Photographing sadness means you have to get pretty ‘real’ with yourself. Embracing my authentic self has not been without some serious misunderstandings along the way. I have had some very humorous experiences that are too embarrassing to note right now, but hopefully I will feel like sharing some day. Redefining the relationships in my life has been the greatest gift. I am a better parent, a more fulfilled person and I have joy every day and no stress. In the interest of being ‘real’, it’s possible that I am delusional, and I suppose that will become evident in time, if I am. However, even if I’m delusional, it’s pretty great, so I’ll just keep on riding it out while I wait for the verdict to come in. So far, the unexpected result of exploring sadness has been discovering real freedom.
The value of this artistic project and the process I had while doing it has so many benefits in my life now. I often think of new and interesting relationships between ideas because of the work I discovered on this journey. I don’t think there is enough time to explore all the ideas in my head, but that’s okay because it would take hundreds of years and millions of dollars. That makes me smile.
I have so much to say to the people who trusted me enough to do this project with me, and I have to have it written somewhere, because it’s really important to me.
Dear Crying Ladies,
Your complete honesty inspired and amazed me.
It was so easy for me to do this process for myself as a self-portrait. I was alone. It’s easy to be brave when you are alone. I sing in the shower, but I don’t sing in public. I wish I could, but I don’t. When Erin shot my self portrait, I had already done a trial and knew what to expect.
You stepped into my creative space, without question, and with few instructions. You allowed me to observe you do something that people don’t let anyone see them do.
You were so brave to do that! Do you know how hard that is to do?! Seriously, you are amazing.
There is nothing in this world you can’t face if you think about it. When you are scared, remind yourself that you are emotionally brave, and that is the heart of all bravery. I honor your bravery, and I thank you for your trust. You have taught me that without trust between observer and observed, there is never anything authentic. There cannot be. You showed me the value and responsibility of great trust.
PS. I hope all of your dreams come true
There are times when I consider whether the crying ladies has scared away all of my clients. It’s possible. Or maybe the universe has a way of making sure you don’t have to work much when you are in a great deal of pain. The fallout is that I’ve been authentic to myself for too long now to go back to the way I was.
The big changes in business are that I am working less, and loving more of what I do. I have eliminated newborns in my studio business. The only imagery I will be doing of newborns will be in their parents arms from now on. I feel like babies are very sensitive these days, and they want to be with the people they energetically know and trust. I don’t mind stepping into that environment, but I prefer not to alter the environment to suit the photographs.
I have been really energized and happy working with children lately. I feel strongly attracted to their happiness and sense of fun.
Also I will blog further about this, but I did an engagement session where the couple had selected a really interesting look. I noticed that it really inspired my creative story teller, and I kept ‘seeing’ the couple as other archetypal couples or characters. It was so much fun.
The point of this rambling post, is that I feel differently about work than I used to. I want to spend more time with people who want to show how they ‘feel’ in photographs. The crying ladies showed me how to photograph a soul.