Today’s prompt for #Reverb14 is “When did you feel beautiful this year?”
Tough question because I spent most of the year not feeling very good about myself. I didn’t feel ugly per see, just not beautiful. Af the beginning of summer, I discovered I’d put on just enough weight to make some of my favourite summer clothes just a little too tight. This didn’t crush me, but I was disappointed. I’d looked forward to wearing those clothes and didn’t want to buy new clothes. However, I wasn’t really motivated to lose a few pounds, so I made due with the clothes that did fit. So, I didn’t feel beautiful.
I felt beautiful only twice in the last year.
The first was when I participated in Vivienne McMaster’s Be Your Own Beloved photo walk during World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon last July. If you aren’t familiar with Vivienne’s work, she offers a couple of courses on how to use self portraiture to see yourself with kindness and love. The photo walk wasn’t about taking beauty shots, but a few simple techniques, such as camera angle and being aware of light, can have a huge impact on how you look. The photo walk was a great experience and I managed to take some shots that I liked. It was really all about being playful and looking kindly upon myself. It wasn’t about being pretty – just seeing and liking myself just as I am.
Then, in August I decided I needed new pictures for my website. I shot a few photos while standing near Lake Ontario, but the light was too harsh and I was squinting in every photo. Plus, I had lipstick on my teeth!
I tried it again a few days later in the evening when the light was softer and I was delighted with the results. Great light changes everything. I used my 35 mm camera with a 50 mm lens to get a blurred background. I also used fill flash to balance the light on my face with the light in the background. I also shot a few images while sitting on my balcony – again in defused light.
I’d like to be clear that I wore minimal make up and didn’t use Photoshop to “fix” my face (remove lines, wrinkles, etc.). This is me – just taking advantage of good light.
I look at the photos and can hardly believe it’s me. Damn, not too shabby for 42!