Last week I did something I thought I'd never do. I had a photo shoot. After many years of suffering from what is best described as photophobia, I managed to put my scruples aside and stepped into the spotlight. Literally.
Well, okay, it didn't happen overnight. It took some time for me to let go of my fear of lenses and there are some pretty bad photos to prove that. No, sorry, they will not be included in this post.
I remember a time - about 18 months ago - when I'd look at other peoples' publicity shots with a big, dark cloud of envy looming over me. I'd tell myself that, for someone to look that perfectly pretty and spontaneous, there must have been alcohol involved. That, and a pretty well-paid photoshopper.
It seemed to me that I was made of the wrong stuff. Some important gene had been forgotten, the photogene. Isn't that why they call all the good-looking people photogenetic? A conspiracy perhaps...
Then, after a particularly disappointing experience with a photographer, during which I think relived some serious childhood trauma, I swore off the camera for good. For good! From then on, only my poor boyfriend would be graced with the responsibility of trying to catch that one lucky shot. At gunpoint. Needless to say, we had some pretty tense moments in the studio.
That worked for a while, until I started to get more serious about my online presence. As an artist, I'm very much aware of the power of images. In my opinion, you simply can't say you're a visual artist without underscoring this with strong, unique, idiosyncratic visuals. There. Just. Is. No. Other. Way.
So, putting my fears aside I started with a few small photos of me at work, just to put a face next to my art. When I noticed the earth kept turning, I took another step and added some more shots of me holding my work up. Again, nothing terrifically bad happened. At least nothing I heard of. If anything, the posts with my face in it seemed to generate more engagement than the ones without.
Plus, I noticed that as I got more comfortable with seeing myself online, I also got more comfortable in front of the camera. I allowed myself to just be who I was, rather than trying to emulate the "très magnifique" person I thought I should be.
Things changed. To extend that now, I feel my relationship with my own work has improved, just because I'm there with it. So, when I was recently asked to write a guest post for a streetstyle blog. I jumped to it, it sounded fun. When I was told that there would be a photo shoot alongside the post. I didn't panic, I didn't freeze, actually, I didn't even think twice about it. I was really exited!
We ended up spending about 3 hours around my living/working space which resulted in a selection of some really awesome pictures. I felt chuffed!
I'll be honest though, it's still not easy for me to be spontaneous in front of a camera, I'll probably never feel like Kate Moss in kitten heels. But, the important thing is that it's not an impossibility any more. And as I practice at it, it gets easier. By the way, my guest post was a short city guide for Amsterdam, if you want to see the photos (or the guide) you can do so here: see awesome photos.
Now go celebrate the start of Spring and do shoot a nice picture to remember it by ;)
With soulcandy love,
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