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.
Catherine Howard (one of King Henry VIII’s wives) has been referred to as “the rose without a thorn.” Always beautiful, always proper. Women call themselves today to be that rose in society, and to hide the thorns. Be flawless.
Roses and thorns though are part of the same plant. The rose stays on the plant for only a few days, the thorn is there forever – and some say it’s there to protect the plant from being eaten by animals – so the thorns then make the rose possible.
People tend to see the beauty of the rose and pretend the thorn is not present, but on a cactus the only thing that you can see is thorns but in fact many bloom quite beautifully.
In either case – the thorns are what makes the plants that carry the beauty, survive.
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”
― Marilyn Monroe
We all seem to get stuck in things that we believe are true. Especially when it comes to our own self. That’s why I tell clients to “be open to the experience that could change you.”
A client wrote after her session recently, “There is something about choosing to be vulnerable, about seeing yourself from a different perspective and trusting in something unknown that is both powerful and therapeutic.”Because realizing who you are is a mind-blowing experience, compared to spending your life wanting to be someone else.
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.
I’ve been reflecting, like most folks today, on the lessons learned at the feet of our fathers. He taught me how to paint with some gray, heavy, oil-based stuff on the front porch. I think he re-did most of what I painted, truth be known.
I’m still not the painter he is, but at least I know a good paint job when I see it. Like say here on my friend Ashley. She’s the 3rd model to take a sponge brush and cover herself with paint that later washes off with soap and water – trying to see if we can make some images that look like she’s been sculpted out of stone.
I think from this series – the hands are the most fascinating thing: