7 Days is back! If you haven't heard about 7 Days, well, let me fill you in. 7 Days is the fun, fabulous, friendly, creative, supportive, hilarious tribe of photographically inclined individuals from all over the U.S., United Kingdom and several other far flung parts of the world, who get together online four times a year to take a self portrait photograph a day for 7 days, then share the photos on Flickr and offer commentary, stories, compliments and laughs every day for the week. It's a delightful treat.
So I timed my latest Bravely Obey in Action life list adventure with the first day of 7 Days. For some bizarre reason I put "#35. Take artistic nude photos of myself." on my life list. Something about embracing my body and learning to love the flaws, yada yada. I put it on the list and then dreaded actually doing it. As over analyzed here. But I did it this evening. And I didn't hate every minute of it. Though it isn't something I plan to do again anytime soon. Here's the one I chose to use for 7 Days.
Nothing skanky. Nothing too revealing. Evidently I'm such a prude when it comes to photographs of myself, that I feel rather naughty even sharing these. And you can't even see any nipple. I liked the warm lighting in this one and the fact that for once I look serious instead of goofy. I usually hate photos where I'm not smiling. But I don't hate this one.
I took photos for about an hour. I felt most comfortable in our bedroom, so that's where we set up. Joe helped me set up some lighting and gave me some lens choices and good advice on depth of field and connected the flash for me, and then I kicked him out.
And I just took a ton of photographs. I couldn't relax at first. I couldn't get angles I liked. I deleted A LOT of photos. And then I just settled in. I stopped thinking of my body as mine and just started thinking of it as this object I was photographing. This object that I wanted to make pretty and soft and flattering. Once I stopped criticizing that shot or this one for highlighting my cellulite or my very pale skin or those wrinkles and bumps, I stopped feeling so self conscious. And it was a bit of fun. The only thing that frustrated me was my lack of photography skill and trying to angle myself in front of the camera on the tripod was challenging. It would be much easier to shoot someone else.
But I'm glad I did it. I'm glad I got over my stress about it. I'm glad I think I look pretty in a couple of the photos. And I'm glad I learned a bit more about photography this evening. Kind of the point of this whole thing, right? I pushed myself. I made myself do something that I'm not good at or very comfortable doing. I hate that feeling of being out of my element, and I was both uncomfortable taking nude pictures, and worse, uncomfortable because I just couldn't make the camera do exactly what I wanted it to do. So it might be time to sit down and have Joe give me another lesson. I hate that he's so much better than me at all this and I hate to have to ask for his help, but I'm proud of him for it at the same time. I'm weirdly competitive and stupidly independent sometimes. Something else to work on probably. Is there a life list item for "Try to be less of a bitch?" Maybe I should make that #47?
I should have included one last shot of Joe's tower of magazines and books on his nightstand. It is precarious and tall and I often feel concerned that it might collapse and bury us in our sleep. We like reading materials in this house. And taking naked pictures.