Evolution of Self-Vision

I am finally back in the studio shooting again and the process now seems so completely different? My approach is different. It’s defiantly moving toward making a stronger connection to the subjects. It seems now that others are more aware of my style they are more willing to trust where I will take them, whereas before it often felt like I was blindly leading them and the process become more of a leap of faith for them. In think there is something heroic in all of us, we often do not see it for ourselves, but often it can be seen by others. I am praised for my gift of taking the seemingly ordinary and exposing the extraordinary with in. Really, truly figuring out what is extraordinary in others. I had a kid a while back who came to me for some images, we did a shoot, and he seemed discontent with the process. I worked up the images and he still seemed discontent with the images. I think he was looking for something a little more sexually alluring and felt that he was not in good enough shape to we worthy of my style of images. When he used the images he cropped them not to show his body but only the expression of his face. This surprised me. We never really communicated there after so I left the image alone and did not use them. But recently I have begun looking at those images again and see the real beauty that we had actually captured. And when I began to put those images in collections of similar styles they seem to fit perfectly.

I know I still have self-doubt about my own self-image but recently I have begun looking at myself differently in the mirror. I am seeing something I had not recognized before, a different version of myself, this time not middle-aged, with wrinkles, who has gained a little weight, but now with a vibrant vitality. It’s almost like the winkles have almost erased themselves, as all the things that I saw as negative now seem comforting. I went to a Christmas Party last weekend with strangers who didn’t know me. The discussion of age come up and when I revealed how old I was everyone at the table was astonished. They assumed I was much younger. It actually quite startled me, and I began to look for traces of what they had seen to make that assumption.

I began the first day of this year creating a self portrait of myself, that would become the profile image of me for the blog, trying to project a certain confidence and warmth that others might be inclined to believe in and follow. I remember working very hard on the image and emotionally not being in a very good place, feeling doubt, a certain amount of anxiety that lacked the confidence I was trying to project. Through out the year I have been looking at a lot of self-portraits of other people, particularly artists, and I am awestruck by many of those images. There is an honesty to them that really captures the essence of who I perceive them to be, from their communication and body of work. I now see in my own mirror that man of confidence and it is time to photograph myself for who I am. Certainly in my own style, but to capture what I have become through the course of this project and year. It seems it is far easier to photograph others and not one’s self. Since I am the photographer nobody seems to photograph me. I come from a non-photographic linage; we just don’t photograph each other. I have very few images growing up, mostly because we could not afford the process. It is time now to create a new self-image and honestly look at what I have become.