Art & Design Magazine

Weekend: Picture Vs. Reality

By Mmadalynne @mmadalynne

weekend 1 of 12 Weekend: Picture Vs. Reality

The camera was invented to mimic reality. That was and still is its primary function. Before oil paints were invented, artists took a picture of a scene, and then returned to their studios to complete the piece they were working on (acrylic paints dry quickly, so working outside where they were away from their supplies wasn’t feasible or practical). Yet, the camera has become anything but a documentation of the actual. Just one example – Instagram, where filters make everyone a little skinnier, younger, and prettier.

When I was editing the photos for Carter Rae, the green maxi dress I just finished sewing, I kept thinking how I didn’t look like myself in the images. Not better or worse, just different. I can only describe is as when I look in the mirror, I see someone completely different than who is in the photo. I’ve noticed this before and I’ve half written several posts about it. I haven’t been able to articulate what I was thinking well, so I scrapped them all. This week, I finally pinpointed what was in my head.

As I’ve been concentrating on constructing a wardrobe more than ever, the cuts and silhouettes I feel good wearing and believe are flattering for my figure in real life aren’t that way in photos. One example is a crew cut neckline. I like wearing them because they’re modest, feminine, and a little 1950s. Also, the roundness balances my sharp facial features, at least in my opinion. But when I see myself in photos wearing a crew cut, I’m not a fan.On the other hand, when I see myself wearing a v-neck, like in this dress, I think I look good. Funny thing is, I don’t like wearing v-necks in person. Ironic conundrum, isn’t it?

So, which one do I believe? Real world or photography? Feelings or reflections? Should I be like the artists of the early 1800s and use photographs as a true testament of how I really look? Or should I rely on what my eyes see in real time? There are some people who don’t translate exactly into photographs. Am I that case? Another thought is that as I age, I don’t recognize myself  as I change. I don’t recognize myself as a 26-year-old because I still feel like a 22-year-old. Has anyone else experienced this and if so, what do you do?

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