So, a mini post here. All my photoshoots have a theme, a concept that mirrors my life as it is at that moment. Last September I had ended 3 year relationship, my weight was out of control (again) and I found myself wandering through days, months, without deviating from a cycle of work, and burrowing myself into my apartment, and sleep, on an endless repeat. I spoke to no one. I did nothing. I went nowhere. All that time I was trying to find my way forward. But how do I move when I can’t see a road beneath me? Aimless.
Then, at the beginning of the year, weary of looking for the way, I forged a path of my own. Hacked through the wilderness surrounding me, pushed the ennui aside, and flung myself at life. I started belly dancing classes, got a subscription to the symphony orchestra, went on a weight loss program, started learning Italian, bought horse-back riding lessons, and started writing again. All the things I’ve wanted to do, needed to do, for a very long time. I had looked at my dark, limited life, and simply said no.
And, a photoshoot. The photoshoots began as a way to self-document when I was in a low place. I needed to see my pain to move past it. They’ve evolved over the years to be a celebration, another creative outlet and expression of my worth to myself. And I felt it was time for one again. I had an idea, but it was lost to circumstance and bad timing. So I rifled through my past shoots, looking for inspiration. And I realized that my most recent ones, the ones I was actually quite proud of, had themes of restraint.
Odalisque, a courtesan, a kept woman. Bacchanalia, a Roman slave, a pleasure mistress. And even before, shoots that were what other people suggested, what I thought other people would want to see. And thinking upon the past months, the long-ago years, I finally found my theme. I would be phoenix. Yes.
Part 1 is before the burn. The memory, the old way, the presenting of my most perfect self. Collared. And with bruises just below the surface. Part 2 is in the flames. The dark and fiery forge as I shed my skin. Screaming. Climbing. Part 3 is rising from the ashes. There is still pain. There is still beauty. But both are on my terms now.
So, it is me here. New, for you.