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you seem real



this is for Miss Samantha Smith, who finished her 365 project today.


Miss Samantha Smith.

this is the name I thought of when I looked at the pictures you uploaded when I first added you 9 months ago. back then I told you I was so happy you still had 2/3 of your project ahead of you. back then I looked at your photos and I saw and felt you. I believe I didn't see something you created, but your personality in all its realness. you showed me who you were rather than telling me something you knew wasn't true. you showed me with every picture you took. and I saw them. I saw them all. every single picture you revealed since I discovered you. every day you showed me a new side of yourself. whether you had a bad day or a good one, you always captured your feelings in such an impressive way that I couldn't keep away from your photostream.

and one day, I realized there was even more. there weren't just those pictures that were perfect in all respects, not because they were necessarily beautiful, but because they were real. there was more. I looked at your descriptions, and there it was. a sentence, a little text. every day. something new and creative, every single day. I read what you wrote and suddenly saw your pictures through other eyes. because you gave me more information. I read your words and tried to interpret them. then I looked at your pictures and tried to interpret those. and then I tried to combine both realizations. and every single day I came to the conclusion that you seem real. you capture your feelings like no one I found so far is able to. you seem so real sometimes I feel like crying when I see photos of you being unhappy. you seem so real sometimes I'm sitting in my room all alone, smiling at your photos because you're smiling at me. because that is what you do. you speak to me with both your photos and your words. I am sitting here, thousands of miles away, and I feel you. your photos are raw and in their entirety the most beautiful self portraits I have ever seen.

Miss Samantha Smith. very soon that name changed. you became Samantha because I commented your photos and you did the same. you weren't the girl with the "Miss" in front of her name anymore. you were Samantha. a girl who speaks to me. soon you began to make me feel like I did the same with you. you commented my photos, sometimes with only one sentence, but that one sentence was so powerful that it made me feel all warm inside. because you liked my photos. you, the girl who gave me so much just by showing me her emotions, liked my photos. that realization was another turning point. you are now Sam. the girl who can make me feel. the girl who can make me comprehend. the girl who seems real.

Sam, you are amazing in your own way, and in so many other ways. congratulations on finishing your 365 project, you can be so incredibly proud of yourself. you made it. 365 days. 365 self portraits. but most of all, 365 self portraits that express something. 365 self portraits that express yourself, what you were and are like, and your feelings. in the most creative and enviable way.

thank you for inspiring me so many times.

Sam. Samantha. Miss Samantha Smith.

you seem real.


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Taken on May 27, 2010