To Whom Much Is Given

Last Hot on 11 Apr 2015 in Growing Up
Uploaded 10 Jul 2008 — 29 favorites
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© Laura Hartley
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Photo Info
UploadedJuly 10, 2008
TakenJuly 10, 2008
Exposure1/13 sec at f/4
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length27 mm
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

Much is expected.

Growing up means learning things, and in one's 40's, these things begin to show on one's face! Here I am, wrinkles and all.

I have become a very introspective woman. These are ideas I have now, growing up:

I am thankful for the many special blessings to which I was born into in my life. I have been a very lucky human. I have never known poverty, nor have I ever gone without. For whatever reason, my life was given to me with many material things attached. So, I turn inward, always, to find what I can do with this, what I am to learn from this, what I am to teach, and how I might use this to make a difference.

All of the great religions and philosophies of the world indicate that giving is blessed and that from goodness, comes goodness. I often fail, but as often, try to give and be a decent human.

Accordingly, I try very hard to keep things real. That is why I am somewhat a purist and a dark room photographer. So, today, I offer a glimpse of myself, unaltered in any way: the failed human, to whom much has been given, and much, much, is therefore expected. But this is a truthful depiction of whom I am; nothing altered, nothing diminished. Wrinkles, flaws and everything. This is truly whom I am. This is how I look.

I want everyone I see to know that photography, as life, offers many chances for falseness and untruth. By its very nature, it can be deceptive. And yet, used in goodness, it can convey the greatest truths and kindnesses man has ever known. I am not against some digital altering at all. That is not what I am saying. My message here is more about what an artist’s work conveys.

Is it truthful? Is it based in goodness and helpfulness? Does it spread positive notions and helpful thoughts? Or, is it sheerly hedonistic and self-fulfilling? Is it gratutious? Does what we post here on this site deserve to be called “ART?”

These are things I ponder.

43 responses

  • Photography Seven

    Photography Seven said (10 Jul 2008):


  • Simon Le

    Simon Le gave props (10 Jul 2008):

    You look amazing Laura!!! Love the expression as well as the hair covered your left eye, which gives you more sophisticated look! Amazing SP shot!

  • Warren ~Mangione~

    Warren ~Mangione~ gave props (10 Jul 2008):

    Yes, an Epiphany! Fabulous insightful story. I see nothing but beauty in this self portrait! Wonderful!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (10 Jul 2008):

    Love the light on your hair.

  • Kevin Leger

    Kevin Leger said (10 Jul 2008):

    True beauty radiates from the inside and you my friend are one hell of a radiant beauty!

  • Mark Gilliland

    Mark Gilliland gave props (11 Jul 2008):

    This is wonderful Laura! I love it!!

  • j. l.

    j. l. said (11 Jul 2008):

    an extremely gorgeous shot. your hair is the colour of fire. you look like a goddess.

  • Penny Nannini

    Penny Nannini   gave props (11 Jul 2008):

    I love the lighting and your beautiful red hair!

  • Christopher Long

    Christopher Long gave props (11 Jul 2008):

    Beautiful thoughts from a beautiful person! I love it.

  • Gary Fudge

    Gary Fudge (Deleted) gave props (11 Jul 2008):

    The most striking part of this image is that very clear eye. Beautifully captured. As far as how you feel about yourself, does it matter? Age is relative, the feeling inside and the activities that you partake in show more of an age then a limit......! I'm looking forward to hitting 50, because it opens new levels of fitness competition for me in the pursuits that I have. I'll still be lifting, mountain biking, and everything else. 60 is the new 40, live and enjoy.

  • Carlos Aviles

    Carlos Aviles (Deleted) gave props (11 Jul 2008):

    Nice Laurita

  • Kiwi ana

    Kiwi ana (Deleted) gave props (11 Jul 2008):

    Love the hair! I agree with John, it's the very honest eye that makes this portrait and portrays your challenge exactly. Love your work Laura and what you stand for, we need you here.

  • Jerry Carpenter

    Jerry Carpenter gave props (12 Jul 2008):

    As beautiful as your spirit Laura!

  • Ronnie Ginnever

    Ronnie Ginnever gave props (12 Jul 2008):

    intelligent, honest and beautiful!

  • Jason Platt

    Jason Platt gave props (12 Jul 2008):

    Keepin it real. Woo... your hair is as fiery as your personality...

  • Catherine Kurvink

    Catherine Kurvink gave props (13 Jul 2008):

    You certainly do look beautiful in this photograph.

  • Farras Abdelnour

    Farras Abdelnour gave props (13 Jul 2008):

    Laura, you simply look FABULOUS! Keep it up :)

  • Robert Valenzuela

    Robert Valenzuela gave props (13 Jul 2008):

    Beautiful Portrait Laura

  • Claudia Turner

    Claudia Turner gave props (13 Jul 2008):

    this is very natural and real and beautiful, i love the sauciness of it, in the lighting, the hair, your eyes, great!

  • peggy gardner

    peggy gardner gave props (15 Jul 2008):

    you are very beautiful.

  • William Moore

    William Moore gave props (16 Jul 2008):

    cursed and loved...two such extremes....he must be your muse....gorgeous photo

  • Debby Adler

    Debby Adler gave props (16 Jul 2008):

    Wow! What a hottie! Revealing, true, and beautiful portrait.

  • Laura Hartley

    Laura Hartley gave props (17 Jul 2008):

    Worse, William - he is my HUSBAND!

  • Cassandra Bould

    Cassandra Bould gave props (17 Jul 2008):

    You are so beautiful! Amazing story!

  • Laura Boston-Thek

    Laura Boston-Thek gave props (18 Jul 2008):

    Beautiful Self Portrait....(from the seriously jealous of red hair other Laura)

  • Ikhlef A.

    Ikhlef A. said (25 Jul 2008):

    I think you managed to do two beautiful things at the same time. To take a lovely self portrait and to write a nice peace of poetry. It's amazing how you speak about yourself. The photo and the text represent the best mirror I ha ve ever seen. Mirror on the wall...

  • James Moore

    James Moore gave props (27 Jul 2008):

    the story attached to this photo tells a tale to be sure and ther are many wonderful messages one can extract from it, above that this is a wonderfully captivating photo. It has a Mona Lisa like quality to it. Astounding. better yet, raw.

  • peggy gardner

    peggy gardner gave props (12 Aug 2008):

    I guess vanity gets the best of me sometimes and I want to erase my wrinkles, rolls and freckles...but you are a natural beauty.

  • billy sussky

    billy sussky said (19 Aug 2008):

    i felt good today. then i stumbled into this story and this photograph and now i feel great. thanks for sharing these emotions and keep on keepin on

  • J. Harris Blacklist

    J. Harris Blacklist gave props (19 Sep 2008):


  • Robert Armstrong

    Robert Armstrong (Deleted) gave props (15 Nov 2008):

    Absolutely beautiful! Amazing red hair!

  • lowison

    lowison gave props (18 Feb 2009):

    Very intense and beautiful portait!!

  • Russ Baxter

    Russ Baxter said (4 Mar 2009):

    Love this image, it makes me think of the song "52 Vincent Black Lightning"
    "...Says James, in my opinion, there's nothing in this world Beats a 52 Vincent and a red headed girl..."

  • Benjamin Arthur

    Benjamin Arthur said (20 Aug 2009):

    Laura there's no doubt that one of the greatest fallacies out there is that "the camera never lies" for surely it does..... all the time. And even more so in this digital age of ours.

    Lovely exposition. You are real and brilliant and true and honest and everything that I like in the human

  • Carlo Pagan

    Carlo Pagan gave props (31 Dec 2010):

    Excellent portrait!!!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (28 Jan 2011):

    Oh YEAH! Rad!

  • Yasmina Baggili

    Yasmina Baggili (Deleted) gave props (30 Jan 2011):

    fantastic capture and entry!! My vote

  • Kevin Kott

    Kevin Kott (Deleted) gave props (31 Jan 2011):

    My vote!!!

  • Judy and Wayne Wanamaker

    Judy and Wayne Wanamaker gave props (4 Feb 2011):

    Beautiful lady, beautiful philosophy. Your photo reveals your physical beauty, and your words reveal your depth and inner beauty. God doesn't expect us to be perfect, even though he asks us to strive for perfection. In that striving is your true beauty. A great entry. voted.

  • Maura Wolfson-Foster

    Maura Wolfson-Foster gave props (4 Feb 2011): many ways. voted ~ !

  • Roxana Brivent-Barnes

    Roxana Brivent-Barnes said (8 Feb 2011):

    You are beautiful, voted!

  • Antje Woolum

    Antje Woolum (Deleted) gave props (8 Feb 2011):

    Wonderful photo and fantastic writing!

  • Carlo Pagan

    Carlo Pagan gave props (25 Feb 2011):

    Icame back to vote!!

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