Behind the Lens: Hope

It was her birthday, and she was stuck to the couch with her 1yo… missing out on her celebratory, self love, pampering day of hair, makeup, mani, pedi, & wax.

I had just created a new photography experience, and as I watched her IG stories from afar, feeling so badly she was having such a rough day, I knew that day that she was going to loooove what I had created.

This is her truth, her essence, her light!

At the consultation we greeted each other with the biggest hug that exists on the planet, because we’re both soul huggers. She set up her crystals, gathered a couple oils, and lit a candle. We sat down in her sacred space and we began by talking about the intention for the photos. The conversation wandered organically from photography, to light, life, and business. We discussed how important it is to integrate all aspects of our lives together in all that we do.

We spoke about the 4 elements and how they present themselves in her life, how balanced she is and remains in most situations. She began to talk about process, and how the process of ceremony is foundational to her remaining balanced.

We discussed how to integrate these principles of balance into her images, how to allow the process to unfold organically, and let the camera capture the real time details of the process. With the process being the theme that will lead us through the photo session, we will highlight the balance of light and dark, feminine and masculine energies, and the four elements throughout the photos.

And with that we were ready to photograph!

Our first scheduled photo session ended up not working out. The full moon was using all its power to really throw things out of wack. The day got screwed up on multiple levels, so we decided to just take a deep breath, surrender, and reschedule. We planned for 2 weeks later, on the new moon instead.

The day before the session she calls me, with defeat in her voice. She confided that she was really not feeling it, she wasn’t feeling herself, life has been throwing her curve balls, and she just didn’t feel like her true self would come through in the images. She said she didn’t want to be seen like this. She even confessed part of it might be that she’s not used to someone else facilitating an experience for her, because as a yoga teacher she’s always the facilitator.

So when she was done expressing all of the things going on, I chimed in. I let her know I’m not actually facilitating anything. This is her ceremony, her process, her time to herself that I thought she really could use right now. This is all about how she finds balance and she didn’t seem balanced, her energy was all over the place, her ego was taking the reigns, her negative self talk loop going wild.

I said, “I want you to think of this as your new moon ceremony, a ceremony to find your center, to find balance again. Take 3 hours out of your day to sit, move, breathe, and do what you need to do to get to that place, pretending I’m not there, and I’m going to just capture those moments for you.”

She said, “wow. I like that. Yea! I can do that.”

See, I’m not here to pose you at all! I’m not here to tell you what to do, or how to do it. The reason for the consultation is for me to understand your process, put the pieces together, and most importantly… for me to learn how to hold that space for you! That’s all I’m doing in this experience.. I’m getting to know the real you, and I’m holding space for you to be that! I’m supporting you through any fears of being seen, healing that area we all struggle with to some degree, and holding space for you to be you.

This session was magical. We began with a Kundalini Kriya to get our egos out of the way. After that, I told her to do what she needed to do, do what feels right, just lead the way.

She began to gather wild flowers for her ceremony.

Then she wandered to an opening to do some yoga, to move, to let her breath guide her.

She went to explore a tree that was calling to her, and as she was playing on one of its fallen branches, she succumbed to gravity and fell on her ass, bursting into laughter.

She wandered around to find the spot that felt right for her ceremony, and then she began to set up. She laid out her blankets, created her circle of flowers, and set up her crystals.

She lit the palo santo, the sage, she cleared her crystals, and opened up the space calling in all directions.

Then she danced, she moved, she twirled, she let her inner child come out and play.

Then she was still. She slowly transitioned from one restorative pose to another. She was finding her center and balancing her energy.

Not only do these photos show each piece of the process, they highlight the balance of dark in the light, light in the dark, the utilization of elements earth, fire, air, water, masculine and feminine energies, and the physical balance (inversions) and lack thereof (succumbing to gravity). The process of finding her balance, her center, her self.. is beautiful. She is a goddess.

This is Hope.

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