I’ve spent most of my life hiding behind a camera, which has helped create some serious self image issues. For most photographers being in front of the camera can make you seasick. It feels like something’s wrong. The lights and the camera are never suppose to pointing at me. I’ve always thought I looked bad in photos. I feel I look fat, silly or uncomfortable. Seeing a photo of myself is like hearing my own voice, it doesn’t feel right. I have a system I’ve always used to protect myself. If you know the distance the photographer is standing from you and factoring in the amount of people in the photograph, you can guess the focal length of the lens the photographer is using. With this information it’s very easy to hold up a drink in the right spot to slightly block your face. If you move back and forth slightly in low light photos you’ll be out of focus and everyone else will be in focus. I’ve tried to stop blocking my face in photos... well, most of the time I don’t. I had to take a new self portrait recently and I don’t feel comfortable with it but I’ve put it online in all the required places: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook..... Everywhere. Your online photo is like your own personal logo that should be consistent across all social media and personal web pages. It needs to be a clean simple photograph that looks like you at large sizes and at the thumbnail sizes most social media channels use to show your image.
I’ve tried to come to terms with my self-image issues, I even made a film about it called Measuring Tape Girl. To promote that film I travelled to film festivals dressed up in a measuring tape jacket in an attempt to somehow ask to be measured and photographed in a strange type of shock therapy. It’s seemed like a good idea at the time. I’ve come to terms with this slowly over the the years but I still feel safer hiding behind the camera. Hopefully me and my selfie can be friends one day.