I’ve been negligent about keeping up with my blogging. Sometimes just trying to think about what to share makes my head hurt. So I blow it off and do something else!

But several days ago I got an email from a fellow photographer that made me think. Don’t get me wrong, I’m introspective to begin with, but this made me consider how I view myself and my art. It also gave me a  nice little boost, which I really needed at the time.

I was asking this photographer about an organization I’m considering joining and I wanted to get a photographer’s perspective on it.  She had taken a look at my website and in her email reply to me she referenced my “high end fashion photography”.

This surprised me and the phrase ran through my head: “but I don’t do high end fashion photography!”

I photograph normal people with jobs, families, pets, PTA meetings, mortgages, car troubles and everything else that goes with a “normal” life.  I just try to make them look spectacular through posing and lighting (not by taking years or pounds off them via Photoshop!) Okay, I have photographed a few models/aspiring models, but we didn’t do anything fancy at all, mainly on street photography using existing light.

But this did get me thinking about our self-perceptions.  Not counting somebody with a really distorted image of themselves (such as an anorexic), the visions we have of ourselves often aren’t what other people see.

I think we all know classic beauties who scrutinize “flaws” that nobody else can even see.  Or the guy who clearly has above average intelligence but he just keeps working in a menial job.  Or the person who always sells himself short and has never recognized that they have an incredible talent for something.

I certainly never considered any of my photos as “high end fashion photography”.  So I’m taking another look with a different eye. I can see similarities and I do try to make many of my clients look like models, but I think I consider my photography to be more artistic. As a result of this “new perspective”, I am emphasizing the artistic aspects of my photography more than I have in the past. It makes sense anyhow, since I’m also a painter.

How do you see yourself and your talents? Do you need to take a second view or to pay closer attention to what the people around you are saying? An old year is coming to an end and a new one is beginning, so now might be the time to take another look at yourself.

To repeat some wise words: “Change your perspective and you change your life.”

 

Photos by Colleen D. Gjefle / © 2011 / GJFOTO.com

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