Answers to Unspoken Questions (2)

*The premise behind this series of posts is explained here.

2. Why aren’t the people in his pictures ‘model pretty’?

I mostly hear this as an offhand comment casually cultivated through the proverbial grapevine. If only I was asked this directly, I would love the opportunity to address this in person. Perhaps I will have that chance in the future, but for now I will have to share how I would handle it here.

Before anything else, I am using my own self-portrait for this post as I did not have the heart to use a picture that I made of any of my subjects, past or present.

First, I would start with a few select statements from this post, especially this line when pertaining to women — There as many ways to be beautiful as there are women on the planet. 

Second, I’d ask a question of my own — Do you believe that only beautiful people as defined by you deserve to have portraits of them made?  

If you’re looking at celebrities and models, most of these people already lead charmed lives, I don’t think they’d mind if we all shared in the privilege of having a proper picture of ourselves taken. I have nothing against the prototypically beautiful. My issue is with mass media’s very limited definition of beauty.

I would cap everything off with a quote from Annie Leibovitz —

“When I say I want to photograph someone, what it really means is that I’d like to know them. Anyone I know I photograph.” 

I am especially looking at people who, like me, are introverted and who probably feel that they’re not that big of a deal to have their portraits made. If you’re one of the people who asked the question that started this post, I’m guessing you might be feeling the same way about yourself. Please do know that you are not only ‘model pretty’, but you are beautiful.

But you have to see that for yourself, before others can.

More to come…

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