Monday, 12 June 2017

Looking My Age

It's been years (5 1/2, to be precise) since I last wrote about the topic of self-perception and how it differs from what others see when they look at us. If you are interested in my 2011 post about the topic, click here.
Maybe this post from two years ago is also interesting in context.

A few weeks ago, I had an appointment at a photo studio where all sorts of professional photos are taken. People go there when they need pictures to apply for a job, for a new passport, or simply for fun; they can have their pictures taken either as a family, couple, group of friends or on their own.

Last Christmas, my parents gave me a voucher for a photo session at that studio. I was unsure what to do with it, as I do not currently need pictures for any particular reason. So I simply went there to see what was going to happen.

The very young lady who was "my" photographer took about 15-20 minutes to apply make-up. We had agreed on a simple day-make-up, nothing too over the top, no smoky eyes or any particularly fashionable stuff. She chose lipstick and eye shadow for me, and soon we were in the room with the lamps and different wall backgrounds.
I gave her free range, since I had no particular wishes. She was quite happy to let me try various postures in different lights and in front of several backgrounds.

About a fun half an hour later, our session was over. She let me choose my favourite pictures out of the 60 or so she had taken, and showed me which one was her personal favourite of the set.


I am not unhappy with the results, but I agree with my sister, O.K., RJ and others who have seen the photos and said I look older in them than usual; the general agreement seems to be that I look my age.

Well, I have wrinkles - perfectly normal at 49 -, and I agree that I do not look like this normally; for one thing, the only cosmetics I own and (occasionally) wear are lipstic, mascara and eye-shadow. No make-up or "foundation", as it is often called.

Now I wonder what you think. Also, have a guess at which was the photographer's favourite, which one my Mum chose to have framed, and which is the one I personally like best. And no - this post is not really about vanity. It is out of a genuine interest in the topic of self-perception v. how others perceive us.

22 comments:

  1. I think you look great. You're so tall and slender and healthy looking!

    If I had to guess, from these photos I would probably say you were 45. I like the full length photo and the last photo best.

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer! I am only relatively tall at 5'8" (1.74 m), but I am glad I look as healthy as I (mostly) feel :-)
      The photographer's favourite was the full length one, and my Mum's the last one.

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    2. Me too. Great shots. Head on hands often works as it is a natural and intimate pose as if you are listening to the viewer :)

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    3. Thank you, Fi! At that moment, I was indeed listening to the viewer - the photographer, giving me instructions :-)

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  2. Well that's very interesting. I doubt that this comment will be a insightful or as well thought out as my comments on your previous two posts which (says he modestly) I thought were rather good comments. I would guess that your Mum's favourite is my favourite which is the one with your head on your had (number 4). Portrait photographers can be strange so I think she chose number 2 or 3. However if she didn't then she will have chosen 4.

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    1. Your comments to my older posts were valuable contributions to the topic, as they are nearly always, Graham!
      You are right about my Mum's favourite, and the photographer's favourite was the full length one.

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  3. Hm,an interesting question. I think your mum might have liked the one of you smiling, and looking to the left, this makes you look as you might have looked as a child, somehow. (I don't know if that makes sense). The one I think you like might be the full length one. I'll look forward to seeing whether I'm right.

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    1. I know what you mean about the one looking to the left; it is my personal favourite of the set. The photographer liked the full length one best.

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  4. A very interesting question, this one about perception....I like the full length one best, and think perhaps the photographer did also....My favorite head shot is the lower left one. This photographer caught something happy but thoughtful in your expressions.

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    1. You are right about the photographer's favourite, Kristi!
      I like the lower left one, too. RJ says I look a little stupid/naive there :-D

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  5. My favorite is number 4! Now, why is that? To me, you look the most natural in that photo, as if you are smiling at a close friend or a member of your family!
    The photographer might like the full length shot of you, since that looks like a model in a magazine! (I know you have told me that you are not tall but you look tall, I guess because you are so fit and slim!)
    Your mother's favorite? Once again, I would have to say the 4th one!
    And your favorite? Not sure, maybe you would like the very first one? Just guessing! By the way, I looked at those other posts and I think you must have a portrait aging in your attic. You look younger as the years go by!

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    1. No. 4 is also my Mum's favourite, and the photographer liked the full length one best. My own favourite is No. 3.
      I am still only 5'8" tall, which is more or less average here. When I was still part of a Sicilian family and spent my summers on the island, I often was the tallest of the group - including many of the men.
      When I first met one of my sisters-in-law in Yorkshire, she looked me up and down and said, "you're... tall..." which, compared to her, my other sister-in-law and my mother-in-law, I certainly am :-)

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    2. I do remember you telling me that you are not tall but if you are 5' 8" that is very tall to me! :-) I am 5'4" and THAT is the average height of American women!
      Looks like I guessed two out of three! You must admit, pretty good!

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    3. Oh yes, Kay, pretty good! I've said it before - if you were closer, I'd make sure to have you on my pub quiz team :-)

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  6. Tough question - they're all pretty good and you certainly don't look 49. I'd have thought the last two were the best. I hate photos of myself - but Mrs Britain often reminds me that at least I'm still the right side of the grass!

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    1. Thank you, Mike. So many people hate photos of themselves. That is another aspect of self-perception v. how others see us.
      I hate SOME photos of myself, most of all the one on my ID card, which unfortunately I will have to carry around until 2025 or so!

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  7. Love them all but would probably choose #4 to be framed. You look relaxed and natural, your makeup was perfect, and I love the subtle damask design wall covering background, of course!
    I like the clothes you chose to wear - very you, and you can carry off white jeans better than most! The touch of silver in your shoes brings the look from overly casual to neat and fashionable. Love how you've grown your hair out a bit longer - I'm doing that this Summer for a change. Being tall (I was 5'8" most of my adult life but seen to have lost an inch now I'm in my seventies - everything 'goes south') and fit, you could pass for several years younger Meike - but why would you want to, we should just enjoy and be thankful for every year - they pass so quickly and concerns over aging isn't something we should ever waste time on.

    Lovely post - thanks for sharing your photo shoot.
    Mary -

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    1. Thank you, Mary! My Mum did indeed choose # 4 to be framed.
      My clothes are a very typical outfit for me - nothing I would wear to the office, but very much "me" on weekends or home office days. It is not clearly visible in the photo, but the belt I am wearing is silver like the shoes.
      You are right, I do not aspire to look a certain age or not. It just happens that way, that very often people take me for younger than I am. I enjoyed turning 30, I felt very good at 40, and I do not doubt I'll have a great time being 50 next year!

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  8. What wonderful shots and good to see that you are happy with yourself, in and out, each photo having its own story, and being perceived by others in a different light.
    Here is my take -the first one is very intimate, the second -slightly distant, the third -captures your aura, and the last one -friendly and open.

    Greetings!

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    1. Thank you for this very interesting assessment, Blogoratti, and greetings back to you!

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  9. i think you are in the prime of life and it fits you well, you look comfortable with your physical self. Enjoy it! It is possible at most any age when we have our health.

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    1. Very true, and thank you for your comment!

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