Self Portrait (For my graduation invitations [The Art Institute of Dallas-12/16/13]).
Photographer: Nicollette Mollet
For a while, I've been wanting to do a self portrait where my hands are dirty. It took me a bunch of tries; poses, makeup, hair and outfit changes to finally get something close to what I wanted. And my goodness, self portraits are the hardest task to accomplish when you're dealing with a 50mm f/1.2 on a Canon 5D Mark II. It's difficult to get photos in focus even when I'm behind the camera, let alone being in front of it. This isn't even quite what I imagined, but it works!
The dirt on my hands symbolizes my hard work and ambition. I'm willing to work my ass off to reach my goals in life, whether they be photography related or not. Even when flipping through photographs I've been so proud of in the past, I tend to be a bit critical and hard on myself. However, I also understand that it just means I'm growing. I will continue to learn and be inspired by new things throughout my life, as long as I am willing to get my hands dirty.
Oh! P.S. I decided to leave in that lip pimple you see there in respect to this post I made on Facebook:
Hey everybody, sentimental time--Ya ready?:
I just had a short conversation with a sweet girl about confidence and insecurities. She posted a cute photo of herself that included a caption describing how she's finally beginning to feel comfortable in her own skin. She also went on about how she's been going through a weight loss journey, but how the difficult journey has been filled with tears and heartache (hating herself and almost slipping into depression).
I just want to say that I think she looked absolutely stunning in that photo, and I'm not just saying that in hope that she'll come across this post and feel better about herself. She really did look stunning! We are our worst critics. Even the prettiest, skinniest woman in the world has deep insecurities. We all do, and if it's not our love handles or big bunions (two of my own, lol), it's something else on our bodies we don't like.
I've photographed skinny models who were absolutely beautiful and the minute they point out a flaw, I think, "WHAT?!" Because I don't see it. I see flawlessness. We see things in the mirror that no one else sees. The fact that I photograph pretty, tall, skinny girls all the time can sometimes throw me right back into that insecurity "bubble," but I quickly pick myself up since I know a lot about the behind-the-scenes. Models are photoshopped, and altered at times. Not all the time. Models can actually be as good looking in real life as they are in the photo but are used because they have the ability to portray emotions through the camera, and believe me, it's not easy for just anybody with a pretty face. Modeling is acting. Modeling is making movements look believable, being able to know their angles under different lighting situations and knowing if their hand looks amputated in that 2D image. I know that designers work on sample sizes, so it is easier to have models be the same size. However, don't forget about the plus-size models, they're out there and working, too. Also, the importance of whether a person can model or not is becoming secondary to the importance of their personality, which is great. I mean, I personally don't feel like highlighting someones physical beauty if they're ugly on the inside, let's be real *raising an eyebrow, crossing arms.* See, the media may have some influence, but I also think it's just in our nature to want to be attractive. I often wonder, "Would I still care to be attractive if all the men in the world vanished?" Then I think, "Nah not really, I'd wear sweats, eat all the pasta I want and let it all hang out (specifically the love handles and bunions)." (Ooh... minus the girls-nights-out... it is kinda fun to dress up for those. You get what I'm sayin,' doe).
Speaking of girls' nights, I have some of the most beautiful friends in the world. Every girl has witnessed their best friend look in the mirror and grunt in disgust. Even though I really do think my friends are just gorgeous beyond belief, let's say you "see" what they're talking about anyway... You never really noticed it until then. You know your best friend so well and love her for who she is that you completely overlook those things. This mostly goes for someone and their significant other, for example, if they love you, they will find you attractive no matter what. I have read countless articles of women telling other women (this goes for men too, okay?!) to love themselves because we are all "beautiful." While this is true, allow ME to finally EXPLAIN why from my own point of view. We all have our own tastes and preferences, and there is definitely someone out there who can find your insecurities to be beautiful because they are a part of you. There are other things about ourselves that are attractive, and we are completely unaware of them because we don't see them in the mirror. Maybe it's your voice, your mannerisms, your morals/outlook on life, your good sense of humor, your scent, laugh, hands, style, and the list could go on. Only those of you who have experienced true love know exactly what I'm talking about, whether it be romantic or not.
Most importantly, confidence makes you more attractive. It's so refreshing to meet someone whose confidence (ahem, and modesty folks. No one likes a cocky show-off) overrides their flaws, making the flaws completely invisible. Those are the people I find myself striving to be like–-not the skinny, pretty loud girl at a party (again, confidence isn't loud). I know that some of you who are close to me may be reading this thinking, "take your own advice!" Ha, I definitely have my off-days, too, just like everybody else. I also have my good days. Even today, I got so down on myself because I've been trying to take self portraits for my graduation invitations (if you haven't noticed recent ones I've posted lol, those are "maybe's") and got frustrated. The camera really can add pounds, you guys! Lol. I then cooled off, and was over it. I guess that's a contributing reason I felt the need to create this post tonight.
So, back to the sweet girl who posted the selfie. She sure looked super cute in that post and rocked that little polka dot dress, but after reading her caption, she looked dayum sexy!
Thank you for taking the time to read ALL of that, but I sure hope it lifts some spirits. I know that I will be revisiting this post again in the future when I'm feelin' down!