This is my take on the self-portrait challenge. I kept everything very simple and just wanted to get a feel for this side of my camera.
So obviously, I am a photographer. I have been developing skills in photography for a little over two years now and love it even more today. Around this time in 2018 I started a very small business where I would take senior portraits and graduation pictures…and I believe my starting price was literally just $20. Since then I took the time to learn and experiment with different editing styles and saved up to buy myself a 50mm lens that I shot this pages featured images with. Super cheap lens, but it is for sure my most prized posession because it was the first investment I made into my own self development. Now, I am far more confident in my ability to create great work and attribute a lot of that to all my friends who let me drag them to arcades and weird parks so I could practice. I have become super passionate about creating, and seriously enjoy getting to capture some amazing moments for some amazing people.
Photography in essence, captures interesting and sometimes “beautiful” things. When I had to edit these images for myself I struggled a bit because I forgot how difficult it can be to sit and look at yourself for an extended period of time. This made me think a lot about what I have decided is beautiful and where I fit in to what society has deemed beautiful. Then I watched a video by “Bobo’s Photography” on Youtube where she speaks to these beauty standards and the decision to agree/disagree with them. But her message was that beauty is in large a preformance, not necessarily a state of being.
One thing that has become pretty huge for me is changing my own perspective on beauty and beauty standards as they exist today. I think any young adult with a minority background has a story about growing up without proper representation. It hurts, but to be quite honest I think the lessons I learned and any isolation I may have felt in not having the representation I “needed,” helped me and those like me push harder for kids growing up just like us.
Unfortunately, the media has planted ideas in the mind of consumers about what is supposed to be beautiful and equated much of it to success. Thus, it is so important to address the many harmful biases centered around beauty as they present themselves. The reality is, what we know as “physical beauty” is just a social construct. So ultimately it can mean as much as you want it to mean, or simply mean nothing at all.
“The concept of physical beauty as a virtue is one of the dumbest, most pernicious and deconstructive ideas of the Western world, and we should have nothing to do with it.”Toni Morison
Instagram: @rachelmarshh & @onlybrazen