Getting pictures done is a challenge for me. The little annoying "I don't believe in you" voice was running rampant yesterday evening. I even took along my fuchsia coloured dress for the shoot, just in case I miraculously turned into someone other than who I am (I am not a big fan of colour in my clothes!) while getting my picture done. Surprise, surprise, that did not happen. I was still the same Jeanette who did not like looking down and seeing fuchsia on my body. I ended up wearing my gray sweater, jeans and cowboy-ish boots. Now there is a surprise! No one will recognise me in my uniform (sarcasm)! But my beautiful and talented photographer, seemed to have an intuition about what was really me and what was not...thank goodness. This is a very valuable skill for a photographer to have. Remember this is her art.
This sometimes chameleon tendency of mine, prompted me to take a look at who I am and what I like. And why do I try and be someone or something other than who I am anyways? I studied this picture, which has probably been touched up a bit and I still see wrinkles and imperfections. Sometimes I study other people's faces and I still see wrinkles, but I admire how those lines have created the beautiful face of someone who wasn't born yesterday. In some cultures it is even revered to be older. The older you are the more status-y it is. So why do I feel repulsed by my own signs of aging? Perhaps because in our culture we admire youth?
It was Aristotle, I believe, who said that youth was wasted on the young. I agree. I told two of my girlfriends that I thought it would be cool to look at myself now, like I would when I was sixty! That way I could appreciate the youth I have now in comparison to what I will have 8 years from now. My, oh-so-well-rounded, girlfriend asked why I can't just accept myself now...as I am in this 50 something moment? Hmmm....I don't know why I can't! Or maybe it is better to say that I haven't been able to yet, but I am working on it.
Getting pictures done was hard for me. The wind kicked up. I hate wind! I hate it when my hair blows all over (turns out that allowing the wind to blow my hair all around was pretty!) and I hate it when my hair sticks to my lip-gloss. I hate being cold. I hate being the center of attention, with my insecurities exposed like a badge that reads "Member Of The Odd Squad". That is a lot of hate, right? And I hate hate...lol!
But the bottom line is that I love me. I delight when I look at my face and know the struggles I was going through in the moment of facing a fear. I love how this picture reminds me of Sherry, who was so excited to capture a beauty she could see in me, even when I could not. I love how when I posted this photo as my new profile picture, it was received so well.
When Sherry was asked by a friend on Facebook, whether she would recommend a book that they could read, so they could take pictures that would tell the story of the person getting the picture done, as they felt she had done with me. My friend/photographer, Sherry Nelson of Fresh Air Photography here on the Sunshine Coast, said that it was in caring about the person being photographed, that the best pictures came out of a shoot. We had a half hour to take these pictures and I was laughing at my hair flying all over my face. I never had a chance to feel like a poser. Sherry was talking and engaging me, and it just felt like two friend goofing around on the beach. I never had a chance to get all up in my head about it. Thank God!
So this post is turning out to be a bit of a contradictions. A love-hate story if you will. But the truth is that getting my picture taken, turned out to be way more like therapy than photography. I want to love myself. Every time I stretch myself by doing something outside of my comfort zone, I feel like I grow a little bit. So, thank you Sherry!
So here are a few suggestions that I as an photo-phobic person have learned from this experience, and perhaps you can take along with you if you have anxiety around getting your photos done:
1. Hire someone who is a little in the gray zone rather than all black and white. Artists generally love diversity and look for the magic in all experiences!
2. If the person is a bit spiritual it helps.
3. It helps if they are a relationship artist (this is when the artist combines their art and the art of relationships.
4. Take only what makes you happy to wear. If you don't wear purple, it's probably not the colour to start wearing now.
5. Don't think of it as a photo shoot...think of it as having a fun artist date.
6. Allow them to be the artist here.
7. Have FUN!
If you live here or close to here and need a special moment captured, check out Sherry at: http://freshairphotography.ca/ You will not be disappointed!
Love you all and thanks for loving me back! <3