Sometimes, seeing an unflatting photograph of yourself can hit you like a punch. We’ve all had this experience, when our comfortable self-image is shattered by a photograph that looks nothing like what we expect, or hope, and when the apparent Truth of a photograph that we can hold and mourn over takes precedence over the perceived reality inside our heads.
Of course the photograph must be right, and we must be wrong; the photo is right there, and everyone can see it! Our self-perception is internal, and truly known only to ourselves.
Except, of course, that photo is not all of you. It is a tiny moment of you in an exclusively visual format. The fact of the matter is that this is not what people see when they look at you — it is a piece of what they see, but they also see your smile, your personality, your constantly-in-motion reality.
Photos are one-dimensional, unmoving and flat, and we are living, trembling, multidimensional flesh. A single photograph can’t hope to capture all of this, nor can it hope to capture the inner light that makes you, you.