"I believe something that really sets me apart from others is how empathetic I am. It’s important to me that others around me, whether I am closely affiliated with them or not, know that I am here to hear them, support them, and show them love and warmth."
There's so much to be said about expressing yourself in portraits, so as a photographer/videographer, I'm here to break some of it down for you. The exchange between me & my subjects artistically becomes a language we learn together; I have to study & connect with who you are as an individual, and you just have to be yourself, and trust the process.
But how do I just "trust" the process of being myself, Jbaby?
It's simple, but also not simple. Let me explain through the lens of my spring Embrace with Ceyonna:
We first started chatting via email, and I sent over my personally crafted questionairre to get to know who she is, and her story. From there, we hopped on a zoom call to get to know each other (this particular convo included many tiktok references, jokes about our favorite zodiac signs, and emotional stories that we both related on) . As we continued to go over her responses & dive into her intention for this session, I knew this was going to be an incredibly meaningful experience. (It's all about intentions). Something that really stood out was the way she described that intention for the session...
"I want to feel, in the moment, during the shoot, that feeling of when you look back at old photos. I don't know if there's a word for it, but I want to experience that in my Personal Embrace."
Nostalgia. Romanticizing life.
It's very unique to every single human. You see it in details, little intimate details... the way you hold something, the way your hair falls & flows as you move, the way grass feels when you touch it, the expression of laughter, the way our bodies soften when we just embrace the sunset on our skin. So many things in life have notes of nostalgia & romanticizing how beautiful it really is to be right here, right now.
"I went through so much change in the last 2 years of my life, and I'm ready to share that with the world."
Since this session was also centered around 'rebirth', I pulled together the elements that she felt represented rebirth to her, as well as elements that had sentimental value to her - such as her countryside roots that were an essential part of shaping her into who she is now.
Every moment taking Ceyonna's portrait felt like I was simply just shooting through moments she was having. It never ceases to inspire me how people unravel as they ground themselves & embrace that they truly are their own muse. Shortly after we began shooting, she was in her own element, expressing herself in a way only she can. "What if I sat here? Or climbed on this? Oooo I love that magnolia tree!".... The anxiety [we ALL feel] that comes along with having a camera on her melted away quickly as we explored the property, and it was just fun.
is it time for your Personal Embrace?
Let's do it.
It was essential to me to make sure this session truly reflected the full range of emotions that she feels as an empath. We ended on a note that incorporated some more moody cinematic elements that are central to her experiences and emotions, so that she could portray the change from the feelings she went through & grew through.
What makes these sessions special & unique is you, your nostalgia, and what you romanticize in this life. That is inspiration behind how I connect, document, guide you, direct you, etc on these sessions. So when it comes to the process that I invite you to trust, its comparable to a form of meditation. Be present, take in the scenery around you, and reflect. Reflect on the journey it took to get you to this exact moment in life, touch the leaves or embrace the sunset exactly how you would if I wasn't even there. Ground yourself to this space in time. Because thats where we are most beautiful - in those quiet moments of just simply existing & being in our own world.