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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Just For You, My Camera Therapy!


I've been considering a lot over the last 24 hours. I finally got around to working with some photos this week that have been long put off, and I was quite happy to have that errand out of my hair and finished. As I was sorting through them all I was thinking about my long journey with my camera. I guess it really began when my Mr bought me my Kodak Z650 just before H was born, and I discovered it had a timer. Seriously, if it didn't have a timer, I would have no pictures of H an I. It's not that my family doesn't take pictures, it was that I was embarrassed to ask them to each and every time I wanted a picture taken. Imagine...every 30 minutes "Hey honey, come take a picture of H & I please!". Very slowly I began using the timer, and as I was using it, I started to think of poses that I preferred myself in, which side of my face I liked better, which style was best to wear my hair in, and which smile I preferred, if any. The whole course has taken me over two years to be fully comfortable with taking my own picture via timer, and enjoying the sight of myself in pictures.
I had a traumatic childhood (who hasn't, right??) in which I came to believe that I really am the farthest thing from beautiful. I associated that word with something disgusting because it came from insincerity and perversion. While growing up I heard that word a lot and each time I heard it I began to think there must be something wrong with me if they think I'm that horrible, and tried my hardest to hide it, becoming a chameleon of sorts. Trying out different styles, new friends, new surroundings and music. When none of it worked, I found someone on the internet who fell in love with me for who I was, long before he ever saw my picture. I thought I had finally fooled the world by not basing something in my life on how I look (That venture didn't work out, and it eventually led me to my Mr, but that's another story).
So there I was, just after the birth of my second child, and I have this camera with a timer, and I start taking pictures of myself. First it was always with H, then it became more about me. I like to consider it a therapeutic journey, though I didn't see it that way until recently. Last fall I started to consider what my pictures were doing for me, and it didn't take long before I realized, that after two years of taking my own picture, I was comfortable with what I looked like. I like the way I look. I don't mind that I have break-outs on my face (mainly because I'm lazy), or that sometimes my face does funny things in a photo that I never bothered to really pay attention to until I started actually looking for it. I like that my smile seems to be genuine when I have one plastered on in a picture. I like the way my hair glistens in whatever light source is available, and I've definitely come to care for it more than I did before all this started.
The point of all of this, is that I'm really quite content, and comfortable with my facial attributes, after a lifetime of awkwardness and self-despise, I actually like who I am. It took me two years to re-associate the word beautiful, with something positive. It's not a goal I started out with consciously, but someplace deep down I knew I wanted to have a better outlook on who I am, and I don't think I ever thought taking pictures of myself would solve that issue for me.
So, now that I'm in the wondrous position I'm in, I've decided it's time to take this venture a little bit further. I've had issues with my body, and am now planning on taking my timers further than my face, and exploring my body, so that I may hopefully come to care for it as I have it's nothern-most segments.
For your enjoyment...here are my fav picks for the pictures from the last two years' worth of timer pics.

6 thoughtful remarks:

only a movie said...

interesting project! you look great. :-)

My expressions LIVE said...

I may have to make one of my next writings about you....:} Your pictures really highlight your beauty. Of course can I request what I would like to see? xoxoxo

LarryG said...

great project for a lovely young lady!
way to go Amber mum!

Jack said...

You go girl! Your a great inspiration.
I love to be behind the lens... not so much the subject of photos.

Loved the collage Amber!

Jack said...

Oh, and love the new look here :)

Jodi said...

You are beautiful Amber!

Thank you for your concern when I was sick!! It is SO good to be home!