Keeping it Real

I want to become a professional photographer. I really do. I've taken few classes and fiddle around with it, but right now it is just an interest. Maybe when I have more time on my hands, my camera and I will come to some understanding--or I will come to understand my camera.  In the meantime, I subscribe to blogs and belong to a few groups of photographers. I just sit back and soak it all in.  

Once such group is about editing.  Now for some reason I have a really hard time with some of the editing they do. I can understand taking things out of the back ground, after all, a truck and person have forever ruined my only good wedding photograph I have--seriously.  But the things they do just drive me bonkers!  One of the recent posts was of a wedding. The photographer wanted to "thin up" one of the "chunky" bridesmaids.  WHAT? WAIT? SERIOUSLY? Have we all drunk the kool aid? Are we making real life imitate art now?

 see the truck in the background and that person. 

see the truck in the background and that person. 

When I was young girl and very impressionable (you know that Junior High age when any pinch of skin meant you were 20 pounds over weight and you had to go on a soda cracker and cottage cheese diet and heaven forbid a guy look at you because he saw that giant zip that was on your nose under two jars of cover up) I learned that the photographs on the covers of my favorite magazines were touched up. WHAT? WAIT? I was SHOCKED! and then I was ANGRY!!!  See, I hate soda crackers and cottage cheese! I hated pouring bottles of cover-up foundation on my skin every day so I could have skin as smooth as Brooke Shields.  I was MAD!

To this day I have a problem with editing of photos. Hey, I've had my fat photos and I have my bad zit day photos and I have my cottage cheese leg photos.  But you know what--that's real life!  I'm not a super model. I don't take four hours and four assistants to get me ready in the morning. Instead it takes me ten minutes to get the allergy crud out of my eyes so they can open so I can see to put my contacts in.  I brush my yellow teeth and shower my body that has had six kids and will never have a smooth silky tummy because dang it--I earned those stretch marks!  I have scars on my shoulder from a surgery that repaired a worn out shoulder from playing ball and lifting kids.  And you know what, I don't think I want any one to touch the two major scars my body has. One is the port that administered the chemotherapy drugs that saved my life (and it may do so yet again) and the scar on my neck. That scar I earned because they had to do a biopsy to see if my cancer had spread. It hadn't!  

I don't mind some editing. In fact today I edited a photo that was terribly under exposed.  I pulled a photo of my son who is serving a mission in Puebla, Mexico, from off the mission's Facebook page and it was very dark. I lightened it up a bit so that you could see my son. That type of editing I don't mind. I don't even mind cropping a photo to enhance it.  

 Before

Before

 After

After

In 2007 my sister died. (Hang with me--I'll come back to photos and editing.) Since I was the sister and my brothers all had jobs, I was commissioned to put a book together of her life for her children (she died way too young). As I put the book together I noticed a theme. She wasn't in many of the pictures once she had a family. I knew exactly why, she held the camera.  Now my sister was skinny--rail thin most of her life. The only time she was "fat" was when she was pregnant and even then she would come home in jeans a size too big. Me I wore elastic waist bands for 10 years!! So what few pictures there were of her as a mother were more precious than gold to her children. They didn't care that her hair wasn't done, she was in pajamas, or if she was "fat". They just wanted to see their mom.

I vowed then that I too would give the camera away, even on the days I didn't put make-up on, or do my hair or felt fat. I would let people take my picture. I'm so glad I did. See I have cancer, a type of cancer that has no cure, so I'm making the most of it.  When my family goes through my photos they will see lots of selfies, some even in my work out clothes. Oh, goodness they ware going to see the scars, the stretch marks and they will see the fat--they will see the REAL me!  The me they remember. I'm keeping it real! 

 Forty pounds over weight, but loving life! Sweaty, Sinking and running a race. July 2013

Forty pounds over weight, but loving life! Sweaty, Sinking and running a race. July 2013

 Got some rolls! January 2014

Got some rolls! January 2014

 And me forty pounds lighter through exercise and diet. July 2014

And me forty pounds lighter through exercise and diet. July 2014

I'm keeping it REAL!