The Unapologetic Queen of Selfies

To capture the wind I had to take about ten shots. The iPhone had trouble focusing with the hair moving. I love this shot. It was COLD and WINDY and you can TELL.

To capture the wind I had to take about ten shots. The iPhone had trouble focusing with the hair moving. I love this shot. It was COLD and WINDY and you can TELL.

In my quest to heal self-esteem through photography, I’ve found that my voice is as important as my art. Often times I will discuss something here or on Facebook and people will message me thanking me for giving them permission to love themselves. We shouldn’t need this permission, yet we do. There’s not enough love in the world.

Since it was just me and my furry babes, I was the only one available to take this shot. She is my love and this is a treasure. No apologies. And I'm a Cat Lady.

Since it was just me and my furry babes, I was the only one available to take this shot. She is my love and this is a treasure. No apologies. And I’m a Cat Lady.

Self-love is constantly battling against outside forces. This struggle is what breeds low self-esteem and leads to bullying, abuse, and the domination of others. So anything that gives people permission to find themselves beautiful is necessary and should be cultivated.

I’ve recently been called a queen. Oddly, three seperate times in three days. First the queen of glamour. (Duh!) Then the queen of humor for my humorous account of a man trying to pick me up a walmart. (This actually happened.) Then I was called the queen of selfies when posting the above photo. I took it as a compliment. But I know that selfies have been blasted as a narcissistic expression.

I say bull tinky. Selfies are awesome!

This is a shot from right before a photo shoot in Colorado. I wanted to capture Angel's amazing hair and makeup. I LURV this.

This is a shot from right before a photo shoot in Colorado. I wanted to capture Angel’s amazing hair and makeup. I LURV this.

1. Photographers take better self-portraits

Let me describe the mind of a photographer when being photographed by non-photographers. We hate giving our cameras to people who don’t understand both their limitations and their abilities. We hate cell phones and their wide angle lenses and tiny flashes popping out at parties. It’s nothing to do with you. We’re just very good at our craft and know that cameras don’t capture things realistically. “The camera adds ten pounds,” is a well known statement. I believe great photographers remove ten pounds with camera angles and posing alone.

Getting a phone camera to meter for my face and also capture the beach behind me took some trial and error. But here I am. IN A BATHING SUIT. IN PUBLIC. That HAD to be captured for posterity.

Getting a phone camera to meter for my face and also capture the beach behind me took some trial and error. But here I am. IN A BATHING SUIT. IN PUBLIC. That HAD to be captured for posterity.

2. The best camera is the one you have. The best photographer is the one that’s available.

There was no one else there that day to take pictures. Look at this treasure of a moment. I'm SO glad he asked me to take photos.

There was no one else there that day to take pictures. Look at this treasure of a moment. I’m SO glad he asked me to take photos.

I’m on vacation, or lounging at home, or out on the town, I am often the most qualified person to take pictures. Post-divorce, I’m often alone and there usually isn’t another set of hands to give the camera to. I’ve gotten quite good at taking selfies. I don’t believe this is narcissism. Some may. I believe it’s documenting my world and life through imagery.

3. You’re the best judge of your looks.

I have a big smile. Sometimes I feel it is too big. I'm working on that. This shot captured what I felt was a natural smile.

I have a big smile. Sometimes I feel it is too big. I’m working on that. This shot captured what I felt was a natural smile.

As long as you’re not picking yourself apart, I think YOU are the best judge of your looks. You know your best side. You know the expressions you made as a kid that your cousin will tease you for posting.

4. Flattering photos are empowering.

On a recent vacation I saw my reflection in the the porch door and thought my makeshift beachwear of suit under maxi skirt looked awesome.

On a recent vacation I saw my reflection in the the porch door and thought my makeshift beachwear of suit under maxi skirt looked awesome.

 

Having a picture of yourself that makes you feel attractive is one of the best ways to fight the ugly voices that would tell you otherwise. I’d love to take them for you. But I can’t be everywhere at once. If you can take awesome selfies that document your adventures more power to you!

5. They can be funny!

I tan super fast. I am a color changing human. This is after just a smidgen of fun with my niece.

I tan super fast. I am a color changing human. This is after just a smidgen of fun with my niece.

Humor has been my saving grace through the last few years. If you can find something that makes you laugh or smile you’re well on your way to happiness.

You should never be ashamed for doing something that makes you feel better about yourself. The Queen of Selfies is owning her selfie-loving status. And you can too.

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Iman is a photographer who, through her unique process of coaching and photography, can show a woman what other people see when they look at her. She is passionate about teaching other photographers how to live and be a professional and making change in the world. She dreams of changing the way women look at their bodies and how the world defines beauty. She also thinks being an instructor on CreativeLIVE would be incredible. Iman battles Lyme disease and shares her unique view of dreaming while fighting for her health. Her post day is Wednesday. info@imanwoods.com Iman Woods If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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