From “behind” to “in front of” the camera

I’ve taken many pictures of myself lately. Not because I want to, but because I need to. I’ve started to crochet and every time I make something the best way to display it is to put it on a person. In my case it has to be me. That’s my explanation for why I’ve been so self-centered lately (like there has to be any!). For most of the time though, my selfies are headless (like this one). That way I feel comfortable🙂 VErY. I am never happy with pictures of myself. Most of the time I am behind the camera, and if it happens that I am on the other side… it’s just… NOT RIGHT.

The most comfortable photo session I had when I was the model (and not the photographer), was while I was pregnant. My friend was the photographer. I know her and I trust her. I was convinced she is not going to make me look ugly or at least she won’t show me those ugly photos. On the other hand I really wanted to have those pictures of me taken. Who knows how many times I’ll be pregnant. I wanted to have something to show to my daughter. I wanted to have it to keep for myself, to look back and remember.

A few months back I stumbled upon Caroline’s blog Constantly Evolving, Elena’s project “Selfie Magic”, and Jill’s project “I’m Beautiful”. Since then I’ve followed those projects never being a part of any of them, though. It just didn’t feel right. It wasn’t me.

I love Caroline for her creativity and such a natural feeling that just glows from her self-portraits. Elena and Jill are doing a great job in encouraging girls and women to switch places from “behind” to “in front” of the camera. I think it’s awesome, and more people should be doing it.

I found out about Elena’s project through Courtney from One Mom’s Perfect Imperfections. I really enjoyed her posts: “I Love Me”, “Perfection”, and a few more where she talks about self-love. In one of her posts she says:

No, I’m not a super model. (…) I am beautiful.  My daughter is beautiful.  And because I am her mom, her role model, I need to hold on to that confidence that I have gained through stepping in front of the camera and pass it down to my daughter.  It’s okay to feel beautiful.  It’s okay to be different.  I’m not a size 4 nor will I ever be.  I have freckles.  I am starting to form lines and wrinkles around my eyes.  I have stretch marks and a cesarean scar.  And it’s all okay.  While I’m no Jennifer Aniston, no Cindy Crawford, etc. I am me and I.  AM.  BEAUTIFUL.  I want my daughter to be infected with this knowledge and use it.  Share it.  Just because you’re different does not mean you are not beautiful.  We are ALL beautiful in our own right.

I totally understand it. My husband reminds me all the time that we need to be strong for our daughter, we need to be her role models, we need to teach her. If we don’t feel self-confident, if we don’t feel good about ourselves, if we don’t like ourselves… it will all be reflected in our daughter’s life. We as parents need to be strong for her. I want to be strong for her.

There is so much truth in Courtney’s words:

Fast forward a couple of days and Elena, Courtney K. and myself are having a chat on Twitter about selfies and how it will be nice that our kids have these pictures of us in the future.  How very true.  I am ALWAYS behind the camera.  If there are ANY pictures of myself during a family vacation it’s because I forced the camera into my husband’s hand to take one picture.  One.  And there are a couple of hundred of my kids and my husband with the kids.  And the conversation continued to include how we all wished we’d had more pictures of our mothers when they were younger.

I’ll add that it would be great to have those pictures of ourselves just for ourselves. To see and remember that we were young, and so pretty. I remember days from highschool and college. I thought I am not the ugliest girl, neither I liked myself. I didn’t. I thought I’m too fat, not tall enough, my hair is terrible, and the list go on… . Today I look at those few pictures that I have from those days and I think: “Gosh, I looked so pretty, so young. What was wrong with me?”  I regret I do not have many pictures from those days.

Today there is not a lot that has changed. I still think the same way. I even added a few extra things to complain about: grey hair, wrinkles, and after pregnancy shaped body. I still think that the best picture of me is the headless one and this is the best example:

That’s why I like so much to read and look at Jasmine Star’s blog, and webpage. She’s got some talent, but for the most of the time I like to look at the pictures of her. I love her intro to her webpage. She is not afraid of what she is. She’s presenting herself and her style, and after that follows her photography. Love it!

Going back to my selfies.

Yesterday I started shooting pictures of my new crochet creations and didn’t know when I noticed I was taking pictures more of myself than of my earings.lol

We all think, or many of us, that taking pictures of ourselves is very selfish, narcissistic and shallow. In many cases I think that’s exactly what’s behind self-portraits. Through Elena’s, Jill’s, and Caroline’s projects I saw a different side of it. I read many blog’s posts where women talked about their attempts to self-portraits and their struggles, and day by day I felt more and more ready to try it. To try it and to feel comfortable while doing it. I am not sure if I was comfortable, but at least I had fun… .

I still think that the best photographer for taking pictures of me is… myself… . I’ll stick with that for now… because every time somebody else is taking picture of me it’s more likely I’ll end up with THAT grin:

Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory Friday UndertheTableandDreaming

8 thoughts on “From “behind” to “in front of” the camera”

  1. SO SO SO love that you wrote this great post and have started to move into a comfort zone with yourself. WONDERFUL! I love that all these women have touched your life and you are stepping in front of the camera and setting a beautiful example for your daughter. I’m honored to be part of that in just a small way. Fabulous pictures! The fifth one day is so good – you look beautiful!

  2. I think we can all take this advice and have ourselves in more pictures. I know I always fight to stay behind camera because of how I might appear in a photograph. I think I’ll follow your advice!😉

    Came from PYHO!

  3. Awesome post – I totally agree with you about the struggle to capture yourself & not be vain about it, and i’ always amazed at what people like Elena and Caroline can do. Can’t wait to see what more is in store from your own selfie explorations!!

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