Thursday, September 1, 2011


A friend of mine challenged me to do a self portrait that showed the emotion during a particularly dark period in my love life (Don't worry, it was awhile back...I'm perfectly sane now;). He wanted raw and visceral. In response, I shot this, but could never bring myself to post it. The public display of extreme emotion makes me queasy. I like emotion, it's a beautiful part of being human, but I'm not exactly comfortable with EXTREME emotion. Maybe I think it's a weakness, maybe growing up with it helped me develop an aversion to the drama or an aversion to emotional manipulating...regardless, I wasn't keen on this photo. However, through the years I've discovered that whenever my initial reaction is to hide something, it's usually because I'm not being entirely honest with myself and some internal inventory taking is necessary. 

Relationships are a pill. They have the potential to hurt, maim, and dis-empower us, yet we constantly put ourselves back into the same situations over and over again. Most likely we do this because they have equal potential of such beauty, love and companionship. (But until I find those three things in a relationship I maintain that they are a bitch!;)
So I got hurt, yep, in a new and unpredictable way (I thought I had covered all my bases, wrong!). And its embarrassing, because in my head I should have seen it coming (duh!) and protected myself by not believing there is good in humanity (how irresponsible of me!). Instead of experiencing the emotion, I compartmentalized it away and went a wee bit numb. But I've learned that emotion (good or bad) needs to be experienced the whole way through or you continually revisit that chapter of your life. You just have to feel it, you don't have to react or lash out, but you do need to let it run its course. Sometimes that takes a friend flying all the way from South Korea to unlock those stubborn tear ducts...

So here it is...experiencing emotion in all its raw, gory glory. And I'm still uncomfortable looking at it and will probably post again quickly so I don't have to...and you don't either. But it's important for me to remember that life is beautiful BECAUSE it's full of both intensely happy and painful moments and it's about time that I own ALL of these moments!

Does this SP make you feel uncomfortable?
(I hope so!) ;) 

For a little review, the Self Portrait Challenged between myself and my best friend Inge, began months ago when our paths went separate ways after a long traveling stint. To keep us shooting and pushing the limits of photography, portraiture in particular, we devised a monthly self portrait challenge that would push our comfort zones by putting ourselves in front of the lens (escaping this is largely the reason WHY you become a photographer...)  and allowing us to try new techniques and explore new ways of portraying your personal journeys. Take a peek at her beautiful work! Inge Kathleen photography  


Aaron said...

It's tragically beautiful. The eyeliner is a nice touch; gives it a "dumped on prom night" kind of look. Thanks for sharing. :)

Inge Kathleen said...

beautiful!.. glad you posted it. Cheers to # 17 and letting your tears just flow! :)

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