Grace in women has more effect than beauty. ~William Hazlitt
I often tell the women I photograph, and they are usually surprised by it, that how a woman holds her hands and fingers gives quite the insight to a woman’s beauty. They usually say ‘these are just my hands’ and go on about how they, like the rest of them, are nothing special. It’s a simple thing but it seems to be present in every woman I’ve photographed in some way, and you can definitely see it here. Over the weekend in fact I saw that same grace in a young girl that I photographed as well.
Grace visited my studio a couple of Sundays ago, and I asked her to be en pointe – which apparently was something she hadn’t done in about 4 years. It was clear from the moment she entered the studio that her talent is a force to be reckoned with. Some of the images that follow are pure dance technique (as approved by Grace) and some are just captures of her being a – work of art.
On December 7th, 2014. My life changed. I relearned who I was, and I become someone I never knew. It was a chilly December morning in southern Indiana. We were taking a friend home
About 45 minutes into our drive, somehow, we ended up spinning out of control on the highway. I was told we flipped 5 times. I don’t remember that part.
Two of my friends got minor injuries, but I was not okay. I ended up in the back seat of the destroyed vehicle. When they found me, I was unconscious. I remember opening my eyes and seeing the sun. I felt the cold dead grass under my fingertips. Everyone was screaming, they thought I was dead. And I was, my old self died that day.
My neck was broken in 5 places and nerve damage had caused me to become paralyzed down the left side of my body. 1/69th of an inch more and I could have been permanently paralyzed from the neck down.
I would spend a month in the hospital. Rehab taught me to walk again, and I had to learn how to write with my right hand, and so many other day to day tasks I’m still learning how to do better.Because of this day, every single day is the hardest day of my life.
Because of this day, I can’t do things everyone else can do.
Because of this day, I’m still embarrassed of my injuries.
And because this day, I live life a bit more fully. I cherish every laugh, smile, & tear. I thank God for giving me a second chance at life. The old me died that day, she took a terrible person with her and left a wiser, happier & loving person behind. This was my blessing in disguise.
From the time they are little – girls and then women are told what they need to put ON to be beautiful. What kind of clothes to wear (Oh don’t you look good in that), what kind of makeup (That color lipstick suits you). It’s really not about ‘fashion’ or ‘society’ per se. It’s not about conforming to a beauty standard, whether it be realistic or not. It’s that we have grown to think something needs to be added at all. Something is required to enhance.
I’m here to (literally) strip all of that away. Women are beautiful on their own.
I said a couple of years ago to a friend I wanted to photograph a ballet dancer, and that friend connected me with another who connected me with Carly.
Carly’s since graduated after studying dance at the college level, and now teaches. I had not been near (as in the same room) with someone who had such talent, and she seemed to tower over me when she put her shoes on and did the ‘en pointe’ thing. I may have actually been on a step ladder for some of those shots.
There was a quiet grace about her as she began to stretch and get ready, and then she basically started doing her thing even though the floor was slippery, I made her get into a couple of poses a dancer would never be in, and a few other slip-ups.