Exploring feelings with fine art portrait photography. What does it feel like to live in the open? Free from all the incessant thinking. The burden of judgement that is often times our own. What does that feel like, to live above the hazy line of self-doubt, shame, and fear?
I often wonder how it would be, to truly live in this space, and if it is actually possible. Is this what makes the happy ones? The brave ones? Do they obtain some non sense of self, some existence, that makes them free of these ordinary faults.
I doubt it. We are all here, the same. Only most of us hide from our fears. Cope with the sufferings of life with comforting habits and white lies. It is only when we start exploring our true selves and question our habits, that we can fully live. Closer to the dream of a true happiness.
This is why it was so refreshing to meet Kelly. Seeing her live by her social name Follow Fear Find Beauty was in a word. Inspiring. When we met for this photo shoot it was for much more than getting an image. There wasn’t even really a concept. I would call it more of a drive, a feeling, a… purpose.
Kelly was ready to conquer a new fear. And all she needed was a waterfall and some red lipstick. She was ready to turn another “I could never do that”, into something she most certainly could.. and would, and by damn, did do.
It was stunning watching her inner power and beauty surface. Like witnessing a wonderful sense of freedom fill her; as she bare parts of herself she no longer wished to keep hidden. Scars that represented a painful past, yet also a road to self discovery and growth. With her vulnerable self exposed, as she was, in a bikini she felt damn beautiful in, she dove into her fears. And conquered.
It was clear she was on a set path. One full of bitterness, pain, understanding and hope. Like she was fighting back against all the ways she had held herself back before. But it seemed she had also touched on something else. A knowledge that had been dwelling inside her.
Now she seemed a woman capable of understanding what she wanted, and was able do what it took to get it. A woman willing to face her fears and survive the failures that forge the way to a deeper way of life.
So with nothing but a Coconut Hat, bought from some sleepy local Hawaiians lazing in a hut, and some flowers that were plucked from the cover of darkness, we continued our shoot with one shared purpose in mind.
To push ourselves to do and be the women we wanted to be… no matter the women we thought we were. Or who saw. Including the swarm of gawking tourist and hikers.
Funny how easy it is. Being comfortable in your natural state. When you stop judging yourself. When you stop comparing or obsessing about the outcome. This is where Kelly becomes the brave one. This is where she embraced herself.
The more we shot the more vulnerabilites that surfaced
Partaking in anothers discovery of vulnerability is an extremely raw experience. One that most certainly will leave you yearning to understand and connect deeper, or to flee entirely.
Why is it we are scared to show these true pieces of ourselves. And Why do we want to only share our achievements without the story?
We are always looking for the better option, the perfect outcome, the next change.
Is it not the journey to obtain these things that we actually connect with? Do we not all share these things. Struggle. Pain. Vulnerability. The need to be Seen. Truly, for who we are, and who we have been. To be accepted in our flawed selves.
This right here is where my chest expands. This is where I got what I came to get. To capture A human experience. One I am most connected to right now.
Vulnerability and the Struggle to See and Accept oneself.
And To Be Seen
I hope you feel a little raw when you see these images. I hope you understood a bit of my heart after you read my feelings. I am pushing myself more to let my photography be seen. To let myself be seen. And to find the intersecting line that keeps this my passion.
Every shoot with Kelly turns into Fine Art Portrait Photography. This is what happens when you surround yourself with the right energy. Want to see our first encounter? Read Follow Fear Find Beauty | Adventure Within
Words From Kelly
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