i have a few girlfriends whom i've photographed for a long time, since our college days. one in particular, meg, has always welcomed my camera. the others, not so much.
with meg, it was never a case of "i am so beautiful. take a picture of ME!" not that she isn't beautiful. no, it was more of a matter of self acceptance (i yam what i yam), and a (quite rare) willingness to be seen. with or without preparation. no fussing, no "just let me put my makeup on." none of that. just, you want to take my picture? sure. here i am.
and i have a newer friend who is equally comfortable in front of the camera. terri. she, too, is always ready for a shoot. no nos. always YES! here i am!
as a photographer, i appreciate SO MUCH this willingness in people to be photographed. it just makes the photography easier, better, more free.
and more importantly, people's energy of openness feels good to be around, making those around them more open and free, too. open energy begets open energy.
but i completely understand not wanting to be photographed. i've been that way! but i am realizing that it's much more than a surface-thing of not wanting to be photographed. it's so much deeper than that.
so this week in my unravelling e-course, our assignment was to photograph ourselves. the (dreaded) SELF-PORTRAIT.
self acceptance. willingness to be seen. ok. yes. breathe. letting myself just be. i want that for others, and i want that for myself. to love others just as they are. to love myself just as i am. in photography and in life.
so in that spirit ... here. i. am.
It's weird that photographers spend years or even a whole lifetime, trying to capture moments that added together, don't even amount to a couple of hours.
~James Lalropui Keivom