When I first started taking photos of my outfits, they were elaborate versions of selfies – carefully planned timer shots with my phone perched precariously in whatever place I could find.
I am not that fond of the vulnerability that comes with being in front of a camera, or the feeling that a moment I don’t want will be allowed a different sort of permanence.
This has always been my hesitation, and the reason I rarely let other people take photos of me.

IMG_4657

Eventually though, it really was just that much more practical to let someone else take photos for me, and doing these OOTDs became a tedious process of controlling my flight tendency and trying to allow myself to be myself even though someone else’s gaze was transferring through the lens.

Now when I scroll through the photos afterward, selecting which ones to keep, to delete, and which ones to use, I have discovered it to be an interesting moment of self-creation. I recognize certain things I am looking for in myself that I really want to be there, and if there are enough hints of it within a shot, I tend to gravitate toward keeping and using those for my blog – the place a version of myself gets created and curated.

IMG_4709

At the same time, there are also definitely photos that I have encountered that force me to look at myself in a different way – perhaps through the eyes of the person who took the photo, or through the moment that was caught that I don’t often pay attention to. The self I find in those moments is a very precious one, but also a very foreign person to me. She is full of things I didn’t know I had, and able to emote in physicality something I might have only known of myself in abstract. Sometimes, like in today’s post, I try to use those photos as a way to try to engage her and love her too.

IMG_4714

This is the reason I continue to indulge in taking photos of myself and in my wardrobe that can’t be called a fashionista’s wardrobe. By getting to know the person I am in what I wear, captured in shots on a mundane camera phone, I get to know myself better, and build fuller self-perception. It is an active form of self-love I’ve cultivated over the last few years, and it is bearing beautiful fruit in my life.

 

Shirtdress from Banana Republic

Posted by:jasmine

Jasmine is an editor, poet, and community arts organizer. She comes to poetry by way of Chinese music. This blog is a mapping of ways.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s