When I received my first digital camera, the idea of self-portraits had yet to cross my consciousness. But they finally came to my attention, when I moved away to Pennsylvania. How else was I supposed to let my mom know how I was looking, or let her see how long my hair was growing? This type of documentation was wasteful, when you had a film camera, because you might waste your money on a stupid looking photo. But I had yet to figure out how you were supposed to look. While some people look cool when they’re expressionless, I tend to look angry… or just ridiculous. It took me a little while to discover that if you make yourself laugh, on purpose, you can get a smiling photo of yourself. I also taught this to at least one of my brothers, in order to get better smiles in family photos.
Recently, going through my photos, I came across some of my early self-portraits, from when I first arrived in Pennsylvania. That was the era when I wore tie-dye shirts advertising The Happy Berry, while I was doing my job (I was the housekeeping manager of a year-round camp). Also, this was back when I only wore makeup when my friends “made me over” or when I was in a wedding. Makeup was a waste of time. So, I’ve taken these old color photos and played around with Picasa, until I came up with something that looks much better. They still catch the expressions, but don’t show the horror of the bad lighting and the makeup-lessness. Besides, I had fun editing them.