Self Portrait 365|6

by Katie Paul on October 25, 2014

grey eyes

Ten Thing I’ve Learnt About Long Hair

This is the first time I’ve had long hair in my adult life, except for when I grew it long for my wedding a hundred years ago and got it cut off the week after. As someone who isn’t acquainted with long hair, I’ve discovered a few things I didn’t know.

[1] My Hair is Wavy

When I was a child I had dead straight medium brown hair. The other time I grew it long was in the early nineties and I had it dyed black and permed. I didn’t know that my hair was wavy until this time around. Perhaps it has something to do with leaving it completely natural.

[2] Hair Gets Everywhere

My hair is all over the bathroom floor, tangled up with the dust bunnies under the couch and in the bed. When I have a shower I have to remove strands of hair from my butt crack.

[3] Long Hair is Easier to Take Care of Than Short Hair

When I had short hair, I had to wash it everyday and restyle it due to the amount of product I put in it. First thing in the morning I looked like a frightened hamster. With long hair, I can leave it for two or three days before it needs a wash.

[4] I Have No Idea How to Style Long Hair

Without a lifetime of experience, I don’t know how to do a proper ponytail or a bun, let alone anything else. I do my best, but I don’t know what I’m doing.

[5] I am Still Looking for the Perfect Shampoo-Conditioner-Product Combination

My hair is very fine but gets dry on the ends. I have tried all sorts of combinations to make it thick, full and bouncy. Too much conditioner and it goes flat, too much product and it ends up like straw. No poo, no sulfate, bicarb and vinegar — I’ve tried them all but I’m yet to discover the perfect recipe for hair full of body and shine.

[6] Long Hair Gets Hot

When I was in Malaysia, I made the mistake of wearing my hair down one day. Within an hour, having a hot blanket of hair around my shoulders drove me crazy. I ended up buying a hair tie from the gift shop at the Butterfly Park so I could get my hair off my neck.

[7] You Must Have a Hair Tie with You at All Times

See above. I now wear a black hair tie around my right wrist at all times in case of emergencies.

[8] Long Hair Gets in the Way

When eating, cleaning my teeth, and driving with the top down, my hair ends up in my mouth. Yuk.

[9] You Don’t Need to Pay to Get Your Hair Cut

I haven’t had a professional hair cut for over a year. The last time someone cut it, they gave me layers which were too short to tie back in a pony tail. These days I cut my own hair. There are plenty of YouTube videos on how to give yourself a blunt cut.

[10] It is Best to Tie Long Hair Up at Night

Having my hair loose at night means I wake up with loads of knots in it. It also ends up getting trapped between my boyfriend’s arm and the pillow. I normally put my hair in a side plait before I jump into bed.

Do you have any long hair hints for me?

•••

 

Technical Information

Camera model: Canon EOS 7D
F/stop: f/5.6
Exposure time: 1/15 sec
ISO speed: ISO-100
Focal length: 50mm
Post processing: Photoshop Elements
Filters: Adjust saturation | Diffuse Glow | Adjust levels
Overlay : French Kiss Collection Textures Stone Blush
Blending Mode: Multiply 16%

 

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Self Portrait 365|5

by Katie Paul on October 24, 2014

just got up
I think I’ve been trying too hard. So this morning I got up and took a photo without doing anything to myself at all.

This is me – fresh out of bed (although I had to find something to wear because I sleep in the buff. I think this nightgown is 150 years old). I took one frame.

So here I am in all my natural beauty. I have a lot of freckles.

Do you wake up as I do, having forgotten what it is that hurts or where, until you move? There is a second of consciousness that is clean again. A second that is you, without memory or experience, the animal warm and waking into a brand new world. There is the sun dissolving the dark, and light as clear as music, filling the room where you sleep and the other rooms behind your eyes.
― Jeanette Winterson

Happy Friday. Maybe this weekend you can skip all the makeup, curling wand and coordinated clothes and just be your natural self. The result might surprise you.

Would you ever leave the house without makeup?
When are you comfortable going ‘au natural’?

•••

Technical Information

Camera model: Canon EOS 7D
F/stop: f/4
Exposure time: 1/25 sec
ISO speed: ISO-100
Focal length: 50mm
Post processing: Photoshop Elements
Filters: Adjust saturation | Duplicate Layer | Gaussian Blur | Blend Soft Light 100% | Adjust levels
Overlay: French Kiss Collection Stone Blush | Multiply 19%

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Self Portrait 365|4

by Katie Paul on October 23, 2014

leather and stripes
Basically I hated every single photo I took today. I don’t know if it was my hair, or the way I was feeling, but I just look bloated and old in every frame. So in the end I just chose the best of a bad bunch.

I guess not every day is a good day … it has to be okay not to love yourself all the time. I was hoping I would feel better about myself by undertaking this project, not worse. Perhaps I just need to go and wash my hair or something.

The other problem I’m having is with the autofocus and self timer on my camera. I want to use a large aperture, but it means I have to be exactly in the right spot when I take the photo otherwise it comes out blurry. I have ordered a remote control off Ebay so let’s hope that eases my frustration.

Here are someone else’s words to think about today as I can’t seem to find any of my own.

Why did so many grown-ups want to be young, she wondered, when it took so long to grow old? It was like going on a million-mile road trip then wanting to turn around without getting out of the car.
― Pseudonymous Bosch, The Name of This Book Is Secret

•••

Technical Information

Camera model: Canon EOS 7D
F/stop: f/4
Exposure time: 1/25 sec
ISO speed: ISO-100
Focal length: 50mm
Post processing: Photoshop Elements
Filters: Adjust saturation | Duplicate Layer | Gaussian Blur | Blend Multiply 45% | Adjust levels

 

{ 10 comments }

Self Portrait 365|3

by Katie Paul on October 22, 2014

Beanie
Today the internet has been buzzing about Renee Zellweger’s plastic surgery. If you check out the photos, she looks like an entirely different person. This flurry of commentary about Miss Zellweger’s transformation has made me think about my own opinions.

The problem is that I swing between disapproving of anything that looks like an attempt to fit the stereotype of the perfect ageless woman, and a genuine belief that people should be able to do whatever the fuck they want with their bodies. If I was so against fooling with nature, I wouldn’t have crowned teeth, corrected vision, piercings and tattoos.

But I draw the line at plastic surgery. See those crows feet around my eyes and that wrinkled neck? I would never try to erase them. The bump on my nose? It’s staying. And my pert full breasts are a genetic freak of nature (thanks biological mum). They are my favourite body part.

As I’ve said before, I believe you need to do whatever gives you genuine pleasure. If having your boobs, or your eyes, or your nose fixed makes you feel beautiful, then you should go for it. It has nothing to do with me — I don’t live inside your skin. But for me, I refuse to have my body and face sliced and diced into alien shapes so I can approximate some impossible ideal of beauty.

Perfection is Annihilation. It paralyzes us from working from the heart. Humans by nature are not perfect and imperfections are what make the world beautiful. ~ Satusuki Shibuya

Sadly for Renee Zellweger, because she works in a field where appearances are important, everyone feels entitled to make a comment on her face. I hope that she had surgery to give her personal pleasure, rather than as desperate defense against growing older and losing her earning potential. But somehow, I’m guessing it’s the latter.

Have you or would you ever have plastic surgery?
Do you feel we have to fight getting older?
Do you have any other body modifications?

•••

Technical Information

Camera model: Canon EOS 7D
F/stop: f/4
Exposure time: 1/15 sec
ISO speed: ISO-100
Focal length: 50mm
Post processing: Photoshop Elements
Filters: Adjust saturation | Diffuse Glow | Adjust levels
Overlay : French Kiss Collection Textures Stone Blush
Blending Mode: Multiply 16%

 

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Self Portrait 365|2

by Katie Paul on October 21, 2014

self portrait 365 | 2

Kelly Roberts left a lovely comment on my last post that sparked a change in the way I see things. She said:

Learn to see yourself through the lens with which you view the rest of the beauty you share in your non-Katie photos…then perhaps you’ll see what we do.

I do see so much beauty in the world, sometimes so much I worry that I’ll explode from the joy it brings. I have eyes that are open wide to seeing the extraordinary in the mundane.

But when it comes to myself … not so much.

But in this photo I see that part of me that remains centred and still in the midst of life’s turmoil. I see peace, comfort and serenity. I wasn’t always this way. I have spent many years being irritated and stressed about things I’ve discovered don’t even matter.

The flowers I wear came from the Cook Islands. They represent the calming influence nature has in my world. When my bare feet touch the ground, I am reminded that I am an earth goddess, infused with the energy that makes flowers bloom and trees reach their branches towards the sky. 

How hard it is to see the beauty of our inner landscapes, to see a picture of ourselves that scrapes back our cells and skin and exposes our heart. This photo is perhaps a small miracle. I’m in love with the moment it has captured.

I feel a stirring in my belly that fills me with excitement and with yearning. What kind of world could we create if we saw each other’s hearts instead of our masks?

Tell me, where do you feel the most centred?

•••

Technical Information

Camera model: Canon EOS 7D
F/stop: f/2.8
Exposure time: 1/200 sec
ISO speed: ISO-100
Focal length: 50mm
Post processing: Photoshop Elements
Filters: Adjust saturation | Diffuse Glow | Adjust levels
Overlay : French Kiss Collection Textures Diva
Blending Mode: Colour Burn 100%

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the self portrait • a demonstration of self acceptance
If you were to scour my blog, you would be hard-pressed to find many photos of me. Aside from the odd posed picture, I am shy about having my photo taken. I suspect it has something to do with being a photographer and preferring to be behind the camera, but more than that, I admit I often find photos of myself less than flattering.

I’ve been thinking about how photography can both tap into my creative side, as well as be a vehicle for healing. The issues I struggle with centre around my body image — I don’t feel skinny enough, pretty enough or young enough to call myself beautiful.

What if taking a self-portrait helped me accept who I am and what I look like?

The idea seemed feasible.

Totally feasible but completely scary.

So I took a deep breath and grabbed my camera. I set up my tripod and programmed the timer for a 10 second delay.

Here is what I got. It’s been processed a little to evoke a sense of dreaminess but my wrinkles, freckles, and blotches remain. No makeup and messy hair.

self portrait Oct 20

This image of me is not bad (and I promise I’m not fishing for compliments). Maybe this could be Day 1 in a series of photographs documenting my fiftieth year? I’m not so good at long-term projects so I won’t promise anything, but it’s an interesting idea…

What about you? Are you good at avoiding the camera? Have you ever embarked on a ‘selfie’ project?

 

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