Second Thoughts

2016-08-28

In the last few months, I’ve published a couple of personal posts, never being scared about how much I was revealing about myself. In theory, I knew I was making myself vulnerable, but I never actually felt vulnerable – till now.

I’m going to start my studies next month. We’re a small class, containing just fifteen students. So far, my fellow students were anonymous, so I wasn’t too worried about them. But last week I received some emails from my university and I was able to see the other recipients. Suddenly they had names, and that changed everything.

They are the people I’m going to see almost everyday for the next three years. We’re going to have to get along, and that scares me.

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Writing honestly hasn’t been a problem to me so far. First I was in Germany, away from my old environment and judgement. Then I spent another gap year in Switzerland where I didn’t have to spend time with anybody on a regular basis. So when somebody didn’t like me or my writing, it was not a big deal. I didn’t see them anyways.

Now there are those strangers that soon will become familiar to me and my thoughts and feelings are here, just a click from my Facebook profile away. I’m afraid they’d read some posts and judge me before giving me a chance. I don’t know anybody (in Switzerland) who has a blog like mine. The fear of being judged as desperate for attention or pathetic is back.

I have to admit that for a moment, I considered deleting the link to my blog on my Facebook profile. That way, only WordPress followers would be able to find it. I thought about how many links I’d have to delete and how I’d have to ‘hide’ my photography fanpage as well. Tedious.

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But then I realised that I don’t want to be a coward. I don’t want to hide who I am, what I feel, what I think. What kind of an example would I be? Preaching that we have to stand up for who we are, be vulnerable and show our true selves and then hide the moment it gets difficult. No.

It’s going to be the biggest challenge my blog has faced so far. I don’t want to lose my authenticity and honesty. But then, when I think of your supportive comments, knowing how much you appreciate my honesty – I’m sure you’re going to help me through this phase :)

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About the photos of this shoot: The model is the beautiful Swiss-Kenyan girl Dalma. We met up two months ago, planning an evening shoot with some gorgeous dresses. She got lost on her way and arrived late, so we were a bit in a hurry because of the disappearing light.

When we arrived in the forest, she put her bag down, looked inside it and realised she forgot all her dresses at home :D I think I’ve never been so spontaneous. Luckily Dalma was super cooperative, so I got to take some shots that fit my style. I really love the result, I hope you like the photos too!

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60 Comments
    1. Personally I hope you don’t disappear. I love your work. You are astoundingly talented and beautiful. Your soul is a rare gem.
      Kindest regards,
      Suzanne

      1. Thank you so much for your super nice comment, Suzanne! I appreciate it a lot. It’s because of people like you that I’ll keep blogging no matter how challenging it gets. Have a wonderful weekend and take care <3

    1. Isn’t fear the biggest driving force in our life? Wouldn’t it be better to embrace it rather than being afraid of what’s yet to come? The thought in itself gives a chill down the spine. The article does give an insight into the insecurities that most of us share in principle. Engagong as well. Amazing snaps to complement it as well. Very well composed images. Good job. It was a great read.

      1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Nidhin! You’re right, it’s better to run towards fear instead from it. I have to remind myself of that again and again because it’s so easy to get caught up in my insecurities. Thank you also for your lovely compliments! :) Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. I can’t imagine why any other photography students would be anything other than interested in this blog! Sure, it’s got some personal elements, but I think they would appreciate that, as fellow artists.
      Also: I really love these photos, they are amazing! Major props to your model!

      1. My insecurities come up with many reasons but I guess you’re right, I shouldn’t assume the worst! Thank you for your comment and the lovely compliment – my model was very happy to hear that! :) have a nice weekend <3

    1. You seem to have done well so far by being yourself on your blog. You should just let it be out there. This is the person you will appear to them to be after a few weeks anyway.

      1. Thank you for your encouraging comment, Chris (can I call you Chris? :D)! I’ll think positive and hope that you’re right :)

    1. Monika, It’s so interesting to me that these photos of Dalma were not the ones you intended as they are my favorites of everything I’ve seen that you’ve done! That just proves what a talented photographer you are as you went with the flow, adjusted, worked with what you had and created a stunning collection. I’m impressed. The lighting and the mood of these is terrific.
      As far as putting yourself out there: BRAVO for you! I have learned that when we believe in ourselves and own our talent others believe as well. Go proudly into your new tribe, fully confident of who you are and the gifts you possess. They will love you. And if some don’t . . . the loss is their own. Best wishes to you.

      1. Thank you so much for your comment, Darla! Dalma and I were both very happy to hear that you loved the photos so much. :)) also, thank you for your encouragement! it’s really hard for me to be confident in situations like this but I’ll do my best – it’s so good to know that there are so many people believing in me :) have a lovely weekend and take care!

    1. You really shouldn’t hide; you are such an inspirational person for many people!! Stay optimistic with the thought that you will get to know new friends who will share your journey of photography and you are going to learn a lot from each other:)

      1. You’re the cutest ♥ thank you so much xx I’m definitely looking forward, I’m just a bit nervous ;)

    1. I completely understand your fear but I think it will be ok. If anything, I think they will admire the fact that you reveal yourself so personally in your writing. As fellow artists, I’d be surprised if they did not. To be creative is to be vulnerable.

      You had the courage to come this far. Keep moving forward on your journey :)

      The photos are beautiful! 

      1. “To be creative is to be vulnerable.” That’s true! Thank you so much for your encouraging comments and support, I appreciate it a lot! Hope you had a wonderful birthday yesterday – have a lovely weekend and take care! <3

    1. I was so scared about where this post was going but then you said you’ll keep writing honestly — yay! I love the community of honest voices that we build on the internet and I’m so proud of you for being brave. Support, support, support. <3

      1. Aww, thank you so much for your sweet comment and support, Victoria! I wouldn’t be able to write so honestly if I didn’t have people like you who encourage me. Have a wonderful weekend, you beautiful soul <3

    1. “Be your authentic self and the right people will be drawn to you.” That’s what someone told me soon after I started blogging, and I realized she was right. The same applies to you.

      These photos and the model are gorgeous. Good luck to you in all you do!

      1. That’s a wonderful quote, thank you for sharing! I agree and think that’s the reason why vulnerability is so important to me – I want people to like/dislike me for who I really am and not for who I pretend to be. Thank you for your comment, Gloria :)

    1. Wonderful writing, wonderful message, and wonderful photos.

    1. Raw talent. Great post. Stunningly beautiful photos! To me, art is always about exploration and your words and photos shine in that respect!

    1. This shoot is gorgeous! I absolutely love it.

      As for your surroundings knowing who you are, there is only power in that. You have nothing to hide and your openness and honesty will likely make you many friends. If you’re confident in who and what you are, noone can use it against you. If they try, just tell them: “That’s right.” and move on from them.

      1. Thank you so much! I let Dalma know and she was super happy about that :))

        And thank you for your encouragement! Your comment reminded me of a post I read about Eminem being vulnerable in the final rap battle in his movie 8 Miles and winning that way – the battle was about making fun about the opponent. Eminem however first stated all the ‘negative’ facts about himself, so his opponent had nothing to make fun about anymore (exactly what you wrote – I hope you get what I mean). Definitely a very powerful lesson and I’ll try to incorporate it in my everyday life.

    1. Maybe the other 15 students are having the same thoughts. Let me ask you this – Do you believe that being personal has helped create your blog, your photos, intrigued your readers to return, caused your clients to open up which created an image that persuaded a stranger to become a client? If it has, maybe what you fear is actually the thing that’s going to give you a jump start in the class.

      1. Thank you so much for your helpful comment! You’re right, being personal has opened many doors for me and even if it should close a door for once, I don’t want to stop being open because it makes life much more enjoyable. I really needed to hear that, thank you. Have a wonderful week :)

    1. I am not a true fan of Maria Pace Ottieri, but I always loved the title of one novel of hers and I think it could fit to your case: “Once you are born you can no longer hide” :) It’s literally the same in Italian: “Quando sei nato non puoi più nasconderti”. You are born, Monika. You are out in the world – breathing, loving, simply being – and you cannot hide. Sometimes I share the same fear, but I know that have all the right to express yourself as the others have the right to like or dislike me. Hiding would not allow me be happy. I’d only spend my days unheard. So, I strongly recommend you to keep on singing your song, just like the other students all the other people out there are singing theirs, like a forest of enchanting birds. (Loving the first photo;) )

      1. Hi Nina, great to hear from you again! That’s a lovely title for a book – thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts with me. I especially love the part about the right to express ourselves and the right to like/dislike us. I’ll definitely keep it in mind. I’m happy to hear you love the first photo, it’s one of my two favorites too :D I hope you’re doing well, have a wonderful week! <3

    1. Why are we constantly seeking approval from others instead of the Source that truly matters? Love your photos and keep writing! -dp

      1. That’s a great question! I still have to work on my insecurities. Thank you for the lovely compliment! :)

    1. I’m lucky that I’ve mostly gotten past the insecurity of youth–mostly. Once you get to a point where you develop more of a “take me or leave me” attitude, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised how many people will love following you for you. But the rejections will still sting, I guess.

      1. I’m definitely on the path of developing said attitude! It’s just a bumpy roads and sometimes I feel like I’m thrown back to the beginnings. It’s good to know that the older we get, the less we care about other people (at least I think so?). I wish you all the best, thank you for your comment :)

    1. Check out Brene Brown’s TED Talk on vulnerability – you’ll see that being vulnerable is a BRAVE thing, not cowardly. You are putting yourself out there and that takes courage!!!

      1. Hi Julie, thanks for your comment! By chance I watched it a couple of days ago, but thanks for the recommendation! It certainly put things into perspective for me. Have a lovely week :)

    1. These pictures are beautiful!! You have a real talent there! The lighting on her skin tones were gorgeous! You did good!! Do what you need to do but please keep up the good work.

      1. Thank you so much! I was lucky I worked with a beautiful and talented model :)) thanks for your encouragement, I’ll do my best to keep it up! Take care and have a lovely weekend x

    1. Omg! What about beautiful pics, and a poetic written, this text is so intimst and really expressive, so are the pics too! Xoxo!

    1. your authenticity is an inspiration. I hope I find my voice like you seem too have. I look forward to your blogs.

      1. thank you so much, it means a lot to me to hear that! :)) have a lovely weekend x

    1. I just a country kid but it seems to me that we are most inspirational during our vulnerability. Bravado while we are save and secure can be a mask that hides our true selves. It takes courage to be real. BRAVO!

      1. There’s nothing wrong with being a country kid :D thank you so much for your supportive comment! I hope you’re doing well, have a wonderful Sunday :)

    1. i am new to your blog, so I don’t know you really well. But I think you should never be afraid of what other people might think of you. Just focus on the people who love you and your blog and not on the people who bring negativity into your life.
      Greetings from Portugal! :D

      1. Thank you for your comment, Claudia! :) Yes, I’m definitely doing my best and try to focus on the people who support me. It’s just tricky when they’re not around in my everyday life.. but I’m sure I’ll be okay. :) I hope you’re having a great time in Portugal, hugs from Switzerland! :)

    1. Beautiful words and I understand that feeling. Keep inspiring I have just discovered your blog and don’t want you to go away! I’m here to stay.

      1. You are too kind! Thank you so much for your lovely comment and for staying :)) take care and have a wonderful weekend! x

      1. Interesting thought! You probably mean the opposite, but I’d say that it’s even more important to be vulnerable when it’s more difficult. It’s easy to be vulnerable during comfortable times and close off when it gets tricky, but the magic happens exactly then. What do you think?

        1. I have felt degree of vulnerability. Maybe not as acute as you have felt. Well my focus was on social vulnerability. There is also a vulnerability that comes from within, which is more powerful…emotionally as well as psychologically. You touch that space when you try going deeper within your system of thought processes and probe the real you. Who am I? suddenly all physical and metaphysical answers seem meaningless…everything that we have learned starts shaking up and dusting off. You stand in utter ignorance and awe of everything around you. You feel like a naked seed out its shell…where a single moment of exposure tears you apart. Your personality …your persona…your opinions all seem so useless. However, coming back to the social aspect, I think its very bold to lay bare yourself among the people and to live a life of an open book. The care must be taken to let go of those desires that need the secrecy of the mind to flourish. Otherwise, life would be much painful because of those contrary expectations.

          N0? your take…

          1. wow, the first part was really profound – I’m not sure if I’ve really understood it, but it sounds like I’ve been somewhere near there before.
            Anyways, to the social aspect – well, being an open book doesn’t mean sharing EVERYTHING, because I certainly don’t. I always let my thoughts and feelings bud in the secrecy of my mind, as you’ve put it beautifully, and then decide whether it’s the right time to share it or if it’s something too intimate to share. Do you get what I mean, and if you do, what’s your opinion? :)

    1. Hi. V. glad you dropped in at wee ditty this morning, b/c your ‘like’ on the watery surrealist images (incredible as a set, aren’t they? those blues…) led me here, where there is much beauty, authenticity, and readily apparent expertise. Though this post is quite serious, I had to laugh when you mentioned attention-seeking. I have been writing my whole (long) life, and we writers are notoriously ravenous for feedback, i.e. attention. I made peace with that desire long ago. When we transmit, it’s natural to want to be received and duly notified of that receipt. Um. My, what a stilted sentence that was. Anyway, I’ll go ahead and mention – on my way back ‘home’ to work on some coming posts – that I found those images on a facebook page called Surrealismo, where there are like 900 more, so if you are so inclined, search for that sometime. Great post. Ciao.

      1. Hi Uttley, thank you so much for your thoughtful and kind comment!
        haha I agree, we do want feedback for our work, but that doesn’t mean we like to be in the focus of people’s attention, does it?
        Have a nice week! :)

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