Archive for June 30th, 2014

I’m not the first and likely not the last person to write about this.  I will likely have to hear it more often before I actually get it more than temporarily.

I’m not beautiful, pretty or cute.  I come to terms with this mostly avoiding mirrors and such until I see pictures of me.  Being the one behind the camera it’s easy to not be in many pictures, that might be one of my favorite parts of being behind the camera.  Couple this with the idea that pictures should be very, very close to perfect to be kept from my really into photography days and it’s like I have some kind of photogdysmorphic problem. Yes, I made that up. The problem isn’t though.  I have thousands of pictures of flowers, kids, skyscapes, landscapes, sunsets, textures, motel signs, street signs, etc. I like to document my life as I see it, capture the beauty I am able to see around me from simple footbridges to majestic sunsets.

footbridge on the way to The Big Tree

My beautiful Mom hates pictures of herself.  She is most likely to goof off and pull some of her famous funny faces in front of the camera instead of letting us capture her as she normally is.  I’m okay with that, she has an amazing talent of making people laugh and pulling faces.  Her face is beautiful though, see. How can you not love her?

Mom at the cabin for her birthday dinner 2014

Isn’t she amazing?  She hasn’t seen this picture yet but I’m sure she’d pick it apart.  She’s not happy with her hair right now and, and, and.  There is always a list of ands.  I’m very well acquainted with them myself.  The old photographer me wouldn’t have hung onto this picture, or taken it in the first place.  Those cars?  Too distracting?  The focus and framing?  Off because the kids took this picture and I had to crop it way down to get it to follow the rule of thirds.  Who wants such a flawed picture?  Well, I do.  It’s how Michael sees his Grandma.  A wonderful, happy woman with a bright smile and a delicious cake on her lap you can’t see.  This picture is us, family gathered together to celebrate a wonderful woman that has cheered most of us on to get us to where we are now.

This same trip, with both Charlet and Michael having the camera there are pictures of me.  Pictures I don’t like and ones I wanted to delete.

Me, at Grandpa’s Cabin for Mom’s birthday 2014

My cheeks are chubby, I don’t have any make up on and my hair had a mind of it’s own including visible fuzziness and I don’t like the way the shirt makes me look. and, and, and.  I have a hard time seeing anything good in the picture, including flaws and imperfections that aren’t visible.  I can see the looming to do list that I never seem to finish, the stress, the inability to be enough of anything for anyone on my own. Who needs a visible reminder of that?  Not me!

I’ve read, and agreed with, articles talking about the importance of not waiting until the weight is lost or whatever goal it is that is keeping you from wanting to be in pictures because pictures are important.  They show the relationship between a young mother (who may still have some extra weight) and a toddler, the beautiful Grandmother being sung Happy Birthday surrounded by her kids, grandkids, and a great grandbaby who all think she’s the greatest ever (of course that’s because she really is)

I’ve adjusted ever so slightly and will consent to pictures like this one because Grant is cute enough to make up for what I’m lacking. Isn’t his little mohawk the cutest thing ever?  I adore him and so I keep the picture.

Grant and me at Grandpa’s Cabin 2014
I also am a fan of the picture of me that really isn’t a picture of a person.  Feet at the beach (I’ll take one when I’m at the beach, if I ever get there) or something that shows a part of me, perhaps an insight into my personality without actually being a picture of me. It’s me, that’s my hand and it’s a picture I treasure without having to deal with an awkward smile, hair fuzzies, or lack of pristine make up (or any make up at all this trip!)
As I look at the pictures from this trip, most of which I didn’t take it’s a little easier to look past the soft focus, missing catch lights, busy backgrounds, and other flaws because each picture captures a part of what going to the cabin is.  Spending time at the cabin with family is amazing.  Fun, stories, games, laughter and love — if you don’t want to be part of that then you can go somewhere else.  One of my favorite pictures is horrifically flawed.  Two teens trying to a selfie in low light with a DSLR but with flash turned off and who knows where the focus or focal length was.  I love it, it shows the relationship that these two have been building up between them. Thumbnail size it’s just fine!
Charlet and Michael weekend of Grandma’s birthday party 2014

I’m keeping the soft focus, low light, technically flawed pictures and I’m taking a breath and not deleting the pictures of me where I see nothing but imperfections because 100 years from now I don’t want someone to be looking at my pictures and assume my children are motherless because I was too picky over something as silly as a photograph. I may not be beautiful but I hope when my kids see pictures of me that are able to realize how much I love them and that they are the center of my entire world forever and always even with fly away hair, no make up, and unrested eyes.

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