I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I’ll spare you the ‘The dog ate my homework-esque’ excuses, but instead I’m coming back to you with a beautiful guest post by the lovely Liz Riley. Liz is an amazing portrait photographer based in London (definitely take a peek at her website and/or follow her on Instagram) and she recently published a post that I just had to share with you.
Do you usually turn away at the sight of a camera? Do you dread looking at picutres of yourself because you know you’ll see something you don’t like? Are you convinced that you don’t look good in photos? This post is for you!
There was a point in our lives where we loved to be in front of the camera. Where we laughed. We ran. We cartwheeled. We had big cheesy grins, ice cream dripping down our arms and grass in our hair. We would fight over the camera and giggle as we saw our life in photos.
It was our childhood… do you remember?
Then somewhere along the way it all changed. We would no longer fight over the camera, but hide from it. We would no longer giggle at photos, but cringe with self disgust. We would no longer run with excitement to show someone our memories, but delete them as if the moment never happened. We would pick and poke, judging every little flaw from a freckle to a lack of a thigh gap. We defined beauty in a photo by the size and shape of our body that was sculptured into the perfect pose and then hung our delicate self esteem on societies unrealistic ideals.
In the end, it doesn’t matter. All you need to know is that IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT . But what does matter is how we defy it, how we redefine it. And how we start to tell a different story about ourselves when we see our life in photos.
And it all starts with choice. The choice to look at what’s in the photo. Or the choice to see what’s in the photo.
I can choose to look at the colours on the wall, or I can choose to see the vibrant colours of the wall nestled in a small side street across from my local favourite cafe.
I can choose to look and cringe at my belly, or I can choose to see a woman who loved nothing more than to dance on the street.
I can choose to look with disgust at my muffin top, or I can choose to see my favourite pair of worn out, hole in the crotch jeans that I never want to throw away.
I can choose to look at my moles, my scars, my sunspots, or I can choose to see a woman who’s felt the sun on her skin in countries across the world.
I can choose to look at and judge my thin hair, my flabby arms and my chunky thighs, or I can choose to see a woman who doesn’t play by the rules, but lives for incredible experiences instead.
I can choose.
To change my perspective.
To change my story.
To create and remember the masterpiece of my life defined on my behalf. And to dam well enjoy it!
And so can you.
Because it’s not what you look at in a photo that matters. It’s what you see that does.
Thank you so much Liz, for letting me share your words. I could not have said it any better!