I’m a little rusty, so hopefully this isn’t too hard to read!
It was around a year ago that I took a last minute leap and signed up to go to a creatives workshop in California. It was there that I met my cabin-mate, Carrie. When we first met I wasn’t so sure that we would be fast friends, but after 5 days with me we were practically an old married couple! We hung out all the time, had our first fight, went on dates (coffee in the mornings, going to hang out with goats and llamas in the evenings, walks on the beach in the afternoons), and slept next to each other at night (ha!). So when she said she was trading her possessions for living out of a van and driving across the country, it didn’t surprise me too much! I was lucky enough to be a stop on her travels and was so excited to see her and catch up! Before she got here she filled me in on a little photo project she was doing where she asked people to take pictures of her as they saw her. I was at once excited and bummed about it! Excited because I knew exactly what I wanted to do and bummed because I was hella pregnant (about 7.5 months with twins) and knew I didn’t have the energy/time to put into the shoot what I WANTED it to be. So…here is the photo I took (see below for an explanation):
Now that you’ve seen the photo I’ll tell you what I initially wanted to do: I wanted Carrie in a field with a half black outfit and a half yellow outfit/dress…half of her made up and half of her made down. I settled for the above photo because it still represented everything about Carrie that I wanted it to. When I first met her she was guarded…and may I be so bold as to say I am a master at getting walls down, and knew there was an awesome person behind those walls that WOULD be my friend before the end of the week!
I had Carrie hold the coffee mug because that represented our friendship- we would walk to get coffee pretty much every day we were at the workshop, and I definitely wanted part of me in her photo (what? That’s not creepy!) I wanted a portion of her face in the light and part of her face in the dark. The dark side represented her guarded side and the side that she lead with when she met me, that we both kind of share. We lead with our sarcasm – just enough of our selves initially, but not too much so that we can’t get too close too quick. The light side is all the beautiful things about Carrie and why we are friends! She seems to have the right idea about life and what’s important. She’s got a wonderful soul that’s more focused on living life than it is about having STUFF (this is why I had her not wear makeup and in a T-shirt). She’s collecting memories and seeing the world, something that I truly admire her for. She’s got a kick ass sense of humor and is good at pushing herself to get outside of her comfort zone – This is why I wanted her laughing- it shows the vulnerable side of her that I got to know! She alone made the workshop worth it, and I will cherish her friendship always!
I’m so proud to call her my friend and so proud of her for following what she wanted to do and not what society necessarily expects from you! If you want to follow her journey, you can on Instagram: 1000milestonowhere Gorgeous pictures and intimate stories abound!
Here is what she said about the photo I took of her over on her instagram page!
“My entire life I have had problems with my appearance. I have struggled with body issues and my general physical appearance. I’ve come to certain terms with some of these things and not at all with others. I have worked very hard on my spiritual growth over the last few years and am proud of my evolution, but my problems with my physical being have yet to evolve to a place I’d like. I am less vocal in my self deprecation, but the internal monologue is alive and well. I still rebel against having my picture taken and cannot stand to look at my image. On the rare occasion I am forced to be in a photo I usually make a silly face or other such antics to distract from all the things I hate about myself. Part of the journey I am on with this project is about making myself vulnerable. It is not just about the work I am doing behind the camera but the work I continue to do on myself. Over the last year I have made many new friends in the photographic community and related to people I never thought I would on all different levels. As I travel the country I have tasked these people to shoot my portrait. I have given over full control on the creative aspect and the output of my image. I have agreed to allow them to capture my likeness in any way they chose, and I will publish the images and write about my experience. I speak a lot about vulnerability and this effort is me being 100% vulnerable with something that makes me incredibly uncomfortable. My thought is that it will help me come to a place of acceptance with my appearance, but more than that, it is about how these amazing people I have met will chose to capture me based on my relationship with them and how they see me. Abby, from my previous post, was the first to shoot. When her and I were together at Field Trip we would start our days over a cup of coffee and conversation every morning. First thing in the morning, no make up, having a laugh over coffee-this was her vision. She did not retouch the photo so all those imperfections that drive me crazy are on display. Normally I would never share a photo of my likeness in this way, but this is how Abby sees me.”
And if you’re still reading, you can check out her post about me here...didn’t make me cry or anything…. 🙂
Lots of love,