“For she is clothed in strength and dignity. And she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31
Ever since I can remember I’ve loved the camera. Since I didn’t grow up in the age of cell phones, I was pre-teen before I got to use my first digital camera. It was my parents camera, and you inserted a FLOPPY DISK to store the photos (unlike tiny SIM cards these days). So retro! Anyway, I remember taking that baby to elementary school and snapping a ton of pics of my friends and I. We made cheer videos, dance videos, took selfies before the term was even coined, and practiced our peace signs and model faces. But as I got older, the more adults and my family began to poke fun at loving the camera. “Selfies are only for vain people.” “You love yourself too much.” “Don’t point a camera at Amy, she’ll hog it.” Although these comments make it seem as if I couldn’t function without a camera in my face, it’s actually a deeply rooted desire to preserve memories and moments in time. (And a love for editorial photography/modeling.) I can recall a memory, a nice day, a special event, all from a photograph. And then when you’re on the other side, creating an image wherein you are the focus, there is the opportunity to evoke a feeling in someone else. Perhaps it is dreamy, wanderlust, inspirational, beautiful…each person gets to receive what you’ve created in a different way. That is fun to me!
Five or six years ago I would have let the comments of my family affect me a lot more. But there comes a time in your life where you simply accept things about yourself that others may not like.
I’m a creative person – I love beauty, braids, style, photography, flowers, and writing. Luckily, all of those things are little pieces of making a blog and so finally I found the perfect outlet and a reason for wanting to amateurly model for my sister or husband behind the lens. I just feel so confident when I’m being photographed – and for some reason, while others may hate it, I’m happy there.
So here I am boldly, readily, openly accepting those things. I can be vain. I’m full of self-love. I’ll probably pose if you point a camera at me. But I’m also kind and loving. I’m empathetic and understanding. I’m a good listener. I love God and am not afraid of sharing that I am wonderfully made by Him. I’m fun and free-spirited. I’m stubborn and confident. And wanting to take photos or have my photo taken does not eradicate those positive qualities. I am whatever you say I am but that doesn’t define me. It is a momentary solution to appease your feelings. And I understand that, because I am human and make assumptions or judgments too.
Plus, how amazing did these photos come out? I love that my husband captured them – they feel dreamy and evoke a sense of freedom and femininity. And honestly I have no real reason to take them, except for the simple fact that I want to.
YOU are wonderfully made. Let your creativity flow whether one person reads it/sees it or one million. There is no one else that has the experiences, memories, dreams, and feelings that you do. And when you have people (it’s usually those closest to you) who are not supportive, put on some tunnel vision and persevere. Take their comments and say, “I don’t care what you think,” and you’ll realize how freeing it feels to say it out loud.