I recently opened an email to find a photo of a handwritten “no junk mail please” sign. While the sentiment wasn’t a surprise (long story), my response and other recent reactions to photos got me thinking.
I wrote here about how taking self-portraits had made me feel better about my body. What I didn’t realise then was how there might be a flipside to this good feeling.
I consider myself reasonably savvy about where/when reality begins and ends in promotional photographs. However, in New York this week, I found that I’d fallen for online photos (some professional, some not), only to find that the reality didn’t quite measure up. At the same time, I took photos that I fell instantly in love with (which is particularly pleasing when it’s a Polaroid. Second chances are expensive!). And then, of course, there’s the negative reaction from the aforementioned photo.
What do they all have in common? In each case, I was holding stories or beliefs – that this place would be amazing, that I wouldn’t have said the same thing in that way, that I couldn’t take a good Polaroid, that my body was somehow faulty.
Going forward, I may not always be able to pre-empt stories like these before they appear but hopefully, I’ll get better at noticing them. (One thing is certain – you can’t control how other people see you.)
New York photos to follow soon…..