1. The state of being exposed to contact with something.
  2. An act or instance of being uncovered or unprotected.turtle

In photography, exposure is the amount of light allowed to fall on each area unit of a photographic medium (photographic film or image sensor) during the process of taking a photograph.

The term “exposure,” applies to such a variety of situations.  Defined above, it can refer to a camera setting; there is indecent exposure; exposure to new things; and much more.  The feeling of revealing yourself to others, in my opinion, is best encompassed by the word exposure.  As an introvert looking at these definitions, exposure closely correlates with the feeling of being unprotected.

When you put yourself out there, you expose yourself.  It has nothing to do with revealing more skin, or wearing tighter clothing… not that type of exposure.  I am referring to stating your opinion.  It refers to making yourself known.  Whether that be speaking up about something you believe in strongly instead of silently accepting as usual, showing you artwork to people you know instead of anonymously online, or demonstrating a skill you know you have mastered but have never shared out of modesty.

The worst feeling in the world is when others “hate” you for what you do well.  In jealousy, they jokingly (but we all know, half seriously) say they don’t like you for something you have worked long and hard on.  In moments like these, our accomplishments burn to ashes when exposed to others.  We are introverts and greatly value what others think.  Our shyness makes it hard to openly expose ourselves and we quickly retreat back into the safety of our shells at the first sign of danger.

Publicly sharing our creations exposes our heart.  It exposes our way of thinking, our opinions, and our creative thought process.  It exposes something so dear to us; exposes it to rejection, challenge, and acceptance.  In writing this article, I realize the only way I share my artwork is anonymously through this blog, to strangers.  There is a comfort in the computer screen and username I hide behind.  It’s like wearing sunglasses in public.  I am afraid of the judgment that will be passed on my work.  Whether it be compliments or criticism, I fear it.  And yet, there is no reason.  I am proud of what I do and enjoy the time I spend crafting and creating.  What is there to fear?

No matter the judgment, exposure is vital.  Yes, making a statement goes against every fiber of my introverted being, but that is an introverted being that tries desperately to carry on anonymously hiding in the background of life.  I know there is a lot more to me, but people can’t realize that when I don’t even give them a reason to see me.

At a certain point, exposure is necessary.  It makes you who you are and allows everybody to see it.  Yes people will judge, and be jealous, and criticize.  But people will also be proud, applaud, and compliment.  Even better, the actions you fearlessly take may inspire fearlessness in someone else and that, is the ultimate reward.  Be yourself, and show others who you are and what you are proud of.  There really is nothing to lose especially in comparison to what you can gain.


2 responses »

  1. This gets at so many of the things I feel, too. I find I often have to struggle between wanting exposure (i.e., something akin to positive publicity–ugh!) and fearing true exposure, the baring of my deepest and darkest places. But it’s always so much more rewarding when someone responds to the real you rather than the clever or constructed you, so the risk is worth it in the end, I guess.

    • It’s always nice to hear I’m not the only one that struggles with this! I wrote about it because it kind of helps me to think it through too. I guess there are pros and cons no matter what though.

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