Self-Portraits & The Burning House

24 Jun

So, it feels a little bit narcissistic to admit this publicly, but I love taking self-portraits. If you look on my phone, most of the photos are of me in various settings, with different faces and at different angles.  I’m going to have to chalk it up to curiosity, honestly.  Isn’t it weird that you’ll never see yourself as others do? That you’ll never get to watch yourself walk away or really, see how you look walking towards someone? Since the mirror provides a backwards image, we’ll never really know.  I guess videos can provide some of that, but we still really never know how other people see us.  What I love about taking self-portrait is that on certain days I ponder to myself, What do I look like right now? Is it how I think I look?  Usually the answer is no, I never look how I imagine myself to look. It’s kind of similar to how I think I’m much taller than I really am.  So, I enjoy taking photos of myself to see how I look–from different perspectives, in different moods, different outfits, etc.  Also, since I’m being honest, it allows me to portray myself how I wish to be seen.  I get to show you parts of myself that I want you to see and hopefully, you’ll see things I didn’t even think about revealing.

I also really enjoy manipulating not only self-portraits, but photos in general.  I find it incredibly relaxing to spend a few hours on the computer messing around with photos.  It fuels a certain creative flow within me and it reminds of the days spent in high school and college playing around in the darkroom.   When it comes to self-portraits, it’s fun to manipulate the photo to highlight certain aspects of myself.  For example, the photo above highlights my ink, my arms, and my legs, mostly. You can catch a glimpse of my nose and some of my hair, but what the viewer focuses on are the legs, arms and ink. Both my tattoos are extremely meaningful to me and I love them and that they represent something important about who I am as a person which is why I love including them in self-portraits.   Here’s a woman who takes self-portraits that I love: Jen Davis.  Her use of light and setting is incredible.  Her self portraits are honest and truthful.  I’d really like to work on expanding my self-portraits into a more creative and interesting realm and also try ones that are more starkly reflective of me.  I’d like to make them more mysterious by adding in different props, costumes, and settings.

While we’re talking about photographs, I’d like to share some of my favorite photographers and websites:

I love this lady–she rocks and I hope someday to take a workshop from her. Plus, she has a kick-ass name: Cig Harvey

This woman is awesome (I have one of her photo books and it’s a pleasure every time I return to it):  Jessica Backhaus

I just discovered this guy through a website I’m going to talk about in a minute and he’s great too (his shots really make me homesick for PA and rural landscapes): Ride Me Down Easy

This site is great and they have a new photo up every day: Flak Photo

If your house was burning down, what would you grab on your way out?  That’s the question the website  The Burning House asks and people can submit a photograph of the items they would take.  I’m struck by how many items most folks think they would grab.  When I first thought of what I would grab, I thought the following: one or two of the many journals I’ve kept over the years and my camera.  After I thought about it more, I added a few items, including some practical things like my glasses so I could actually see to get OUT of the house.  You can see all the items I would  hope to grab in the photo below, although it would also depend on the proximity and severity of the fire.  Some items would take priority and I would obviously make sure my roommates and our cat were able to get out before I thought about grabbing any material items.  I’m submitting it to the website and hopefully it will be published there.   I would love to hear or see what you would take if your house was burning down.

*Pottermore Update*: Apparently it’s going to be some kind of “…exciting online experience around the reading of the Harry Potter books”.  I think that’s called a game, Mz. Rowling. However, nothing else will be revealed until July 31st and I was too late to get my e-mail onto the special list, darn it!  Nothing like building up the hype!

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