I enjoy a sense of being unafflicted, the look of perfect ease. I think it's a good look.
This winter was a cruel bitch, though, and maintaining a fragile semblance of serenity proved next to impossible. The deep freeze that kept me from running and imprisoned me in my apartment also seemed to take my face and shove it directly into every one of my insecurities, shortcomings and so on. All the bad shit. Boredom persisted. Frustration, both physical and creative, defined much of my life between December and March.
This all sounds so terrible, but it did force me to grapple with my more destructive, darker instincts, and that was a good thing. My friend Prarna had me shoot some of her pieces in February and last month, and the projects were just the platform I needed to experiment with the part of me that, evidently, wants to shine a harsh light on an object and on a body as an object.
I do have a desire to do this. I admit it. I confess. One of the powers a photographer has is to render what is real and organic and with dimension into something that is only an image. It's a flat thing that, objectively, only offers formal qualities. It's a rectangle. There are colors. There is light and dark. It means nothing on its own.
To point my camera at the accomplished and friendly young woman wearing these clothes and decide, quite consciously, that she will appear only as arms, legs, and a head of hair seems rather, well, awful. Do other photographers feel the twinge of guilt like I do?