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.
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.
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.
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