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Ghost Stories


Issha Marie Onoya

 Portrait: Ian Azariah (Tintype Trike)

Portrait: Ian Azariah (Tintype Trike)

This image of myself, taken by someone other than myself, makes me pause. I hate getting my photograph taken by others. The pictures that come out are not a true representation of how I see myself, much less how I feel.

I do not know what it is that possessed me to attend the East Side Flea on a Friday night on a whim. I came across Ian's page by randomly browsing Instagram yesterday morning. I absolutely love and am fascinated by alternative photographic processes... so I went with the sole purpose of getting my portrait taken by him with his mobile tintype studio. I knew that regardless of the outcome, I would have an image of myself forever immortalized using a very old photographic process. But the outcome is so much more than what I expected. Because I was not expected to smile, I let myself focus on the lens... and before I knew it... one bright flash later... my portrait had been taken.

I watched the image develop right in front of my eyes... and when my visage slowly started to reveal itself under gentle agitation... I gasped. I see many things here. I see my vulnerability. I see my age. I see growth... but also uncertainty. I see my sensuality.

I haven't been this enamoured over an image of myself taken from someone else's lens since one of my best friends, Kevin, took the following photographs of me when he was a design student at Seneca College:

Ian's portrait of me is not the prettiest, most polished portrait of me, that's for goddamn sure... but it is the most real... and right now... I need real. And for what it's worth... I think I look beautiful here. Thank you, Ian.