Let’s Talk About Portraits

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Photo Credit: Joanna Cabangon

I’m back at it with the phone photos.

Today, I’m featuring a beautiful jumpsuit I ordered from Mango online. It has a smocked back with lace-up tassel details, and wide-leg pants that made it easy to move around in. It was one of those wardrobe pieces that was really begging to be taken to a getaway.

Naturally, I imagined wearing it to a more picturesque place. You know, so that I can take that “perfect snap” of my #OOTD to share on social media. Lo and behold, that picture never happened, because real life doesn’t unfold the way our feeds do. And sometimes, you get photos depicting more or less that.

We live in a world where we’re highly exposed to the idea of the perfect snap, courtesy of social media giants like Instagram and Facebook. While it has become a great way for us to celebrate the little things in life, it becomes disturbing when we spend so much time and energy filtering and staging our experiences just for that shot.

This isn’t a novel criticism on social media, but it’s worth the reiteration. We all get sucked down that spiral sometimes. I myself considered having these photos retaken, until it hit me how ridiculous that was. Suffice it to say that, I have days when I succumb to social media standards, too.

The funniest thing is, I appreciate these photos. They weren’t what was aspirational—apparently a defining aesthetic of many posts on social media—which was why I considered having them retaken another time, in another place. But I see how authentic they are, and I love that. These are warm up photos taken by my girlfriend inside a bookstore where people weren’t allowed to take pictures. The photos portray me at my most genuine state: that’s how I move, that’s the natural curve of my mouth, and that’s how I look like from an unflattering angle.

Social media is a great tool for sharing and discovering new experiences, but we need not sculpt our lives around the million-dollar shot. So the next time you take a picture, try to snap it as it is: unstaged, un-aspirational, and unfiltered.

Jumpsuit: Mango – Espadrilles: Primadonna – Bag: From an Online Korean Store – Shoulder-grazing Earrings: Girl Shoppe, old – Dark Wash Denim Jacket: Borrowed From My Sister

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Photo Credit: Joanna Cabangon

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Photo Credit: Joanna Cabangon

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Photo Credit: Joanna Cabangon

 

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