How I See It

It’s self portraits week in my Photo Meditations course and when the discussion turned to “showing some skin” I knew that I wanted to photograph my tattoo.  I’ve been meaning to do that for a while now, considering I got it almost two months ago. I made a few attempts to photograph it this morning. I tried at first to capture it right-side up, as you would see it if you were looking at it, but those photos just didn’t grab me. Instead I gravitated to this one, which represents my view of the tattoo. This is how I see it every day. Thinking about that it seems appropriate since I got it just for me.

I’ve wanted a tattoo for ages. I think they’re beautiful. I’m addicted to tattoo reality shows on TV and have said many times that if I worked in a less conservative field I would have a half sleeve flower garden on my arm. That said, I knew that I needed something more subtle. I also wanted something meaningful. And pretty. It had to be pretty.

I’d had ideas swirling around in my head for awhile. I’d decided that I would put it on the inside of my wrist where I could see it every day but where it wouldn’t bee overly conspicuous. I just hadn’t decided what. Or where.

As with a number of the more impulsive decisions I’ve made in the past year or so, my friend Lesley played a role in me getting this tattoo. After brunch on Labour Day she decided that she wanted to get her nose pierced. Right then. So we went to the only place that was open. The place had a great vibe. I was totally at ease. Almost as soon as we walked in the door I had decided that I should definitely get a tattoo that said “create” and that this was the place that I should do it. On October 4th, with Lesley in tow, of course (as our last bonding experience before she headed off to do good in Malawi).

For me this tattoo has layers and layers of meaning. Up front it’s about creating art, especially photography. Getting in touch with my creative side over the past year has brought such a richness to my life that I don’t ever want to lose. It’s also about creating the life I want and creating opportunities and at some level about my big special wish project too.

I couldn’t love it more.


About Debra Cowie

Debra is a photographer and visual storyteller based in Ottawa, Canada. She is an explorer at heart, whose passion for photography was born in travel and has been carried with her to more than 30 countries so far. Debra is also an avid cook and baker and much of her current work focuses on food styling and photography in her serendipitously beautifully lit kitchen. She has flirted with Polaroid and 35mm film photography but her true love is her DSLR (aka "Boyfriend Mark").
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8 Responses to How I See It

  1. Lorna Mackay says:

    It’s lovely..I wanted my tatoo for 20 years and finally just did it…you photographed yours perfectly

  2. mosey (kim) says:

    You are awesome. I love your tattoo and its meaning. x

  3. Jenny Coleman says:

    It truly is lovely, and I’m so happy I got to see it in real life! I didn’t realize it was so new to you at Camp, but it totally fits you. Thanks for sharing your different meanings – this is such a special tribute to yourself!

  4. I love it too!! Glad I got to see it in person. 🙂 xoxoxo tam

  5. jacqueline says:

    Dearest sweet Debra , so happy to be visiting you here from picture the holidays! I adore tattoos too and yours is just beautiful! Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!

  6. Diana says:

    Enjoyed your blog. Met you on Pic the Holidays.

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