When we were away the other week we had a nice apartment with a mirror. I have always really liked mirror pictures as I like the reflection and the way the mirror sort of distorts the image so that it appears to tell a story. I had an idea for this image and this isn’t quite how it was in my head but I liked it anyway. I am always drawn to photography in black and white although I think that really the lighting has to be right in order to create the right effect. Usually we end up with shadows and highlights and other things that we don’t know how to get rid of.
Neither of us knows very much about photography other than what we like of course. HL has looked into ways to use his camera and had spoken to people before about some techniques, but our usual approach is just for him to snap away. I will contribute ideas and suggestions and things work best when we have the time and location to be relaxed, have fun and just go with it. Other times, one of us might have had a specific idea of what we wanted and that can work too. HL enjoys taking the pictures and keeps them in a folder where he can enjoy looking at them too.
In terms of what to post, that is usually up to me, although I do seek his opinion before publishing pictures. Often what is in the folder is not in a format which can be used, due to the limitations we have set ourselves: essentially nothing incriminating or identifiable. I usually play around with filters and editing until I have something that I am comfortable with sharing, although some of the images are posted in their original format. I like being able to create something new that I can write about, but often the original is something that I like just as much if not more but for different reasons.
I have posted the untouched version of this image below as I quite liked it and couldn’t decide which of the two I preferred. I can end up falling down a rabbit hole with it a bit and can have 5 or 6 different versions of the same image, which I then have to choose between. Posting pictures of myself has been a journey which has built my confidence and acceptance of my body greatly but the anxieties are still there and this makes making decisions difficult as I find it hard to take the plunge and put something out there anyway. This is where HL usually comes in again and is asked to choose between them in a sort of photography identity parade.
For us, photography is a real collaboration. It is as area where we work together and it connects us. I post the images on my blog but really, they are as much HL’s as they are mine. I appreciate all of the kind comments each week but he reads them all too and feels a sense of ownership so it works really well for both of us. During the time when we felt that we had to stop posting, we both missed it. We are glad to be back and actually the constraints we have placed on ourselves are allowing us to think more creatively, or at least in a different way than we were before.
If you would like to see more of my journey with photography and body image, you might want to start here.