Who is looking at you?

Photo on 4-28-14 at 10.03 AM #2How many selfies have you taken this past week?  I see my kids making goofy faces into their phone cameras every day. No worries about double chins, squinting eyes or stray hair. The goofier the better.  Imagine photos like that on LinkedIn,Twitter, or your webpage. Would you have more professional credibility or less? I recently worked with a photographer to get photos for my website, Twitter, LinkedIn... my public face.  The dark black lens of her Nikon camera was directed at me, her encouraging supportive words came from the same direction.  As long as I was moving and speaking (which is my mouth moving) I didn't care what the camera was capturing. I was in a flow state.

The moment I was asked to pause and look into the camera lens I froze.  To me the beautiful camera lens became a deep dark eye. A critical "How dare you" kind of looking eye.

Camera lenses evoke memories of people looking at you. How were you seen by the world around you? How do you want the world to see you?

The kicker is that you body doesn't lie. Your flesh and bones, your skin, your eyes, even hair, tell your story. Part of this story are your fears, your efforts, your desires, sadness, joys, your vulnerability.  The best photographer, your best intentions can't mask this story. That's how you end up with photos telling a disconnect between intention and reality.

Yes, it's true, thought precedes action. In movement that can be seen instantaneous, in stillness where deeper and more subtle layers begin to speak, where the lines aren't so blurred, the accumulation of thoughts and actions becomes apparent and your accumulated lifelong story is told.

With this is mind I vote for more double chins, frizzy hair and rolling eyeballs on Twitter, LinkedIn, webpages and all the other public platforms where you are only known by the combination of image and written word. Where nobody has the privilege to hear the sound of your voice and witness the flow of your movement. Then, the courage to share an honest slice of who you are in the eyes of the camera will be part of your story.