Self Portrait Tuesday: All Of Me # 2 / by Christina Rosalie

When Bean was napping and the light was good I grabbed my camera and started making faces. Not my usual camera faces---but the ones I really make when I’m animated, or angry, or being silly. The ones that the muscles in my face revert to unconsciously---the expressions that I know the FEEL of, but not the look of.

It was fascinating to discover what I really look like, ALL OF ME. I laughed so hard going through these (unedited) photos. I kept saying to myself, “I look like that, when I’m doing that?”

The bottom right picture may have been my attempt at looking demur. I nearly peed my pants when I saw it. Is THIS is the look I’ve used for years to score countless men? How has it possibly worked? Later, I asked my husband about it. He laughed, then confirmed that YES, I do actually make those faces, quite often. Then he told me just how much he loves me. All of me. And I’m sure I made some sort of rediculous face.

The shutter clicks and a short second, or maybe two are captured. Moments are not meant to be frozen. They are nimble and fleeting, one always melting into the next organically and without pause. There is something remarkably unnatural about the ability to capture a scene, an expression, light, movement, suddenly and permanently on the page with a camera. For me it has become a double edged sword: with my camera I force myself to notice unique shots; to notice more; to pay attention to light and texture and context. But at the same time when I’m with my camera I’m not interacting directly with my environment---suddenly I have a buffer, a piece of equipment that makes it possible to remove myself somewhat from the immediacy of the moment.

It was interesting to turn this lens on myself—to see what kind of observation and objectivity it could bring.

Instead of analyzing each frame for the negative attributes as I am prone to do, I allowed myself to simply enjoy these. To be wildly entertained. MY LIPS DO SOME DAMN AMAZING THINGS, people (ergo second row, forth from the left).

The best thing about this activity was that it made me take myself lightly. I am so much more than a collection of snapshots—and seeing them made me realize this. People see my smile and tell me it is beautiful—not because it is perfect, but because it is full of life. I smile with my heart. Laugh with my eyes. Talk with my hands. A hundred expressions pass across my face in the span of a conversation, and judging from the few I captured here, they’re mostly ridiculous. But, when they’re stitched together into the fabric of the moment, they make me.