Beautiful Proof

We live in the age of the "selfie," one-armed snapshots of ourselves, alone or with friends, mugging for our own cameras. The Oxford Dictionaries even named "selfie" 2013’s Word of the Year. I think all this duck-lip, doe-eyed snapping is giving the selfie a bad rap.

“My typical style of photography is all about the color. Vibrant color and the use of natural light is my comfort zone, but in self-portraits, I found myself turning more and more to black-and-white.”

A few years ago, I had an epiphany. Though I had thousands of images of my life, my family and the beauty around me, I had so very few images of myself in any of it. Being the photographer in the family meant I was always holding the camera, keeping me behind the lens, not in the frame. If there came a rare occasion when someone else was manning the camera, I still had the power to view each image and then push that ever-tempting Delete button. I was erasing my own proof of life.

I grew up in the generation of film. No one had the opportunity to view or delete an image if we didn’t like the way we looked. You took the roll of film, sent it off for development and anxiously awaited its return. Then those prints were thumbed through over and over, stored in albums and boxes, forever freezing time, preserving history. My basement is full of this beauty. At anytime, I can go through albums and view all members of my family in those printed treasures.

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