Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Our Wednesday play group met at our farm today. One of the moms is a photographer and is shooting a series of pictures of moms doing what they love to do, that is all theirs, not about their kids. So, while the kids played in the forts (and made new ones), Andrea took the moms off, one at a time, to create our portraits. I took some pictures of the kids.

I can't wait to see her pictures. It will be a while. We are all returning to the farm next week as well (we never made it to the crystal field) so she is shooting some more then.

On our way to the beaver pond, I asked Andrea if she was going to include herself in her "pretty mama" series and asked if she had ever done a self-portrait. She had not, and seemed to have never thought about it much. I was surprised.

Once home, our conversation got me thinking about doing my own self-portrait. My first impetus was that I had straightened my hair for the photo today. I never did find my small make-up stash this morning (I think I left it at a hotel in Feb.). I still have a small stye in my eye and I was tired from the day. But my hair is straight for the first time since it was cut. I felt silky and sophisticated - like the "Breck Girl" in the 70's. So I took my own picture.

Other than the arm muscle work-out (same muscles I had to use to do the straightening), it was painless. I see now why people join those self-portrait groups, where they post a self-portrait every Tuesday, each time following an assigned theme. It was very revealing, to my self, to do this. Though I almost never look in a mirror, I really saw the merit in looking at my picture. I've been told I'm not photogenic. But that's not the point. In trying to be completely open for the camera, I get to see what that actually looks like, not just how it feels. I can see different layers, and then notice when they are gone.

Here is one that Gillen took. I like the way he saw me.


diana(hahamommy) said...

It's an amazing thing, taking your own picture... to realize the real beauty is the beauty of being *real* and that you are :D
P.S. We picked a perfect spot for the 'maters :) Scotty says if you guys wanna come out and supervise our garden project, he sure wouldn't complain ;)

Angie said...

I love your self-portraits and wish I had the courage to do the same. I've attempted a few times, but never like the outcome. We really do have the same hair color, although it looks like you have beautiful green eyes - do you?

In answer to your question - I would LOVE to have the website for the mite control - Kino and I go round and round about not using medication for our bees and he says there is no other way!

Thank you so much.

Cami said...

Thanks for this post, Madeline, it's very insightful. I'm not comfortable in front of the camera, I always prefer to be behind it ;) But, I can see the benefit of spending some time photographing yourself - seeing the "layers" you describe. I think I'll give it a try tomorrow :)

mindy said...

Oh, I do love what you bring to the world! The portrait where you are in half shadow...incredible.

Alecto said...

You get the same look on your face I do when I'm trying this self portrait business; unlesss I'm working very hard at not looking that way. I think of it as pensive but I'm not entirely sure that's right.

Tamar Orvell said...

Your hair-straightening fascinates me. Proves (to me) that each of us goes to efforts and expense to change something others think is fine. My hair=straightening equivalent is hair coloring. Last year, I got tired of the routine and of feeling phony. A friend suggested that I go to a wig shop and try on a grey wig. At Lenox Mall I came upon a stall selling wigs and flip thing-y's (like a partial wig). The flip thing was grey, and when I put it on, the salesperson shrieked: You ugly. Take it off. Color your hair. I obeyed and continued to attempt to change what not everyone thinks, as she did, would otherwise make me look ugly.

Madeline said...

Diana, you put it so well. As for the tomatoes, I so wish we could bring them in person, but for now I'll send along the seeds. Mmmmm. I can't wait for tomatoes.

Cami, it has been hard for me to have my picture taken. I just didn't think too much this time and got caught up in the technical questions of how to get what I wanted with the shadows. That helped. I hope you post yours!

Alecto, I think the look is me not smiling (which never happens in a picture and I liked). I know what you mean. Practice would get us past this look. But I am afraid of doing this again, for now. I feel too self-indulgent, for now anyway, doing it here.

Tamar, I think the straight hair make me feel more together ;) I would love to see your hair gray and always thought I would let mine go completely gray. Now that it is happening, I don't know. For now, it's ok. I can't imagine paying to have my hair colored but also can't imagine looking a lot older than I feel.

Mindy, we are getting excited for your arrival!

whimsigal said...

First of all, who in the world said you are not photogenic? You absolutely are! And the photo that Gillen took? Beautiful!!!

littlepurplecow said...

Nice to see you! Yes, indeed, you should take more self-portraits. They get easier. I "see" you smiling with kind eyes and your gorgeous (i-can't-believe-you-are-straightening!) kinky red hair of fire.