The context of could you take my portrait would help, because it was fair to assume that she wanted me with her, that we were collaborators. But I wasn’t sure it would be enough. When I lifted the camera to my face, would I see the burden, the fear of glass, the uncertainty of self? Would I be able to get past it, taking something of her?
I’ve felt that way with someone else’s camera focused on me. That gulp. Eek. It’s not a great day for this. You feel all tight-of-breath and you worry what you’re showing, what’s being seen. Intimacy, trust, and self-acceptance (or lack of it). And then you become conscious of all those things and then it shows – oh crap it’s showing – and you become convinced that you’re just not photogenic, just not x-enough or y-enough.
This day, I lifted the camera to see her, wondering how it would go. Aperture, exposure. Turned a bit. The wind picked up, and she smiled, and the rest of the day went like that. She didn’t hesitate, and so neither did I. We played. She taught me about the mutual gift of fearlessness. From now on I’m going to cultivate it, in others and in myself. Because it’s just like Karen says. We are all beautiful.
Today, share with us your portraits, and your thoughts on capturing people in all their comforts and discomforts. Have you found that sweet, fearless spot yet? Have you photographed despite a lack of it?