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Faces, social media, videos, argh!!!

"Who is that girl in your profile picture? Is that you?" A simple question by a lovely new found friend. It got me thinking. Yes, is the simple answer.. but there is so much more to it.

It is me.. it is a picture taken by my late Dad when I was 18. He was doing a photography course and needed to practise. I have a set of these and I treasure them more than anything, obivously, because my Dad took them but even more so because I did not realise at the time how much we were alike in mind and soul. He had an artistic mind and did photography as a hobby during his working life and started oil painting when he took early retirement at 60. His talent and creative endeavours were cut short when he died suddenly after a short illness. He was 62. I am 60 now and like him, have been wanting to pursue a creative career for a long time.

This picture was taken at the beginning of his artistic journey and developed in our makeshift dark room - a darkened living room, at night, long before digital cameras saw the light of day. It was exciting to see the images on the filmroll come to live in the developing bath, very similar to opening a kiln actually. I love this picture, it's me, it will always be me..regardless of having grown wrinkled and more spotted on the outside, on the inside I am still 18... sitting still for my Dad to measure the light, decide on the aperture and at long last, take the picture.

I grew up in a day and age when, if you were not pretty, you did not get all the boys, but you were at least able to get through life without that being too much of a deal. So with my blemishes, my spots and freckles and a waist line waning and waxing more than the moon, I did just that and stayed firmly on the good side of the camera (behind it). It suited me well for the past 60 years. Now however, with a brand new ceramics venture in mind for the near future, I have a challenge which freaks me out: social media, videos and having my face in public view! I really really really don't like it. I am terribly self conscious when on camera and I lose the ability to function.. so how do I get over this in this day and age where everything is documented, selfies seem obligatory and videos are the way to go? I thought about hiring a slender body double (no I didn't) or sitting behind a cardboard cutout (didn't either) but then I figured, maybe this is just part of a process I should have gone through 40 years ago and it is finally catching up on me. Until I summon up enough courage to join the Youtube or Tiktok crowd, I'll stick to making pictures of the faces I make... 😂


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