A Canadian photographer whose work I really like posted a comment about self portraits recently on a forum we subscribe to. He said that he thought that the great artists of history used self portraits as a means of self exploration and that it was an interesting tool for discovering self. I find the topic very interesting (it appeals to my fine art self) and I’ve been mulling it over recently. Who am I when no one is watching? Do you ever think about that? We all act slightly differently depending upon who we’re around – it’s all genuinely you but different people bring out differenct aspects of your personality. Who are you when there’s no one but you? I stood in front of the mirror with my camera the other day for a good 30 minutes to an hour trying to capture the true essense of myself – the person I am without any outside influences. The camera itself is an outside influence and then when you bring to the picture that other might see the image, that’s a HUGE influence in and of itself. It’s hard to empty yourself of those thoughts and just “be” while clicking the shutter. Well here’s what I came up with:

Is it me without any outside forces coming into play? I don’t think so but it’s getting close. And as a side tangent, how do you know which “you” is the most true to yourself? Who I am when no one is around is not necessarily the most “me” – silence just simply brings a quieter facet of my personality to the surface just as does “girls nights” or meeting new people, or hanging out at home with Sean. People are such interesting creatures! :) I think this will be my new project for a while so there may be updates to the “self project” from time to time. Thank you for indulging my contemplative mood. :)

– Mel

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