Saturday, February 14, 2009

self

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about taking risks, pushing beyond my comfortable limits of experience and expression, particularly in art, but in other areas too. Somehow this has included the gnawing notion of doing some self portraits.

I have to tell you that this is a great stretch for me. I not only dislike my image on “film”, I often can’t bare to look at it. It isn’t so much that I think I’m ugly, though I am very good at zeroing in on all those flaws. It’s more an issue of not recognizing the person I’m looking at. I guess it’s a kind of disassociation with my own face. (When it comes to video it’s even worse. I had to walk out of the room when my hubby and I were viewing our wedding video. I’ve never seen it all the way through.)

But lately, this amazing photographer, person, mama, and member of “all I need is a moment” has inspired me to push my boundaries a bit and see what would happen if I turned the camera on myself. I’m shocked to say it’s not been so bad.

I took a few shots this morning. I didn’t hate the experience, and actually came away with a photo or two that don’t make me cringe. At the moment I can only bare to share one. I gotta pace myself.

IMG_9594

I had to do some lighting and color work on it afterwards, due to crappy hotel bathroom fixtures, and it was so intensely difficult to not “fix” all of the flaws I found with myself. (I actually couldn’t stop myself and went ahead with the fixes, but just didn’t save them = neurotic) But, in doing this, it’s important to me to face, and present, the real me.

I honestly think that the courage to do this, amongst all kinds of work on myself in the past few years & the inspiration and courage I gain through other women/mothers/artists in the blogosphere, comes from feeling right in the physical world. The Pacific Northwest is my home. Something about this place just recognizes who I am, and vice versa.

10 comments:

sunmamma said...

Oh Rachel!! You made me cry!!! I love this picture of you so much!!!! It's really really beautiful!! I am so happy you are pushing yourself to do this.

Larissa said...

This is a lovely pic.

Sir Fitz said...

Beautiful picture.

daniela said...

oh yes, lovely to see you working on acceptance. i feel the same way about self-portraits. it's rare that i come out from behind some sort of prop. my boyfriend decided to do the "52 weeks of someone you love" shots, and it sure is freaking me out. your words on this subject are per usual, perfect, and speak to me.

leaca said...

she is amazing. you are beautiful and have great eyes. you should do this more often.

curious girl (lisa) said...

I am glad you found the courage to share your beautiful face with us. it is very much how I pictured you, strong and soft at the same time.

p.s. I would kill for your eyebrows!

kendalee said...

Rachel, how brave you are. And how privileged we are to have you share this with us. I think Lisa summed up what I see so well - strong and soft combined, beautifully.

jennifer lorton said...

I can completely relate to everything that you wrote. Congratulations on taking the leap, you give me courage too. And by the way, your photo is as lovely and expressive as your words, thanks for sharing.
Jennifer
http://blog.jenniferlorton.com

Meg said...

lovely. raw, real and beautiful - in every way.

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

I am inspired by your courage, Rachel, and think you are beautiful both inside and out. This portrait of yourself is stunning. You exhibit true graceful bravery. Well done.