I've always hated the way I photograph. I don't believe I am ugly, but I sure look that way on film a lot of the time. I'm not one of those people who shies away from cameras, because I really feel like photographs are important historical markers and memory devices, but I'm always inwardly groaning when I see a camera pointed in my direction.
Or at least I was. Over the past year, two things have happened to change my photo phobia. The first, which I told you about before, was having my picture taken by the amazing and inspirational Karen Walrond. Karen is soon to release a book of words and pictures called "The Beauty of Different," and I can't wait to get my copy. I know from my own mini-session with her that she has an amazing talent, both when she's behind the camera and when she's not, for making you feel like everything about you is fine, is, in fact, beautiful. I can't thank her enough for what she did for me in just a brief meeting (and one of the pictures she took the day I met her may end up in the book!).
The second thing is actually a little bit funny. I got a computer with Photo Booth, and I started playing with it. Photo Booth is a little bit like a mirror with a response mechanism--you can take a million pictures of yourself, and it's easy to see, right away, what "works" and what doesn't. Using it has taught me something I probably should have figured out already--photographing well is about how you hold yourself. Anybody can take a bad picture, and people who take consistently good ones have either learned how to hold themselves to make themselves look good, or do so naturally. The flaws I have always seen in pictures of myself aren't due to my being ugly, or to some devil that lives inside the camera, but mostly to my carriage when having my picture taken. I learned that, somewhere along the line, and I can unlearn it.
Since I'm feeling all body positive and open today, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite Photo Booth experiments: