Ever since I began to live life with unwavering authenticity as one of my core values, I have rediscovered my power, found some degree of inner peace and started to love myself. I also discovered that many parts of me lie in shadow, people know very little of me, and I have been living my life based on a story that was shaped around my past experiences.
After having made these discoveries, I am now committed to bringing out the parts of me that lie in shadow and integrating them into my life in one way or another. Through this blog post, I want to celebrate one of my desires that has until recently been in shadow and is now a welcome part of my life.
I have the desire to have an intimate relationship with beauty, nakedness, truth, vulnerability, sexuality and love and capture it with my camera. I want to create snapshots of moments in time that are a reflection of the life force, personality and consciousness of the person being photographed. I also find the naked female form gorgeous, and I want to revel in its beauty without being burdened by guilt or fear.
Something inside me has stopped me from being able to do this outside of a little experimentation in places where there was no fear of rejection. My mind created chains for my desire based on assumptions of backlash because of the shame around sexuality.
Recently, I shared my fears and desires with Cim Ek, someone I had become close to during my travels in Thailand who also happened to be a professional photographer. To my surprise, she offered to let me photograph her and let my desire take form.
It was a massive moment for me to be seen, accepted and trusted in that way by someone I had known for around a week at that point. I cannot describe it in any other way besides life-changing.
We sat down and spoke about our intentions for the shoot, shared our fears and met each other in our vulnerability. Cim told me that she conducts workshops around the naked female body that celebrate uniqueness and combat anxiety and shame and that this was an opportunity for her to explore her uniqueness and her issues around her body.
I expressed my fear around not having photographed a woman nude outside of a romantic relationship and the anxiety around the final result of the shoot, especially given the fact that I was going to photograph a professional.
Once we began the session, all my fear dropped away. I redirected my energy from my thoughts to presence and intuition which I let guide me through the process.
The focus of the shoot or my interest in this kind of photography isn’t to create pretty pictures but is instead to reflect some part of the essence of the woman being photographed in the final result.
As we went through layers of clothing, we also went through layers of her personality and mine. We explored fear, love, sadness, freedom, trust and tranquillity.
The photoshoot transformed me with love, it showed me that this desire I have does not only fulfil a longing in me but can also provide something of meaningful value to the one in the frame. This can be in the form of an outlet for expression of their freedom or other aspects of who they are. Together we could co-create something powerful and raw. I cannot describe to you with words how empowering that revelation is for me.
By putting this on the internet, I am celebrating the photoshoot and sharing my intention to do more photography of this kind. I have undertaken this work as a personal project of mine through which I want to liberate myself and those I work with while also ending the notion that anyone besides you has real power over your desires or your relationship with your body.