One Mississippi…

I always thought myself a brave person. I left my hometown in communist Poland at 19 to live in Paris, which at the time might as well be the moon, so foreign was the western lifestyle at the time. I studied law in a language not my own. I persevered while also working full time to support myself graduating top 5% of my class. I did it all over again twice more, two more countries, law degrees, two more languages. All along with voices trailing behind me from everybody I knew: “Don’t bother trying, you can’t do it”. Today, I travel alone to places most people wouldn’t bother venturing to, I jump out of planes for fun, I go under water to play with whales. People who once said “you can’t” now call me “fearless.”

And yet, this week has shown me that there is a whole other kind of courage which I lack completely, that of a human connection. This time the voice saying “you can’t” is entirely internal. And a persistent little bugger too.

My self-assigned stretch this week was practicing flirty 3 second eye contact with attractive men I encounter on my daily comings and goings. It’s because I noticed that I usually avoid eye contact completely in social situations, which men perceive not as shyness but plain lack of interest from my part. I read somewhere that it takes 3 seconds to create initial connection and 4 minutes of uninterrupted gaze to fall in love. 3 seconds seemed like an optimal time to look at someone without staring. But in practice, 3 seconds are eternity. So far, I made it to “One Missis…” which is probably less than half a second. Long way to go!

The only exception is looking at people thought my camera. Somehow, though that little window of a viewfinder, I see people better, clearer, deeper. I get bold, encouraging people I photograph to connect with the camera, to be themselves. When they finally trust me and relax into the shoot, I feel great joy of connection.

Here are some samples from recent photoshoots with V and M. More photos to come…

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4 thoughts on “One Mississippi…

  1. Pics look great!
    Amazing to see what connection you can make with people from the other side of the camera.
    It sounds like you have a bigger goal in mind with the 3-seconds of eye contact. What’s the bigger goal and what might be other ways to attain in, or other items/actions to support the 3-second goal?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey love!

    Thank you for sharing this post! So much more insight into who you are and where you’ve come from.

    I applaud you for making it to almost 1 second and know that this small task is a part of a bigger dream of sharing your life with someone.

    To echo Hadar, what can support you in having this happen? What’s a big enough motivator that you’d be willing to even maybe give a flirty wink? haha

    Like

  3. I can relate to your hesitation to make eye contact with attractive men, it makes me feel uncomfortable as well. Making the effort is brave and will take practice. How about repeating your contact to yourself as you look at them? Subconciously telling them this is who I am.

    You have the knack of capturing the inner beauty each person has through in the photographs, you have that same beauty within you and those beautiful blue eyes. 

    Like

  4. I know this comment is very late… I had trouble accessing the comments section on my phone. I also recently noticed that I avoid eye contact with men, and have been working on smiling instead of averting my eyes. I love that you actually count in order to notice if you are gaining ground. I am going to adopt that! I also want to tell you how beautiful your photos are… they are amazing. So beautiful. Please keep them coming! Love.

    Like

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