In The Eye Of The Beholder

I hope everyone had a lovely Memorial Day Weekend! I was lucky enough to enjoy a three-day weekend (bank holidays for the win), so Brian and I went "out to the country" to his parents house in Indiana, where we ate too much, slept a lot, and played with his parents' puppy, who is still just about the cutest thing I've ever seen. 

We were back in town on Monday, and realizing that I didn't have any good pictures to post, I treated him to coffee and expensive pastries and asked him to help me take some photos.

Here's the thing - I'm always grateful when he helps me out with pictures, because there are some great shots that are damn near impossible to get yourself, especially if you have to rely on a timer. However, we have really different ideas about what is meant by a "good picture." 


For example, he had an idea for me to jump over a puddle, which I was really enthusiastic about. In my mind, when I think about a vintage-y woman jumping over a puddle, I immediately think of something like this. I feel like if you're photographing a leap, you almost have to have to spread legs, the upright posture, even that little bit of blur. I guess in my head, I'm not just taking this picture, I'm calling back to the other pictures like this that have been taken before.

On the other hand, this was Brian's favorite out of this bunch. In his words, I look like "a coiled spring." To me, the above one looks like a fully formed thought, while this one looks like someone just opening their mouth to speak. I guess it's just a matter of different reference points and looking for different things.

Brian sees me in three dimensions, from odd angles, and he has an emotional attachment to the funny or less attractive things that my face does. That's wonderful in real life, but it does mean that he'll take a bunch of pictures of me and assure me that we've got some good ones, but when I look at them later I'll feel like I can't use them because of something awkward going on that I see, but he doesn't. 

Brian loved this picture, but to me, it's absolutely terrible. I feel like I look like a cross-eyed drunk with fucked up eyebrows. He just sees the way that I normally look to him, which is sweet, but I have to admit I found it a little frustrating to try and explain the difference between how I actually look in real life and the way that I like to present myself for the blog. 

Don't get me wrong, he's taken some amazing photos of me. Remember this post? He took the ones where I'm up on the beam, and the last one where I'm hanging from the ladder. Those are some of my favorite pictures ever. Those were also taken in pretty ideal conditions, with an interesting background that offered a lot of choices for how to shoot. I think it helped him really get into it in a way that he didn't this time.

Given how often I talk about self-presentation, and the ways in which, as a blogger, I'm complicit in perpetuating certain beauty standards, maybe it's silly for me to worry so much about a set of photos not living up to what I want them to. But... well, I guess I am just that vain. 

I know a lot of the people reading this are bloggers, and at least some of you have significant others who take your photos at least some of the time. Have you ever run into this? Does your guy come into the process with a vision of his own, or are you directing him to get the shots you want?

Top: Asos
Skirt: Trashy Diva
Flower Crown: Made by me! (So crafty)