~ Please Note ~

Unless otherwise noted, all photographic images in this blog are the sole property of Kim L Branson and therefore may not be copied or used in any way without expressed permission by the owner. Thank you.

Welcome to CLIQUE!

I can trace my love of photography back three generations, to the early 1900s and my paternal great-grandfather, Henry Mattson. I have a really cool photo that he took of the old family homestead in Minnesota, sometime before 1910. According to family history, Grampa Mattson frequently took photos of his world - the people and places that he loved.

It warms my heart to know that this love of photography didn't skip any generations as it passed down to me! I am blessed to have such a legacy and I hope to pass it on to my own children and grandchildren some day.

I experience a physical and spiritual thrill whenever the Lord shows Himself in His marvelous creation around us and in the people I meet. My dream vacation would be to spend a year or two just traveling around the US, stopping at little out of the way places and photographing the interesting characters and the beauty of nature to be found along the way - those things that draw me closer to GOD and help point others to Him, too.

Friday, August 24, 2007

About Face

The challenge for this week (Aug 24-30) is SELF-PORTRAITS. Many of us photographers are much more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it and therefore, there are very few photos of us to share with our children and other loved ones.

Personally, after years of only being "okay" with using photos of myself taken in younger days, a couple of years ago I was prompted by the Lord to begin sharing more of myself in my LOs. It was an awkward step for me, but one I accomplished, through a series of pages that was the beginning of my "Book of Me" album. Only this album isn't really about "me" -- but rather, "Who I Am in CHRIST."

Suddenly, I was free to share myself with others - not because I'm anything special (trust me, I'm not!), but rather, GOD and His work in my life is a valuable thing to share with my family and friends and the world at large.

One night last winter, I was up into the wee hours of the morning on the computer. Hubby was sound asleep in the other room and I was feeling... restless, bored and a little goofy, apparently. So I whipped out my camera and took a bunch of self-portraits. A bunch. And when I loaded them onto the computer and flipped through them something odd happened.

I laughed.

As opposed to cringed.

And I was amused.

As opposed to disgusted.

Wow. Didn't see that one coming.

A short time later, Tasra's website, Real Women Scrap, was holding a contest ("Real Women Scrap Official Contest") and one of the challenges was to take a self portrait; another was to create a LO sharing a story about why we scrapbook and/or how scrapbooking has impacted our lives. I combined the two challenges and came up with the LO below. I didn't win the grand prize, but my page did receive an honorable mention for journaling! I was blown away!

LO journaling is below the photo --

Not so very long ago, the thought of doing a layout like this - all these photos of my face out there for the whole world to see - would have elicited a SNORT, a raised eyebrow and the comment, "I don't THINK so!" from my lips. I couldn't stand to see pictures of myself, even if they were taken while I was all dressed up and attending a special event. Baby pictures, yes. I was a cutie and am not ashamed to admit it... Teenage photos, no problem. I had a shapely figure and was fairly attractive, although I didn't think so at the time... But my ADULT pics? Ugly - with a capital UGH!

So what changed? For the past year or two I have been using more photos of myself in my layouts. Why? Why am I now more tolerant of those photos? Why do I go out of my way to take a bunch of self-portraits in the wee hours of the morning, of all things?! Well, part of the reason for my increased tolerance is AGE, I think. I'm about 10 months away from turning 50 and people tend to mellow out once they hit middle age. But that's just a small part of the reason...

The main reason why I can take the photos that I used to loathe - and have FUN doing it! - and include them on layouts for everyone to see, is that, little-by-little, I am more accepting of myself - not just the photos. The more I grow in my Christian walk and in my relationship with CHRIST, the more I am able to see myself as GOD sees me. I am loveable because HE loves me. I am precious because I am HIS Princess. I am valuable because HE values me. I don't always understand it when He tells me these wonderful, affirming things, but I accept His LOVE and day-by-day, bit-by-bit, I become more accepting of myself.

AND I HAVE FUN BEING ME! *highlighted words are also highlighted in my original journaling


pdxscrappinmamma said...

Kim, Thank you for taking on the challenge. And also, thank you for your choice this week. As I tried to locate pictures of myself for use as the profile URL, I could only find pictures at my son's wedding....all dressed up fancy. Well, this will be good. I'm going to try to capture a little bit more of the every day Kathi. Should be fun! P.S. I love the pictures of your beautiful state. Thanks for running the slide show.

Jane said...

Great LO and journaling!!

Stampin' Meg said...

Great job-I recently did one for an assignment and it is REALLY hard to do!

reflections:0) said...

Great photo's Kim...


Gayle said...

Wow, Kim! I love the journaling and LO. Boy, isn't that the truth about accepting ones self. Awesome job!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful shots and layout. Congrats o your honorable mention! Thanks for the challenge this week. It HAS been a challenge! But one that I can laugh at and enjoy at the same time.

Colleen said...

I hope to get where you are at on day! I love this blog... the photos AND the message!

althena12 said...

You are very brave to share so honestly with all of us. I admire your ideas.

Mindy said...

way to go girl!! The pictures and the journaling ROCK!! Thanks for opening up and sharing it with us!!

pdxscrappinmamma said...

Hi Kim, I worked all morning on self-portraits and now all my blog connections are gone. HELP! I presume that's because Cherie isn't doing it anymore. Are we connecting through scrapbook.com anymore?????