TITLE: "Before Self-Consciousness"
As a photographer, I have been dreading the self-consciousness that comes with my childrens' impending adolescence. One of my greatest joys has been to watch and photograph my two sons passionately explore their world, show affection for each other, and realize their intrinsically motivated goals- such as tasting fresh snow or building forts or feeling like a superhero- without the constrictions of self-consciousness or the pressures of society's expectations of behavior. As they begin to tread into the self-conscious realm of adolescence, and I can see the beginning traces of self-awareness in these photographs, I have come to understand just how free they have been. And it makes me wonder about my own extrinsic motivations and convoluted goals. How drastically are my decisions and ambitions tied into what I think other people think? We are all touched by innocent and sentimental images of childhood, but perhaps images like these are really sparking a longing for our own lost personal freedoms. These images of childhood freedom remind me how much self-consciousness has lead to the societal conformity and emotionally binding behavior in which many of us are entrenched.
AUTHOR: Laurie Swope (United States)
I am a photographer based near Boston, Massachusetts. Although my background is in newspaper work, I have dabbled in commercial, stock, lifestyle and portrait photography. Now I am taking a deep breath and trying to see things differently. We'll see what happens.
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