’ve slowly been working on a project with a friend and one day we made some images of ourselves.  I stared and stared at the images of me. Not sure what I felt, if I liked them or not. There is nothing wrong with it in fact, it’s one of the best pictures I’ve ever had taken of me.  That’s when I realized that how I view myself was skewed.  I’ve talked to so many other women who see themselves in the same way – all their outwardly, physical shortcomings. Photographing children and families it comes up over and over again with the moms.  We are so hard on ourselves as women – especially here in Southern California. The pressure to stay looking young and perfectly fit is oppressive.

I don’t want to wait until the perfect weight or whiter teeth or what ever the excuse may be to have pictures of me with my husband or son.  Life is too short.  But I do want women to see themselves how I see them in my lens - beautiful.  More than once I have been taken aback by someone who’s picture I captured.  The beauty that shines through their eyes.  Only recently a 60+ woman took off her glasses for her portrait with me; I’d never seen her without her glasses in the seven years I’ve known her and I was blown away.  She is beautiful!  I couldn’t even hide my response  when those glasses went down out of camera range and when she saw in me that positive reaction, she glowed even more. 

Those are the portraits I want to make. The moments I want to capture. The reason I love being a photographer in the first place.
Because the life that God gave to each of us is Beautiful.

Happy Labor Day!


Tracey said...

I absolutely love the off focus of this photo. Love your braids, profile. YOU are beautiful!

georgia b. said...

this is really good. so much i identify with. i really want to take some beautiful photos of myself and learn to see myself the way i see others that i photograph. and i want that beauty to flow from within. i think that's where the trouble begins with me. i think i could be more at ease with my outward self if i was more at ease with who i am inwardly. this only inspires me to work on that part more. beautiful post. beautiful photo.

Rose said...

georgia b, I have often gone through the same experience of being more at ease inwardly and it's true; the more we are content with the beauty within us, the more that beauty expresses it's self outwardly. And it's always contagious! Thank you for stopping by and your thoughts!

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