I fell in love with capturing faces a long time ago. Before I had a digital camera, I did it with my film camera and with my art. When I started my photography as a business in 2008, I began a journey that I couldn’t have predicted. I learned that I was not as much of an introvert as I had previously thought and that I drew a great deal of joy from meeting new people and photographing them. There were lots of sessions that were not my cup of tea. But those served their purpose as well, as I was learning light and the many personalities of humanity.
But after a few years, I began to find pockets of this trade that lit my whole soul on fire. It started when I began photographing women in my home under the guise of boudoir. But we all quickly learned that this wasn’t really boudoir. I thought I had hit on something really special, and I think I did, but it didn’t take off for me business-wise. Then I had my own spiritual awakening, and once again everything changed, but in many ways it didn’t. It deepened and I went off on some other paths for a bit while my insides rewired themselves.
I’ve been looking back through my very large body of work and I have a few thoughts. Photography, for me, has never been about the perfect composition or pose. I tried a lot of things but in the end, I thrived in simplicity. Just me and my subject, in a created intimate space, where walls could come down and we really saw each other. Sometimes there were conversations, bits of life that would float up in that space and sometimes silence and ease. Not everyone loved to see themselves in their raw form but some grew to love themselves more deeply as a result of our session.
On the outside, it didn’t look like anything fancy. Just a couple of people, walking around or sitting in my house, or theirs, very quietly moving through the hour or two. Stopping here and there to snap a photo. Even when it doesn’t look like anything, there is a part of me that is always watching you. Feeling into the space. And looking for those micro moments that race across your face. Not many people see those moments, but the camera does if the photographer is paying attention. It’s less about technicality and more about just being present. I routinely cut off feet, hands, take crooked photos…but if there is light in someone’s face in that moment, none of that matters one bit. Let the dudes on the photo forums critique until the end of time. Show me something real or GTFO, photography experts.
For a long time, I felt inadequate. I’d think, “Why do these people keep saying their session was so much fun? I am not fun. I am mostly quiet and often have a hard time thinking of ways to engage conversation.” Often my ideal situation is just walking together and saying nothing. Small talk is always difficult. And yet, I have made so many true friends after a session. It bonds us. Even after just an hour. I’ve really marveled at the dynamic of that. Mostly, I’m just really good at oversharing weird details about my life. Maybe it’s a subconscious way to help you know you are hanging with the Queen Misfit and as such, you can be you.
I suppose you could analyze it to death. But what I’ve really learned these past several years is that you don’t need fancy. Some photographers are really good at that. Some are great at creating fantasy landscapes and beautiful art. And posing and props. That’s all fine. But for me, I am happiest sitting somewhere you are comfortable, looking for magical light and how it plays on your face. I am happiest when I see the wall come down and your soul comes through your eyes. It’s not always a happy thing, but it’s always an honest thing. And I think we need more of that in this world. Smiles are great when they’re genuine, but honesty always trumps the Cheese.
I want to create a photo session for people who want this honesty as well. A couple years ago, I created a session for women called Spirit and Bone. We went into nature and captured the wild in them. It was beautiful. But now, I want to switch it up. Because I’ve learned a few things. Firstly, there is wild and honesty in us all. Women, men, children…all of us. We need to see that in ourselves and each other. And by wild, I mean the honest, authentic self. The other thing I’ve learned is that this doesn’t need to happen in nature. It just needs to happen where you are most comfortable. Nature is great, but maybe somewhere urban is your jungle. Or your cozy bedroom. Or a coffee shop. Where is your native habitat? That’s where I want to capture your wild. You are nature. We don’t have to be in the trees to capture it.
But it’s all spirit and it’s all bone. Because that is what you are. The unexplainable, unrepeatable magic of every one of us and the humanity we are embodying. Can one even capture that in a photograph? You bet your ass. I’m very very good at it. 🙂
This session is for the singular person who, for whatever reason, would like a set of photos. You can use them for whatever. That’s not for me to decide. I just need to do this. It’s what I was made to do. To connect with and to document others. And in doing so, tell a story of humanity through my own unique lens.
sessions will run at $300+travel fee if applicable. If you’re not in the Kansas City/Lawrence area and want me to come to you, get a group of interested people together and fly me out to you. I’m willing.
Let’s get some storytelling scheduled. You’re worth it.
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