Mirrors and Cameras

You might have noticed that I recently started shooting videos for my newsletters. I’m not using fancy camera and lighting equipment. I don’t have a make-up artist or an on-set hair stylist. I have come to realize there’s a huge difference between mirrors and cameras.

Hubby is an artist. Many years ago he used to do commissioned portraits. He gave that up in frustration after one particularly difficult client. She was a professional singer. She brought in her photo portfolio, and Hubby took more photos of her as well. It’s easier to paint from photos than from a live sitting. He painted what he saw in the photos, accurately, I might add. The portrait was  beautiful, and since I had met the client, I could vouch, honestly, that the portrait looked exactly like her. When she came in for the first proofing she said, “That doesn’t look at all like me. My nose isn’t that shape, my lips aren’t like that, my chin is definitely not that square.” In truth they were – but that’s not how she saw herself.

We often talk about holding up a mirror to evaluate ourselves. In fact, mirrors allow us prejudice. They allow us to not see things as they really are, to see what we remember or what we want to see.

When I look in the mirror I see me as I was 20 years ago – youthful, smooth skin, no wrinkles. I  see what I want to see. When I look at the videos I’ve been shooting I see the effects of aging – I’ll call them laugh lines and smile lines. It makes me wonder what else I should be seeing about myself.

As much as I prefer what I see in the mirror, I think the camera is a more truthful friend.

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