Friday, January 14, 2011

my camera is my guide


What we are really looking for when we take portraits is a connection. We are looking for an expression, a mood, a certain something that reveals the spirit of the person we are photographing. We are watching and waiting for something to happen. Something real.
(Expressive Photography: The Shutter Sisters' Guide to Shooting from the Heart.)


I think the same applies to self portraiture. By turning my camera upon myself, I am hoping to come to understand myself in a fuller way. My face, my body, my reflections and shadows carry traces of my past, my emotions, my history internal and external. I take the pictures and then I search for clues: who am I really? How do I present myself to others? What do I fail to see? Appreciate? Value?

The camera is my tool and guide in this journey towards recognizing my wholeness. I experience myself as fractured, broken, defective. Each photograph helps build the case that such a perception is false.






But here - this is why I take so many pictures ...

Portraiture is sacred because it is so intimate. There is something beautifully vulnerable about being seen and witnessed. How often does someone stop and stare into our eyes? How often does someone ask us our story or simply sit and witness the beauty in us?

How do we reveal a deep truth about someone with a photograph? How do we evoke not only their beauty, but also their strength, their truth, something deeper? (Expressive Photography)

When was the last time you really looked - really saw - someone you love? How about yourself? Let's make that our priority in the coming year.

I'll be watching ... and looking ...


  1. I love this Lis. You inspire me to no end.

    And...I've been meaning to say this for a while now...thank you for letting us witness Miss Cowgirl grow so beautifully before I eyes. I swear each time I come here she is getting bigger and bigger. It just makes my heart burst into candy sprinkles!!

    BIG Hugs to you both!

  2. Beautiful post, Lis! I couldn't have expressed it better.

  3. When you mentioned the Shutter Sisters Expressive Photography book in a previous post I immediately put an order in and it arrived yesterday :) Having now read this post I am even more desperate to get started. I think you have such an important point to make about really seeing people- I know that I all too often don't look properly as I rush around. And I agree so totally with the lovely Connie, I feel privileged to see the gorgeous photos of Cowgirls' growing up journey :)

  4. Wow! These portraits are so beautiful.