I've taken thousands of photographs this year already. Yes. Thousands. Absurd, perhaps but it's my passion. The majority of these images are of family, mostly a certain curly haired little man that holds my heart. Many of these photographs highlight beautiful nature and landscapes. I've even taken a good amount of photos of... well, photos-- Project Life and other scrapbooking projects and products featuring printed photographs of our day to day adventures.
Sometimes in the midst of seeing all that life happening through the lens I remember to turn the camera around. To see myself too. I remember that my part of the story is also important. Not just my view of everyone and everything else. It takes a little more work and practice, but I assure you it is worth it.
Let's be honest... Generally, when I look at these photos on the back of the camera I don't like them--I can find every imperfection in my expression, face, or body. It can be tempting to erase them right then and there. But I force myself to upload edit, and save them--just the way I would with photos of anyone else. Like the rest of my edited photos, I tuck them away in a folder on my desktop for a few days and come back to them when I'm ready to order prints for my Project Life album. I tend to see these self portraits with more forgiving eyes after a day or so. I try to see the real me and look past the silly imperfections that I am sure no one else is concerned about. It's a good exercise in self-love.
Each of the photos above is a self portrait except the second to last one. Danny took that one and I just had to include it... because I love it.
As you might have noticed, only a few of these photos are a typical, "look at the camera and smile" style. Perhaps I just feel more awkward in photos like that, but I also just prefer a more lifestyle, real deal look to my photos in general. I like that these images show a real glimpse into my everyday life. Nurturing, loving, tired, fatigued, playful, thoughtful, etc. They show the real me, and I like that.
My advice, turn the camera around. You are there too and your story is important. Try to get over the self-criticism and see the good in yourself, the same way you do when photographing your family, children, and the world around you.