My first shoot of 2016, and surprisingly, it’s not of myself! I had the pleasure of photographing my friend Lindsay, something we’ve been wanting to do for a few months now.
NOTHING went how it was planned with this shoot. Which is something I’m learning is bound to happen on occasion. Not only did we have to postpone multiple times for various reasons, when we finally were able to get together to shoot, the weather was miserable. My idea of a pastel inspired boudoir shoot became impossible. It was a bitter, rainy morning, and safe to say we both felt the shadows closing in on our creativity.
I learned that I not only have an aversion to modeling in a studio but also to shooting in a studio setting as well.
For the first few shots, Lindsay posed against a wall in her living room. I attempted to angle lights this way and that stood on chairs, sat on the floor, and did everything I could to make it a dynamic shot. It wasn’t until I put the light aside and noticed an alcove by her door, lit only by a rainy window, that I stopped feeling trapped.
We moved to the dimmer lit area, and she looked out the window, distracted by the rain. And suddenly, everything fell into place. Neither of us was trying to force something that we weren’t feeling. She visibly relaxed, becoming less guarded in the dark as we let conversation occur like when we are talking over a cup of coffee on any other day.
The wall is down, her eyes unguarded
My focus for this shoot was to show some of the stunning artwork she has tattooed on her body. In the process of photographing all of these images, I found myself coming back to her eyes and the intensity in her expression.
I’ve never worked on a shoot where I’ve felt such a strength from a person’s stare before. Knowing some of the hardships she has gone through over the past few weeks only made it more powerful.
When I set out to do this shoot, I knew I wanted to take portraits of my friend. But I never expected to see something so moving. I think it’s human nature to try and protect yourself, but it takes a lot to let those guards down. More than exposing yourself physically even. It made me realize what an amazing connection people can make when photographing something or someone.
Thank you, Lindsay, for both modeling and opening my eyes to the connections I can make through photography.