I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Don’t Fear The Camera!


I don’t know that I was ever not camera shy, but my reasons for being so changed over time. First, well, I was just a super shy kid! The only pics of my childhood are generally x-mas gifts being held up or riding my first or second bike or, well, maybe that’s it. I do have a rad pic of myself doing a cartwheel wearing knicker-bockers (just over the knee pants that button on the sides). But yeah, that’s it! As time went on, well, my family didn’t take many pictures at all, actually. Puberty sent me that special gift otherwise known as “OMZ! Don’t look at me I’m hideous!” As I grew fatter? Well, it only worsened.

Even into my late twenties, I would avoid cameras unless I was the one pressing the button. A friend of mine is the same way, but I never felt he had reason to be because he’s a brilliant actor/dancer/writer/handsome & everything-under-that-sun-of-ours! After discovering the Livejournal community of Fatshionista, I was suddenly bearing witness to hundreds of fats posting pictures of themselves, On The Internet! What? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat? I know, right?!

After seeing some pretty terrible pics of myself I decided I needed to do something. Then I read a quote from Paris Hilton to the effect of she started posing for the paparazzi when she got sick of seeing bad photos of herself. Gee, I thought, that kind of makes sense. So I placed my little toe in the water and posted an OOTD (Outfit of the Day) picture on Fatshionista and was floored by the feedback I got. Not just on the outfit, but on my everything! And it was all positive! I was in a state of shock!I just couldn’t wrap my head around it! But I was sick of feeling icky when it came to taking my picture.

Experimentation! Ah-ha! Taking your own pics with a digital camera helped me so much! One day I decided to make every face I could think of and take a pic. The rule? No deleting! Then I did more OOTD posts. More positive feedback received. More OOTD posts. And so on. Then I got to the point where I figured out how to hold my head, smile the right way and stand for a camera! What? I know! And now? Now I pose for the camera! I laugh when they say “Cheese!” I flirt with it! It’s fun now! Had you told me I would be writing this a couple of years ago I would have thought you mentally ill. But it’s true! There is actually a full folder on my laptop with all pics of myself. That sounds so very vain, but some are just parts, like my nose or chin or ear. It was a learning experience, to say the least. We don’t get to see ourselves from many angles.

The subject of vanity and how others might see self-portraits as that I can understand, but for me it was a bit of confidence building/experimentation and just stubbornness, “I will no longer shy away from cameras, dammit!” And I think it’s worked for me. I still don’t love every pic of myself, but sometimes, even the goofy ones, I enjoy! If you can’t appreciate your own quirks, who will?! (Also great for documenting various hair dos, don’t and cuts!)

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If you’ve always shied from the camera or dread those “Kodak moments” of your life, why not try it on your own. It is amazing what you’ll see when you control the shutter! Try it out and let me know what you find! Or team up with a trusted pal and see if you can do a fun and friendly photo-shoot! I have some plans for this myself, I’ll be posting the results if we can sync-up our schedules!



14 Comments to

“Don’t Fear The Camera!”

  1. On December 17th, 2010 at 9:27 am sabrina Says:

    LOVE this! and a freaky mind meld – I just got a new camera and took two pics of me just this morning (sort of OOTD type ones, first time i’ve EVER done that). but I deleted them 🙂 Thank you for the tips! I hope to head into the OOTD-land at some point in the near future.

  2. On December 17th, 2010 at 10:18 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Yay! I’m so glad! Yes, please do post an OOTD! It was such a revelation for me. I’ll keep an eye out! Ha!

  3. On December 17th, 2010 at 11:10 am Dee Says:

    Ha! You look like a bigger Jessica (the baby vampire on True Blood).

  4. On December 17th, 2010 at 11:30 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thanks, I think? Ha! Never seen it, sorry.

  5. On December 17th, 2010 at 5:23 pm Twistie Says:

    That picture of just your eye is utterly arresting. I stared at it for an embarrassingly long time. And you know what? It stared right back at me.

  6. On December 18th, 2010 at 9:13 am Not Blue at All Says:

    *blushes* wow, thank you. Glad it was staring back at least, gotta return the favor any way I can! <3

  7. On December 17th, 2010 at 7:03 pm erylin Says:

    aww…your are ADORABLE! i mean it exactly my “type” when it comes to women…love me some curvy redheads!

  8. On December 18th, 2010 at 9:14 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Aw, shucks. Thank you! You’re too kind. <3

  9. On December 17th, 2010 at 7:12 pm thepowerofmyth Says:

    Okay first off you are so beautiful! Seriously I love the shape of your face and the color of your hair and the way it all goes together so gracefully! and your glasses in the pics with the black top are adorable!

    I use to hate taking pictures as well. My mom or grandma would always force me to have my picture taken for like christmas or birthdays but man I didn’t enjoy it. However like you I started to take pictures of myself and practice posing for the camera and not freaking out and dreading the camera every time I saw it. Boy did that help!

    I have a younger cousin who is SOOOO photogenic and I always just assumed that it was a natural gift and sometimes it is, but then my grandma said to me one day the reason why Josh (my cousin) is so photogenic is that your aunt takes a MILLION pics of him. That means he gets lots and lots of practice posing for the camera and knows just how to stand and smile and what not to take a good picture! Well I had never had that practice before, because I always associated the camera with such negative thoughts so no wonder I didn’t know how to take a good picture!

    Seriously taking pictures of myself even though it sounds vain has greatly helped me over come my fear and hatred for the camera and photos. Now I love taking photos it simply is one of the best ways to remind you of all the wonderful times you have with friends and family!

  10. On December 18th, 2010 at 9:17 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thank you. I certainly cannot take credit for my looks or shapes, but thank you still.
    Yes! Please, let’s all forget the vanity thing and really embrace this important self-esteem building exercise that is taking ones own photo! When I first started doing it, I won’t lie, I totally hid it! I didn’t let my husband know or anyone. But slowly, I started to realize that I can’t be alone and thus starting posting my own stuff. This one, with the funny faces and such? Well, it was hard, but fun! I encourage all to try it. And seriously, we’d be sad if decades went by and we had zero pics of this fabulous time of our lives!

  11. On December 18th, 2010 at 3:53 pm Erin Marie Says:

    Definitely understand what you mean about this. Learning how to smile could possibly have been the most powerful thing I’ve ever done in my life. I remember taking photos of myself one night and thinking – hey! I’m beautiful! Once I made that realisation I wasn’t afraid of the camera any more.

    Now I’m trying to be truly authentic and allowing myself to be captured just as I am. If I’m taking a photo of myself for Daily Booth or something, I just let it capture no matter whether I’m wearing make-up or it shows a double chin. I am who I am – every part of me – and if that’s not ‘socially acceptable’ then forks to the world.

    Sorry I’ve been so MIA lately. Lots been going on in the world of Erin. Hopefully back for good now though. xox

  12. On December 20th, 2010 at 8:49 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Yay! I’m glad you’re now celebrating all of you and not just the typical face-shot! That takes work, I know. Good for you, though! And please don’t apologize, we’ve all been living in crazy-busy-stress land lately. Good to see you around again. Hope all is well with you and yours!

  13. On December 19th, 2010 at 8:28 pm Kath Says:

    My story parallels yours in a lot of ways. Very few photos of me as a kid (I had knicker-bockers!!), then along came The Fat, and I shied away from cameras for many, many years.

    In my case, I made friends with a talented photographer, and he gave me a piece of wisdom: “People are always going to want to take photographs of you. You can either let them and present yourself in a way that you’re comfortable, or suffer the paparazzi-style shots.”

    Since then I’m all too happy to ponce about in front of the camera so long as I get to choose how I ponce about. I loathe being paparazzi’d! My friends know it too.

  14. On December 20th, 2010 at 8:50 am Not Blue at All Says:

    That is fantastic. So the key is to befriend a photographer! Ha! Just kidding. But that is fabulous. And yay for knicker-bockers!

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