So I’m always on about how great it is to age, and how awesome it is to be invisible (in some way) and how you don’t just get older but you get better right? Well, I’ve noticed that I’ve been a little … disingenuous with those claims.
I’m self-taught, and I learned pretty much all of what I know by trial and error. I was my own best model (aside from the dogs). Taking self portraits is how I learned lighting, and once I started shooting mostly in the studio it’s how I refined my look. My style. Whatever you want to call it.
But if you are a reader of this blog you’ll notice an obvious lack of self-portraits; something that used to be so ubiquitous in my Flickr stream and even on Facebook (for a while). If aging is so great, why did I ever stop taking pictures of myself? I surely haven’t learned all that is to know (/snort, yeah, like…not by a long shot). So what’s the deal?
The deal is is that I’m 52, not 22 or even 42, and in the past 5 years I’ve gained about 20 pounds, and truth be told it’s a little more difficult now than it used to be to get a good shot of myself (that is, one I like and that doesn’t make me think I look fat).
Remember all my self-portraits? The ones where I’m flipping the bird; the one in the Mac box, the one about voting, the one in my underwear in the backyard? I used to LOVE shooting self-portraits! Not because I was vain, but because I’m the only model I know who will do everything I tell myself to do.
So, I apologize. I’m sorry for just talking the talk, and not walking the walk. I’m sorry for hiding myself behind the camera for the last year or so instead of stepping out in front of it like I used to. I’m sorry for not backing up my words about how oh, so fucking fabulous it is to grow old without photographic evidence of such claims. I’m sorry for losing my balls.
It’s true. Aging does rock, despite the fact that when you do, your body seems to be on its own timeline and all you can do is either workout like a mofo 24/7 or learn to accept that you’re aging, and do it gracefully. Doing it gracefully means not dressing like a 25 year old, not applying tons of makeup, not shooting yourself only from the nose up and it means being comfortable in your own skin: both figuratively and literally.
So now I’m in the studio most all the time; I’ve talked about this before. I’m going to shoot more self-portraits. There are some lightning techniques I want to experiment with and I’m going to put my money where my belleh is and I’m going to show you how freakin’ fucking awesome it is to grow older, wiser, happier (and maybe a little softer here and there) because you know what? There are precious few women out there telling that to me, and even I could use that pep talk once in awhile.
I’ll start here, at 52. I’ll be 53 this year, and I’m totally fine with that. I truly have no problem with growing old, except for the bits about back pain, hot flashes and stuff like that.