I've posted a few pictures of myself here before, each time with a little selfconsciousness, and usually just a quick happy snap to show something I've been working on. Most of the time, however, I take pictures in my light box or against the wooden backdrop of our coffee table, and my blog remains fairly faceless.
Kimonos, however, cannot fit on my coffee table. It's also becoming apparent that they look so much better on a body rather than a dressmaker's dummy, especially seeing as my dummy is bright red and clashes with half the fabrics that I use to sew. And while I love my little house, loungeroom photoshoots don't really display the essence of these beautiful garments, which I love wearing and styling and sharing with the world. In person. Not in photographs... Slowly I'm coming to the realisation that unless I can organise weekly picture-taking with friends modelling my sewing (and yes, I've tried this approach!) it seems like I'm going to have to feature in my own pictures, and it's a daunting prospect.
I'm struggling with this for a few reasons. Although I'm happy with my looks, I don't really consider myself a very photogenic person. I can look nice in pictures, but more often it'll take ten photos for me to be left with one I'm happy with. I had crooked teeth until just a few years ago until I invested in Invisalign (Best. Decision. Ever.), and so I'm not really sure what to do with my mouth when I pose. My head appears very round to me in candid shots, and my fair eyebrows kind of disappear under the lens. Although I was a theatre performer, and quite confidant on a stage in front of a few hundred people, I get queasy and wriggly when a camera is pulled out, and suddenly I've got no idea what to do with my hands!
There's also the whole idea of self-promotion that sits a bit off with me. Australia's Tall Poppy mentality is very good at ensuring people don't get pompous, but the policy gets a bit blurry when it comes to confidence and advancement. You should be confident, but not overly so, and you certainly shouldn't say that you're confident! Talking about oneself in a positive manner is frowned upon, to the point where my nose is wrinkled and I'm second-guessing much of what I type here, for fear of appearing "up myself". In fact, I stared at that statement "I'm happy with my looks" above for ages wondering if it was too arrogant, and adding and removing disclaimers in brackets to somehow soften the delivery. So where does my blogging fit in with this cultural mentality? How can I share my creations without being self-promoting? (Even here, elevating my sewing and crafting to the status of "creations" makes me cringe!) How does the modelling of my sewing fit in with my body-issues and camera shyness? How will anyone know what my kimonos look like if I can't show them a decent picture?!
There's a whole genre of blog that's devoted to style shots of their authors, who casually pose in over-brightened photos in fabulously domestic landscapes. I love these blogs. I love their protagonists and love seeing their beautiful ensembles in my inbox and instagram feed. Two women bloggers that I particularly like are stylish and sophisticated Merrick from www.merricksart.com and gorgeous Katie from www.skunkboycreatures.com. Both of these women are beautiful, creative and family-oriented, and I found their blogs from googling sewing and craft DIYs, so their content and interests are not dissimilar to mine. I have nothing but admiration for these ladies, and I love seeing their self portraits. It's also intimidating though - How do I compare my pictures to these glamorous women with their amazing hair? And then I wonder: did they feel like me when they first posted pictures of themselves? Did they um and ah and feel silly and worry about being embarrassing? Worry about appearing stuck-up?
This has been my struggle for the past couple of weeks, and I'm trying to be brave and conquer my fear and complicated set of thoughts. Yesterday evening I was wearing one of my kimonos out to dinner with some friends, so seized the opportunity for my Dutchman to take some snaps of me outside, in heels, with make up on! In the street outside our house, where all the neighbours could see! So, here's me! In a picture, being all posey and stuff!
I think I've reached a place where I'm going to just own it, be proud of my sewing and my image, and just go for it. We worry too much about all of this nonsense, don't you think? Expect to see more of my smiling, awkward face from now on!