Let this be known: this is the first time I have ever taken a picture of myself. My first self-portrait. Just me & the camera & the flourescent lights of the white bathroom before church today. Eeek. Not comfortable & not sure I want to do it again. Ever. I don't enjoy having myself photographed and if you'd noticed, out of the 150ish pictures I uploaded onto Flickr, I'm only in 1 of them. Maybe 2. That's no mistake. The photo's of Morgs are just hard to come by. I am usually the photographer of the family. Not the photographee. I don't like the way I look in photographs and so I have basically put the kaibash on the whole Morgan being photographed situation. I just feel better about myself when I don't have to see the photos. Don't get me wrong, I have no problems with the way I look. I think I look fine, really. Just not photographed.
I can trace all of this back to the begining. Which all things usually can be, right? Back in 2000, 4 months after moving to Boston, the retna's in both of my eyes detached. I lost a majority of the vision in my right eye and now it's quite grey & cloudy and kind of warped. Not my eye. My vision. That would be funny. So, they did an emergency operation on my right eye. They say if you wait too long, you could go completely blind. They needed to wait for my right eye to heal before they could operate on my left. So I wore a patch, got called "Captain Morgan", received a bottle of "Captain Morgan's" (which still sits dusty & unopened because we aren't alchohol drinkers, but you gotta hang onto it for memory's sake, right?), became a pretty bad driver (can you believe they still let me drive?...One eyed??) and lots of other hilarious oddities that can only happen to one-eyed people.
About 2 weeks later, the patch was removed and a
second surgery was performed on my left eye to try to salvage that
vision. Each surgery was several hours long and I'll spare you the
details of anesthetics not working, feeling them cut into my eye &
having to watch them put needles in my eye. I guess I didn't just spare
you the details. Sorry. The surgeries entailed wierd things like freezing my
eye & placing bands around it to change the shape of it. It was
at this point that they realized the first surgery that was done on my
right eye, didn't take. They would need to do a third operation. 3
operations in about 8 weeks. You don't realize the life-long effect something like this can have. Like when you get pregnant 5 years later and the OB's are terrified to have you give birth because they don't want you pushing and putting any pressue on your eyes. These were things, that my 24 year-old self wasn't thinking about at the time.
I've currently got about a dozen suchers wrapped around each of my eyes, holding them together. Sometimes they roll out, but I just stick
them back in. It makes for great Halloween fun. Scares the kids. Good times. The biggest side effect of the surgerys, was that my eyes have become incredibly sensitive to sunlight. Incredibly sensitive. Just being outside feels like starring directly into the sun. I can't drive without sunglasses, and have them on almost all the time when I'm out & about. So, this means that photos of me taken outside just never work. I can't make an even remotely normal face if I am not wearing sunglasses. They get all squinty and start watering. "Must try with all thy strength to make a normal face while feeling like staring into the sun...." In those moments, I usually feel like the photo of me is going to turn out looking like this guy. Forget having family photo's taken outside. "Who's the weird and only one in the photo wearing their sunglasses?" Ahem. That would be me. And we all know that photo's taken indoor are usually crap. Flashes are no good. I stay away from them at all cost. I do need to say this, though. That I do feel incredibly blessed. Blessed that my left eye has completely compensated for all the lost vision in my right eye. It's amazing how our bodies do that. Blessed that I can still see. I think it could have been so much worse, and I'm grateful that it wasn't.
So, I think that's where it all began. What's the point of having a bunch of photo's of me in my sunglasses? There is no point. So I happily stopped being in them. Well not entirely, but photos of me are far & few between. But this morning, I thought, I'm going to try it. I'm going to try a self-portrait. It's not so easy, you know. The pictures are taken facing the mirror, and it's hard to try to get a picture of your face without having a big camera blocking the view. Plus, because the lighting is fluorescent, and I wasn't looking into the camera to see if everything was focused, they came out fuzzy. But I kind of like that. Chris said that on the top photo, you can't even tell that it's me. But I think you can. And he said it looks like I had botox. Which I did. Okay not really. I don't know what I was doing with my lips. I'm just not going to think about it. I think I was concentrating so much on trying to hold the camera still that I forgot to "reign-in" my bottom lip. But I do like that photo. I like that it's fuzzy. Of course, these have all been photo-shopped. Fluorescent lit bathrooms don't always make for the most attractive photos (who takes pictures of themselves in the bathroom anyway)? I am always so curious to see what fellow bloggers look like. So here you have it. I am going to go crawl under a rock now.
Edited to say that if you've never taken a self portrait, I'm challenging you to do so. Yes, it's awkward. Yes, you are praying that someone doesn't walk in on you mid-portrait (how embarrassing!) But do it. It's my challenge to you!