Friday, June 13, 2014

When I'm not posing

Perhaps there would be some value in doing a photo study to emphasize the difference between how I look when I'm all perfectly posed for a photograph, and how I really look, with all my flaws hanging out, in everyday life. I think it's important for people to understand that idealized photographs are a selective and often manipulated cross-section of reality, and that even people who look perfect in them are not so perfect in real life. Perhaps it would also be valuable to demonstrate the fact that a person can still look beautiful, and above all, the magnetism of their personhood can shine through, even when they don't have perfect, streamlined bodies. After all, that's the goal of body acceptance is it not? And the antithesis of vanity - although maybe I'm not the best poster child for that...

Still, it's worth thinking about. But for now, the impetus of these two shots was simply the desire to document more naturally how I look when I'm moving about the house, in the nude, as opposed to the usual images you see of me in largely artificial positions, designed to emphasize my best features, and hide my flaws. I think it's amazing, for example, that from the right angle, in the right light, I can take pictures of myself that make it look like I have a trim, tight stomach, seeing as the extra flab around my midsection is one of my most frustrating problem areas. Of course, it's often the case that a person is their own worst critic, and that's certainly true of me at times. And everyone has different tastes, and there are other qualities beyond the surface layer that contribute to the way a person sees you, besides.

But I shoot my photography mainly to please myself. That it can please others, too, delights me enormously.

Posed, for comparison:

I like the first one, because it's more honest. I think there's more of a humanity to it, and that's definitely something I can pick up on. At the same time, as an aesthete, the lines and curves in the last image are irresistible. I don't even care if it's forced. It's still real. I think there's room in the art world - and my portfolio - for both, and there's no reason to disparage either one.

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