Why I love this photo

by Elouise

1963 Aug Elouise Double Exposure flipped

I hate having my picture taken, even when I want to have it taken. I carry in my mind an image of myself. Not what I see in the mirror, but the ‘who I really am’ image.

Smiling, relaxed, interested in you, expressive, not too toothy or grinny. The kind of person you’d like to get to know. A woman who feels at home in her body and with herself. Happy to be here today.

So the happy to be here today doesn’t always happen. Or is it ‘not happy to be here today with you holding that camera about to snap that picture for all eternity’?

Yes, I think that’s the problem! Who’s holding the camera, why, and how well they know how to make me relax so I don’t blink or smirk or start talking back to the camera. Or squint into the sun.

This particular photo tells the truth about me at that moment in my relationship with D. We’re engaged. Yes, he’s about to leave for the West Coast (another country!), and I don’t know when I’ll see him again.

But right now, on the beach at Tybee Island, all is right in my world. Everything comes together. Including the double image.

That’s the self I want to have in me all the time. Even though I don’t look quite so youthful on the outside, that’s me on the inside. It’s also me in my relationship to D, and D in his relationship to me. Do you see his relaxed, happy smile? He still has it.

Thanks for looking and listening.

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 23 April 2015
Photo Credit: DAFraser (photo of me) and a Friend (photo of us), August 1963