Where does the ego start? That was the question on our minds when we headed out to shoot on a sunny fall day in our neighbourhood in Nashville. When you strip all the ways you're used to creating your art back in an attempt to present a 'more real' body of work, it's enlightening what feelings come up. Almost 2 months on and having time as my healer, the tears shed this day are like drops in the ocean of what was to follow on our travels. It's turns out shooting with no hair and makeup, fancy styling and contrived poses is just the start when you delve into presenting a more 'real' and relatable image. The first images below were tough to capture. I felt self conscious. I've shot in some crazy places, undressed in public on multiple occasions (sorry Rio) and put myself out there for 'the best shot.' But it turns out standing in front of a lens on an empty street, with your partner in life holding the camera trying to convey what it is your heart is telling you is the right message to share with people makes you feel vulnerable, awkward and frustrated. At this point I thought personal creativity was rooted in ego and selfishness and was trying to find a way around that. To make it feel right to be doing what I've been doing for 2 years now with my mindset changing even more. And as it turns out, it has nothing to do with the way I look on camera.
I didn't know here what I was to learn over the next month from the people I encountered. That being creative is okay, that expressing your calling visually is okay, that you can serve others simply by putting out that good energy that comes from doing what you love. It's okay to do the things that make your soul feel whole, and even if you think they take root in ego? They don't. It's okay to make clothes and photograph them and try to make them look nice in the process. It's okay to look the way you want while photographing things you've made. If that's what you want to do, that stuff is good stuff. It's ALL good stuff. So basically, stop thinking. Stop analysing. GO DO IT. Those things you think aren't possible? GO AFTER THEM. And enjoy it all! You are perfect where ever you are, what ever you're doing. You are loved. So love what you do!
Thank you for your patience and wiping away tears this day Sam, then running in the street being silly with me and creating the real smiles captured at the end of this lookbook.