The other day, I went out into the pathway behind my house in my red boots to take a photo for the She is Three September Triptych.
I shot a whole variety of photos within a few minutes, with people walking by on the sidewalk behind the path. When I finished, I checked out the collection as a whole. Some were blurry, some too close, and a lot of them made me smile.
The above one was my favourite.
But there was a moment where it could have gone the other way.
I wanted to share this photo with you and tell you a little bit about the story behind it. The story that could have been and the one that I chose.
You see, the original photo didn’t look like the one above. It is this:
A sideways angle, a flowy shirt and a happy belly (that just had some dairy which it doesn’t digest well and gets bloated) and simply the shape of my body, led to a photo that could have easily been deleted if I focused only on the not so flattering parts. I actually feel more comfortable in my body than ever these days and am not ashamed of my curves, but it is still vulnerable to share this photo.
Because it is vulnerable taking self-portraits.
Its vulnerable seeing ourselves in photos.
Its vulnerable being human beings for goodness sakes!
But, one of the skills self-portrait photography has taught me is that I always have a choice. I have a choice to take more photos until I get the one I feel good about. I have the choice to transform a photo by cropping it creating the result of a photo that holds positive energy for me, rather than negative.
Do we want to focus in on seeing the negative, or do we want to transform it into something that makes us feel sassy, even beautiful. Because the cropped version of this photo absolutely makes me feel that way.
I normally don’t share photos that are out takes like this, but I wanted to as I feel like the story behind the photo could be useful if you’re wanting to take self-portraits but feeling vulnerable about it.
Or in case you have a photo you might have written off because of part of it, that you transform and re-write into a new story with by cropping it.
Or in case you’re craving to join me for the next session of You are Your Own Muse that starts Monday. If you’ve been wanting to join us for a while but not quite ready, now might be the right time to take the jump (I promise we’ll catch you and cheer you on).
If you have a photo that you’ve taken where cropping transformed a negative story into a positive one (or a time in life, when a choice you made had that effect), I’d love to hear your story!