Look At Me. I Am Here

Abandoned House, Maine

Abandoned House, Maine

Every photograph is, in some respect, a self-portrait. The photographs I take say as much about me as they do about my subjects, since how I perceive the world is purely subjective. Photography is about seeing, feeling, longing, remembrance, and connection. It should suggest questions, without necessarily giving answers. The camera frames what I see and the moment I frame something, I express myself by what I’ve chosen to include and to exclude. The act of taking a photograph is a very personal endeavour.

All of our time is spent with our selves. Given that, I have decided that I might as well take photographs of my own body, self-portraits if you will, to try to get below my own surface.  After all, I am here. I want to see my self – get very close. Dig deeply.

Recently, I bought a “smart” phone and have tried taking some “selfies.” I discovered that I have difficulty looking at and pointing the camera toward my own face. This year, I turned fifty-five. I am aging and photographs reveal this reality. No matter, I have decided to dive into social media and show self-portraits on Instagram. I am interested in identity and understanding how we see and identify ourselves.

At Home (one of my very first "selfies")

At Home (one of my very first “selfies”)

Yet, the truth of the matter is that I like to be behind the lens rather than in front of it. I am, at heart, a voyeur and like looking into other people’s windows (literally and figuratively); this is why I keep the shades down at night. So, I have decided to peer into myself.  What do I see? How can I capture and communicate my emotions?

On the street I am attentive. I take the camera with me and shoot with purpose. However, now that I have an in-phone camera I shoot with a new-found frequency, more loosely, and freely. I am ever more connected to the process, to play, impulse, and chance. I suspect the phone changes the way I photograph because it is always there – better than any “Instamatic” ever was. Much of the time I turn it toward me.

The iPhone and Olympus OMD-EM5 camera are the tools through which I speak. And yet turning the camera on myself, my face, my body, I find they fail me. My body appears conspicuous. The skin ages. Joints creak. I am a stranger to myself. This “otherness” changes, daily. I am here and although it requires effort, these self-portraits open a dialogue with my self.

Along the Charles River

Along the Charles River

Along the Charles River

Along the Charles River

At Home

At Home

Sunday Afternoon

Sunday Afternoon

One Bright Day

One Bright Day

 

8 thoughts on “Look At Me. I Am Here

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