I shot this image two weeks ago and finished editing the night before my birthday last week. It is a very simple image but holds a lot of meaning for me. Letting go and living freely from all ones demons has been something I thought a lot in the past months and I have actively worked towards that freedom. The night before my personal new year started I made the decision that it's time to shake things of and "dance freely". I wanted to remember this feeling with this image and published it that night.
Here it is - my first image of the new year! The story behind it is a very simple one, at least in my mind. Firstly, I simply wanted to have an "upside-down" indoors image. There. Done.
Secondly and maybe a bit more complex, is the emotional story behind it. To me the image is somewhat of a summary of the last year. Looking back, I feel like I spent a lot of time in 2015 "hiding". Hiding as in needing time for myself, time to think, time to re-group. But I feel like I was also hiding a bit from opportunities, from taking action in many ways. Creating and withdrawing to my own "space" helped me a lot. Hiding is nothing bad or unhealthy as long as you come out eventually with a fresh mind and clear thoughts. That's what happened to me and I'm grateful for it.
I chose to blindfold myself for the image. I do like to keep my images more anonymous. In this specific one, however, I also used the blindfold as a key element of what I wanted to depict. When life gets very turbulent and you do retreat and find yourself in the middle of many small storms, you ARE blindfolded in a way. You DON'T know what's coming next. You need time and space and it doesn't matter at that moment that you ARE a bit blindfolded. Eventually, you will come out of your hiding spot, you will have learned, you will have new plans, and be able to see clearly again. I also got to incorporate being upside down for the same reasons. In this little hideout, you find yourself upside down more often than not. It's part of it and, in the end, helps you to regain your strength and your balance.
I went into shooting this without a clear concept (as so often the case with me), just a vague idea and a gut feeling. The concept, the idea or thought, the image represents comes as I shoot. I had a lot of fun doing this, above all because I'm back doing my fine art images.
For the set up I had to clear out our little cupboard, or whatever you want to call it, in our living room. Then I climbed in and out for over an hour, leaving me sore today! It was so worth it....also because this cupboard is sorted out and dusted too ;)
As always, I will let you find your own meaning in this image. But I did want to write a few lines that should give you a glimpse behind the scenes of "The Quiet State of Longing"...
I have shot this a while ago and, after three edits, it was tucked away on my computer for a too long time. Why? Because I was uncertain about it and too insecure to show it. But I have to admit, I still love it and here it is! The little secret behind this image is that it came to life during my VERY FIRST shoot of fine art images. My friend and I met up for our first shoot together and this was almost exactly a year ago. We carried loads and loads of props, dresses, fabrics, and equipment through a forest and ended up by a waterfall, our location for the day. We were both nervous, frightened even, happy, and excited all at the same time. We wanted to create but really had no idea how to begin the process. We jumped right in. I had a little story and general ideas based on the story. This image, however, just "happened". It had nothing to do with the story that we used as a guide. Now I know that sketches, ideas, stories are oftentimes only the scaffolding for the image you are creating. They give you something to hold on to until the real idea emerges.
Well, here is the result ;) It was my friend's first time modelling and my first time creating what I now call my "Dreamworlds". I will never forget this damp, foggy, chilly afternoon by the waterfall because it truly was the beginning of an entirely new type of photography for me.
Do you remember your first fine art shoot with a model or alone? How was that? How did it influence your future work? Feel free to share your story, I would love to hear!
(P.S.: After the shoot when the light was gone, we ended up sitting in the forest a few yards away from the roaring waterfall. At first, we thought it was great, badass and an overall almost spiritual experience. Hahahaha....half an hour later, i called my husband to please pick us up. It had started to rain, we were soaking, dirty, and spooked by forest noises and animals stepping on branches. It was fun though....for about 20 minutes ;) )
My newest little creation "Tied" was so much fun to make! Again, it was fairly early in the morning, I set everything up, and had a rough sketch in mind. Photographing the image was rather quick and in post the image came together beautifully. The only thing that took a little more time was the dress. I really need to investigate more how to get more flowing, "big" dresses so I don't always have to stitch together what I have to turn it into what I want it to look like ;) If anybody (especially in Europe) has an address for me - please let me know!
Also, I did another speed edit for your viewing pleasure!
When I shot the image, my message was very clear to me. People are tied down by all sorts of things and it prevents them from spreading their wings, be who they want to be, do what they want to do. During editing, however, it occurred to me more and more that these "ties" that we love to hate don't necessarily have to be such a bad thing. Can they not be roots that give us a certain sense of safety and security? They can be constants in our life that guide us and can protect us from making decisions that could harm us. It depends on how we see it - as ties or as roots. Do you have TIES or ROOTS?
"Sanctuary" developed very quickly. Shoot, composite, save. Some images just flow ;)
What is your sanctuary? What is the place where you feel like you can lose yourself, where you feel safe, and where you lose track of time? I chose a book for my image because stories, foreign countries, their geography, new characters and their biography make my mind travel and time fly. Especially during the most unstable or more difficult periods in my life I clung to books because they provided a constant, allowed me to pass time in foreign lands, and life stories different to mine. While I still refer to books as steady companions, photography more often than not substitutes reading. This is the main reason why I called this portfolio Dreamworlds - on a small scale, the images take you away into far away lands and unknown stories. I hope you like it and I hope you share a little bit about your sanctuaries!
In addition to the image I also have a VIDEO for you! Enjoy!