The Mirror on the wall doesn’t capture it all!

The Mirror on the wall doesn’t capture it all!

Earlier this evening, I listened to this beautiful audio link posted by my friend, Carolyn A. Dragon It was a talk by John O Donohue. Something he said, hit a chord and had me reflecting for a while.

“Behind every face there is a secret life. So much is contained inside the human body. The human face is strange, how on such a small canvas such a variety of presence can appear. Each of us is known by our face. And one of the strangest thing is that none of us have really seen our own face!”

I had never really thought of that. It is true, we know and identify people by their faces. It’s the faces that first catches our the attention when we connect to someone. And, isn’t it strange that we haven’t really seen our own face. We have seen images of it in the reflections of windows and mirrors.

When was the last time you saw your face? I mean, really seen your face like how you have seen another’s face. What we see mostly is a two dimensional view, which is strongly biased by how we feel in the moment. When we are on a low, we don’t see much that we can appreciate. In fact, we can find many flaws in the way we look.

Recently, I had the opportunity to hold a mirror up to my face and look at myself for twenty mins, which seemed like the longest twenty mins of my life. I must admit, in the beginning it seemed like pure torture. Every time I looked at it, I would want to look away immediately because all I was seeing were flaws. I noticed one eye of mine was smaller than the other. I had a weird sloppy smile. I could see so many wrinkles up close, my nose had an unusually rounded tip… and I could go on and on. It look me a while to get comfortable and see more than that. At some point in that activity I did find parts of me that I liked, but it still wasn’t a full acceptable of myself.

There are many of us who are absolutely comfortable with the way they look and I personally know many of them. They can stare at and admire themselves for hours. They are in love with themselves. It is pure joy witnessing that. And, there are many of us who aren’t comfortable about the way we look.

As a photographer I am fascinated by faces. I believe the faces are windows to one’s soul, through the eyes and the expressions. Listening to that audio, was an affirmation to to myself about why I love my photography work. There is a reason why I call it SOUL PHOTOGRAPHY. I claim to capture people’s souls through my photography,

When I shoot pictures of portraits of people or their relationships, I am shooting more than faces and people, I capture their soul and essence. It brings me alive seeing this expression of their being. What excites me more is to give them the gift of seeing themselves, they way I see them and how their loved ones see them, and not just what they see in their mirror. I want them to see how they look in their expression of life.

I want for them to see their aliveness, the twinkle in their eyes, how their lips curl into a smile, the way their eyebrows change shapes with the subtlest of expressions, the way their eyes smile, the way the head tilts, or they shrug their shoulders, the dimples they never noticed before. I want for them to see and experience themselves from the outside, to see their innocence, their shyness, their strength, their confidence, their power, their playfulness, their aliveness, their vulnerability, their beauty, their charm and so much more. I want them to see and feel their souls !

So this is my request to people who are not so fond of their refection, please be compassionate to yourselves. It is not a true reflection of you and your essence . Please don’t judge what you see, for you don’t the whole picture.

We are not a snapshot in a moment in time. We are much more than that.We are who we are when we are the fullest expression of ourselves. And that is just absolutely beautiful to see and be seen !

Sheena Yusuf

22 December 2014

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