This post is a muddle of a few different thoughts and realisations of the year, and indeed , TODAY. - all of which are leading to a new photographic project - ROAR | SPIRIT.
Why is it as people, women in particular, that we are so critical of ourselves, our failings? Why are we so critical when the imagined fallout in our own minds is always far greater than that of reality?
I know myself that I live moments over again, and wonder why I did what I did (or didn't do), I kick myself over opportunities missed for simply not taking a risk, or kick myself for taking that risk when I feel inadequate within the decision I made... I am generally a person who will jump in the deep end, not dip my toe and test the waters, this has brought about some pretty quick lessons in treading water and rising up... but my lessons have been remarkable.
I have often been the type of person who really hates saying 'no' (you cauld ask almost anyone who knows me, this has been my biggest lesson learned - or learning.) It took me a while to hone in on one genre and turn down some work, I always felt I should be working, but now I know the value of being great at one area, not good at a bigger variety... It's like I've told people in the past, You can choose a photographer to capture any moment, but would you choose one that specialises in sport photography to capture your wedding, or newborn? They are different arts... choose the one that specialises in what you need.
But I digress... This year has taught me the value of friends, of life, of how fleeting it all is... It's taught me that mortality cannot be escaped, sooner or later we're all going to be face with it. My mother, whom I adore, and thought, while knowing better, that would live forever has become increasingly unwell... and here's a glimpse into my world... she has been fighting Parkinson's Disease for a great deal of a decade, and suddenly (or not) she's becoming frail with it, and associated dementia... though don't tell her that, she'll deny it fiercly. This is but one woman in my life who has been nothing short of an inspiration... a sHERO.
Which leads me into the growth this year of friendships... I've met women this year (and indeed prior) who have not only amazed me, but have shared their realness, and rawness, and absolute WOMAN-ness... it seeems only fitting that a photographic idea would be born from it all.
On Friday last week, I photographed a friend, upon her request. Naturally I adore photographing friends, but Bec, she's special... she's a woman who I've not only known for pretty much all my life, she has always just been who she was... real... and this realness, and woman-ness often scares people, somewhere in our lives we as women have forgotten how to embrace our instinct and nurturing and protective natures... somewhere along the lines we were taught to be 'polite' and supress our true identity.
I'm not talking feminism, it's almost the opposite, it's not about being equal, or taking on the men, it's about embracing our true feminine self... finding the lioness within, and the sheer awesomeness it brings.
Which brings me back to Bec... now, true she's travelled a hell of a journey over the last twelve months, and long before that truth be told, but people really never saw that, mainly due to their own misgivings really... but always amongst her journey, dare I say even more so in the past twelve months, her spirit has shone... and people have no idea how to explain that... because they've forgotten the words, the language of soul. Bec is a woman who married a man over 15 years ago, had 2 children (who are positively incredible young poeple by the way) and had her partner snatched away from her in an accident that was headline news for a couple of days... but, almost a year on, her spirit is even more beautiful than ever... why? Because she allows herself to feel what she feels, protect herself from those who don't "get it" and embrace those who do.
This photo session was about capturing some of this essence, capturing a time, rejoicing in all that is WOMAN. And it's different for each woman connected and not scared of her soul, and what they find.
Which (finally) brings me to my project, ROAR | SPIRIT. This is a project about woman, about capturing and rejoicing in and with the women who can ROAR... women who roar from a place of depth so great is scares you. I have women in mind, women I have been fortunate enough to meet through my own journey, through my clients... it's incredible the journeys we travel... and my own personal journey will see me on the other side too... watch this evolve... I'm excited.