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It’s Hard To Turn The Lens On Yourself

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reflection in a mirror

Most of us spend at least a few minutes a day in front of mirrors. But how often do we find comfort in our reflection as opposed to finding it unsatisfactory? I know that I’ve personally never seen a woman pass a mirror without taking a quick peek at herself, and more often than not she will then also fix her hair. Yes, it’s a disease and one that I’m not 100% sure is limited to the female sex.


This past week in the 52 Frames photography group I joined, the theme was self-portrait. There is something deeply personal and often disturbing to us when we take a long hard look at ourselves. I think that’s the reason that so many people, myself included, struggle with self portraits.


There was much muttering, cursing and complaining but in the end 154 of us submitted our self portraits. There are some beautiful shots in the album and lots of inspiration for the next time I am hit with this challenge.


But before I show you the shot I submitted, first take a look at all some of my rejects. (And yes, I was oh so vain and had my hair done before I even contemplated taking pictures of myself.)

Reading inifinite possibilities

Contemplating the Artist's way

Reading the artist's way

Reading the book Moving On Up

Sad because the heat is not working(That’s my sad face because I love heat and it was not on! Yes, I know, I am nuts.)

sitting on a fireplace

And the next two pictures are because I need to find a way to entertain myself and keep myself calm when I go clothing shopping with my daughter.

In shopping hell

self portrait in lingerie store

   picking lemons

Don't wait for life to hand you lemons

Walking in an orchard

in an orchard

Picking clementines

Climbing a ladder to pick clementines

In an orange tree

In the middle of clementine trees

What I’ve come to realize from this week’s challenge is that while we think we’re really looking at ourselves, I believe that we’re just looking without focusing or really seeing ourselves. It’s kind of the same nuance as hearing vs. listening.


For some reason it’s hard to focus on ourselves. It’s hard to peel off the superficial layers of what we think we see or the way we think others see us and to objectively see the whole person reflected back to us. It’s distressing to even think about being vulnerable and exposed.

We tend to focus on anything but ourselves. We mask our feelings and our vulnerabilities. And that’s exactly how the picture I liked best came out. My caption for the photo was:

My 2014 Resolution:  Don’t wait for life to hand me anything, especially lemons. Get out there and pick what I want.

Susie's Self Portrait(If you like the picture and want to like it on Facebook as well, you can click here to get to it.)


Even when I have the lens focused on me, I’m out of focus. I’m more comfortable doing things and not focusing on myself.


It’s hard to turn the lens on yourself but sometimes it’s the only way to get some insight into what is keeping you from breaking out of your comfort zone.


What do you find is the hardest part of focusing on yourself? And just out of curiosity, are you comfortable staring at yourself in the mirror?

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I am me and also lots of other things like a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a daughter in law, a sister in law, a friend, an oncology nurse, a blogger, a life coach in training, an avid book reader, a chauffeur, a chef, a shopper, a maid and on some days a bit overwhelmed. On this blog I share my journey of striving to see the best in everyone and everything. Strive, because I don't always manage to. Yup, I am human. I would love to have you join me in learning lessons in positivity from life.

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9 Responses to "It’s Hard To Turn The Lens On Yourself"

  1. lihi lapid says:

    Its hard- but the only way is to do it like you did- with a big smile.
    Everything is easier with a smile:-))

    1. Susie says:

      Thanks Lihi. It is hard and yes smiling does make everything easier.

  2. Tony says:

    Love that final photo and all of the fruit ones – and the poignant comments. Glad to see you in my inbox more often these days. I tried to join 52 photos, but was too latte :(

    1. Susie says:

      Thanks Tony. Wishing you a great new year. Did you email 52 frames? He closed it off for the next few months but will reopen in the future. Make sure he put you on the waiting list.

  3. Ayala says:

    Great post! Welcome to the 52 Frames family!

    1. Susie says:

      Thanks Ayala. Am really enjoying being part of 52 frames.

  4. Comfortable only when fully clothed!!!! Only joking. I am not keen on full face photos and prefer to be active rather than having to pose.

    1. Susie says:

      LOL. It was really hard doing this and having to pose myself and shoot myself.

  5. You did a wonderful job! It will gets only easier from now on :)