I always get nervous before a photo shoot. I always say a small prayer that I will be able to capture the essence of the woman who walks through the door, and that she’ll be open to the experience. So far so good.
Today for The Revelation Project we photographed Medelise (what an amazing woman- can’t wait for her interview to come back!) who showed up with her surf board and wearing her heart on her rash guard! and two sessions back to back tomorrow. The sessions are rigorous because in addition to being “on” with respect to operating the camera (I’m not the most technical person, or the most detail oriented person, or the most…) the most critical part for me is connecting with the woman we are photographing. I am also the self appointed “szhusher” ( kind of like a fluffer?- oh god that sounds kind of bad) and also the “make-up” artist for those who want a little emphasis on their features. Honestly… it’s one of my favorite parts of the session because I get to play up someone else’s features, and well.. I’m kind of gay like that.
So- lots of feedback lately on the project, and I have to say it’s a little nerve wracking as I’ve been asked to define it more succinctly by a few people. All I can really do is keep saying what it’s not.
The atmosphere is very laid back and casual, and because it’s in my home, it just feels kind of cozy and relaxed. I think Robyn Ivy adds great entertainment value…for me, that is, and great music never really hurts.
It’s definitely not a serious or intense affair or anything. I think I’ve realized that its whatever “she” want’s it to be. I think Medelise wanted it to be cathartic, and so it was… as well as joyful, and fun, and poignant at times. I’ve been trying to capture the “mood” in order to write about it but I honestly think it varies as she lets us in ( without sounding too queer). All I know is that it’s a deeply personal experience and as i witness the “unfolding” of the being on the other side of the lens, I too am transported with her wherever it is she wishes to travel…. joy, sorrow, abandon, fear, empowerment, release. Sometimes she laughs hysterically, sometimes she cries hysterically….. but where ever she needs to go to “get there” it’s completely and totally allowed, and encouraged. By the time the shoot is over, I no longer feel nervous.
I feel awe.
Awe that I am in the presence of HER.
The only thing so far that remains consistant about the project is
HER strength & light…
Every. single. time.