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My motto is "bare your skin," meaning be yourself in life and find comfort in being you.
As a photographer I try to have the people I photograph become comfortable around me and be vulnerable with the camera. It is important to me that I am able to show people the beauty that they bring to this world and that is something I am working on doing for myself. Now we all know the statement, "photographers are the worst subjects." Yes, it is true at least for me. It is this sense of lack of control, we've made it up in our mind that it is already a bad picture or that we are not photogenic enough.
About four years ago, When I started photographing people, I realized I did a lot of "you are beautiful" convincing to and for others but not for myself; it took a while. I loved selfies but not without a filter or a blur tool to cover what I didn't want people to see. So, I challenged myself to begin practicing what I preached.
In order to practice what I was preaching I had to dig up a few of my own definitions of what beauty was. I did that by identifying what my insecurities were. They were the secrets of my life that I selectively shared, they were the feelings I never shared, they were the things I allowed my mind to believe was true based on what society told me was true, they were the things that I saw but refused to let sparkle and rather it fade away. When I identified these things, I realized that these where the things that made me, me. These "horrible" things where the things that defined who I was and will be. I then became vulnerable.
See, sometimes we allow our past to drive our future, which in some sense it does but I mean negatively. We allow it to make decisions, stop us from doing or completing because they have become our fears. We fear if we wear our flaws like a pretty dress that someone will call it ugly. Who cares? We cannot allow these things to amount to our fears and if they are we need to face them. Time to bully the bully, say no and then say yes. Say yes to yourself, to your self love, your confidence, your you. Just bare your skin; it will be worth it. It’s worth it because you feel free, you have no obligations to maintain that fear anymore. The only obligation you have is to love yourself. We can’t change what have, we can only embrace it.
One of my favorite quotes by Gary Winogrand: "The world isn't tidy, it’s a mess. I don't try and make it neat."
So like I said, I became vulnerable. I picked up my camera and pointed it straight at myself. I was my subject and sometimes I still am. I let my work tell my story, I let my work embrace my flaws as beauty. I became one with my camera and became vulnerable with my audience, even sometimes within a different medium. I now take pictures and I don't always look for the most unrevealing filter to hide anything. If I choose a filter it’s because it brings out my beauty in a natural way. There’s no blur tools anymore, it’s just me. I'm more willing to jump in front of the camera rather than behind. See, I realized that vulnerability is a powerful tool. Vulnerability is the common denominator of beauty.
I choose to bare my skin!