Portraiture

There is something deeply fascinating in the looks people give no one but themselves.

Right after you drive by someone smiling, waving out the window.

And it’s unbearable eye contact with yourself in the rearview mirror.

So deeply it cuts, your focus lands into your own conscious 

Like staring through the viewfinder

And as you rotate your hand the background comes into focus

your eye lands upon your own face staring back at you

Frowning

And you can’t figure out why you might look so sad

I think I ignore myself so often that sometimes when I happen a glance in a mirror

It can actually be scary

Disturbing

Upsetting even

Is that a function of me forgetting to be introspective?

Maybe focusing so much about what other people think of me

That I don’t think of me

I want more than anything to capture those moments

In other eyes

So that maybe I could make someone think of themselves

So that maybe they might glance into their own eyes

And horrify themselves 

To allow for excruciating introspection

And to showcase

or maybe even just to see

those moments of introspection.

The moments where instead of looking out

Your vision rests precariously on the inside of your eye

That would be a good portrait

The kind of portrait I want to take

But I have to figure out how first.

Polaroids

On the center of the granite countertop of the mini bar in my grandparents’ house, a home I spent the majority of my childhood in, sits a single polaroid. In that polaroid is a picture of me as a little girl, food all over my face with my dog right in front of me.

That is the only photo I have from my childhood and I can barely remember the story behind the photo. Now, it makes me wonder how many memories I’m missing out on because I can’t remember. This is also because I have no photos to revamp my memory.

I have no photos of myself with long hair, with my parents, or pictures of my dogs. All I have are my memories; the ones blurred between the lines of trauma and bliss that was my childhood, the ones I desperately want to forget and remember all at once.

Photo Credit: theverge.com

It’s terrifying that I have such a clear memory of the smallest details nowadays, but I can’t even remember the details of my parents’ faces. The little things in life that were defining aspects of my day to day life as a kid are blurred images in my mind today.

All I would have are these photos, but I don’t even have those.

Now, I have an abundance of videos and photos piling up in my Snapchat memories and phones new and old holding numbers of concert videos that I barely look at anymore. Videos that I refuse to give up, in case I want to look back on them and smile. I have photo albums filled with developed photos, polaroids from prom and random nights with friends, lining the shelves of the desk in my dorm room.

Some people say you need to live in the moment, to put your phone away and let your mind keep the images. But, I can’t. I don’t take photos and shaky videos to post them on my social media; I take them so I can hold on to the memories forever in the literal palm of my hand.

I have no photos from my childhood. Not a single one. Not in a photo album, on my phone, but I wish I did. As much as I try to forget everything from my life before I was ten, I wish the memories weren’t becoming just memories. I wish I could hold on to a photograph and relive the moment all over again.

But, that’s why I take photos all the time through the lens of three different cameras. So in thirty years, I can look back with a clear image and not just rely on the one in my head.

Picture Perfect

I recently wrote a story about the bike ride our school took. They left on Superbowl Sunday, and rode about 25 miles from the campus to the beach.

I was very proud of my story. I had fun with it, and in my opinion at least, the writing was pretty good. But then came the art

Every story needs a picture to go with it, some sort of visual. And in our Journalism class we don’t stage or photoshop photos. This would be awesome if it didn’t complicate things so much.

I started out on my mission to get a picture of the group that went on the bike ride by asking the teacher who led the trip to make an announcement at morning meeting. He did, asking all the students who went to meet up with him and I quickly after the meeting.

Since I don’t have my own camera, and have absolutely no idea how to shoot good photos, my classmate helped me out. We had the group stand in a couple different places in the courtyard, then behind the Spanish room as well.

Unfortunately, in all the photos we took the lighting was absolutely terrible. Somehow the background behind the students ended up completely white.

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TUMBLR!

I have had a Tumblr quite a while now. At first, it was a website that I would go on only if I had absolutely nothing else to do and I was just in bed, feeling lazy. Now, it has become a daily part of my life that I am getting more and more addicted to.

Tumblr is a social networking and blogging site. Like Facebook, each member has their own page where they post and share things. Following someone means that all of their posts will show up on your dashboard, which is kind of like a personalized home page different from every other members, because it has a different collection of things.

People write stories and post videos, but Tumblr is mostly filled with a plethora of photos. It is filled with photos of EVERY THING IMAGINABLE. And a lot of GIFs which are a cross between a little video and photo; it’s like a moving picture that has about 5 to 10 frames, generally speaking.

Now, Tumblr is not just somewhere to mindlessly and aimlessly look at photos of cool stuff and read funny little remarks. It’s a place to discover new things. I follow all different kind of blogs, including fan pages to my favorite shows, health blogs, self-improvement blogs, blogs for fashion, blogs for beauty, blogs for cute guys, blogs for bands/artists or music in general, blogs that post photos of animals. I even follow a blog dedicated to cats. But a blog can also just be a compilation of everything that interests the poster. I see a lot of things that I have never seen before and learn cool facts that I had not known about my favorite celebrities, bands, or shows.

One thing I really like about Tumblr is that for me, at least, it is reserved mostly for people that I don’t know. This way, I don’t have to be afraid of posting something people will criticize or annoy me about. Tumblr is sort of like special insight into my mind, and sometimes I would rather the people close to me stay a bit distanced from that.

It is just one of those awesome websites that I can’t live without… No, really, I like it that much. It’s an awesome way to pass the time and find out about cool, new things. If you don’t have one, I really suggest you get one! That is, if you’re not worried about falling into the Tumblr trap like I did and fall in love with it!

Instagram

I will admit, I am one of those people who loves taking photos. Every chance I get I will take a picture of me and my friends doing anything exciting, something good I’m eating, a cool thing I saw while walking down the street, cute animals – really anything that’s remotely interesting. But, to be completely honest, it is not uncommon for those photos to be taken and only looked at once in a great long while, hiding away on my computer of phone.

This is why I am really into a phone application I recently downloaded called Instagram. It’s an awesome app that lets you take photos and edit them with many different filters that make the photos so charming and cute. It is very simple but I’m so into it. And, the best part is that each person using the application has their page that others can follow, kind of like twitter or facebook, where there pictures are posted and people can view them, comment on them, and like them. I was so excited when it came out for Android phones, because in the past, it has only been for iPhones.

Although it may seem to be a little bit boring and sound just like many social networking sites, it’s strictly for pictures. I have found a lot of very fun pictures that people have taken and posted. It’s great because I don’t have to be a master photographer to take a picture that doesn’t look so point-and-shoot like.

Bottom line is, it’s simple and so fun. If anyone out there is like me who likes to take photos, and you don’t want them to waste away, I would highly recommend this app. So many people are using it!

Smile for the Camera.

Click.
Click.
Click.

He hunches over with his camera in hand, turning at obscure angles to try and get the perfect shot of the two cars.

Click.

He stands on his tip toes, his camera far above his head, trying to see form a view that isn’t his own.

Click

He mounts a jack to his own car before attaching his camera and speeding down the winding roads of a mountain.
I’ll edit out the jack later, he thinks to himself while twisting through the turns.

Click.

He smiles at me as I take a picture of him, a wild horse right out of frame, laughing.
“These things are the spawn of satan,” he says to me.

Click.

He waits on the ridge of a mountain, keeping his camera in front of him and his eyes searching.
My shutter speed has to be perfect, he thinks.
There’s a flash of lighting far away, and a smile stretches across his face.

Click.

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