I’ve always loved faces. Portrait photography was my thing at high school and seeing images come to life in a dark room over the suffocating fumes of developer was often my escape from my burning world at the time. The art form of capturing an image on film and seeing its beauty slowly appear is now entirely lost in the now digital vortex of unrealistic perfection.

I did move with the times and embraced the digital camera and the ‘selfie’ revolution. There was nothing like the bulky Cannon awkwardly held backwards on the nightclub dance floor, the blinding flash blurring any imperfections. Perhaps this was the beginning of our quest to sell the perception of a flawless face and life?

With the digital camera came the ability to edit our lives. If the smiles weren’t perfect, if someone’s eyes were closed or they were looking the wrong way- we simply hit delete. There had never been a time in history where it was possible to eradicate a less than perfect moment.

But soon a polarizing flash function wasn’t enough. Along came phones, front cameras, filters, Photoshop and instead of us loving ourselves more, we became harder on ourselves and capturing a raw image only fostered a new culture of internal criticism, for ourselves and sadly others.

We can learn from the one friend who posts “too many selfies”. They are not full of themselves; they survived the age of edits. They are the strong ones, the ones who still sees their beauty and take the time to capture it, share it, the ones we should all aspire to be, the ones we should celebrate! Tell them they are beautiful and brave, tell them not to apologise for using filters or not using them or posting the moment that may seem imperfect to others – they feel beautiful and their self-love can be contagious……..let it be.

I’ve taken millions of photos, and I’ve deleted just as many. I would give my left arm to have a memory of every less than perfect moment back. To remind me of my journey, growth, youth, missed moments, feelings and candid truths. There was one time however I managed to stop myself and I’ll be forever grateful for my premature wisdom.

My finger hovered over the delete button many times on this picture for years. Puffy fluid filled face, no makeup, streaming snotty tears, mid vomit,  raw creation. 13 years later, I see a young, powerful woman who just conquered the epic climb of 36 hours to create life, a woman who was brave and victorious in so many ways. The image I once considered destined for the digital cutting room floor is now my most treasured.

Every moment in life you only get once. Let that simple statement sink in. Capture it and if you can’t love it straight away, wait till you can, however long that journey takes. Challenge yourself because as the years pass, you will find treasures you never knew existed in your ‘imperfect’ moments.







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