This camera is very similar to the first ‘proper camera’ my dad gave me when I was only just old enough to understand how to take pictures. It was a pre auto exposure, auto focus, model and ‘point and shoot’ techniques didn’t work out so well. I had to decide what I wanted to create then go about making in happen, not just aim in the general direction and hope it came out ok. A great mantra for life today.
I chose to share this picture because the camera bought back happy memories (I still have it, by the way). The camera has the power to hold our memories for us over and over. You see the pictures we take capture a moment, a snapshot in time – but when you look closely they capture so much more than that. They capture mood, spirit, dynamics sometimes the very essence of who you are in that moment.
Photographs show us so much about who we are, with no judgment. They show whether we are happy, sad, faking it (yep I’m talking about those posed group pics, you really didn’t want to be in), comfortable, uncomfortable, confident, self-conscious etc etc.
Our brain on the other hand uses pictures to make all sorts of unconscious judgments, is this true? can I trust this person? Are they any good? Does the picture look right? Do I want to be involved? Come on don’t tell me you’ve never made a judgment about someone based on a Facebook picture, an ‘about us’ photo or even a dating site picture.
What happens when you look at a picture of yourself, I mean really look, beyond any temptation to dislike it or love it because it’s of you. There is so much to learn about yourself from these snapshots of time throughout your life. The memories triggered by the photos are so much more than just the image, you get back the essence that was captured, what you felt like, you remember the sounds, the smells etc. etc. You can learn to use these to recreate empowering states.
So here’s my challenge for you.
- Pick out your favorite pictures – only ones with you in and if you still have any maybe a few you are not so keen on. Include pictures of yourself as a baby, a young child, and older child, with friends, with family, as you are now.
- What do these pictures tell you, not so much what you physically look like, but how do you show up, where’s the energy in the picture – is it you, someone else, nowhere? How does this feel?
- Notice the changes in you over the years, between you as a small child, a teenager, and adult; how you show up with different people.
- Look at what might have been going on at the time of the picture – do you remember feeling happy, sad, confident, comfortable etc.
- Use these pictures do rediscover who you really are. Where you are at your best, what people and circumstances support you.
The thing is much of the ‘vibe’ we can pick up off photo’s of ourselves and others is not so different from the vibe or energy other can pick up from us face to face. You can choose how you show up in the world and looking at pictures of yourself can help. It can also be fun doing this with people you admire, model or absolutely would not want to be like – go have fun see what you discover.