Footage: SpiderMeka ©2012
My mother was a photo hobbyist. Her favorite subject was the moon. She could never take enough photos of the moon. So. Many. Photos. Interestingly enough, I realize now how her impulse was a mirror of the ideologies I learned from her – to aim high, and to never stop seeing the beauty in the everyday.
When my mom retired, she gave most of her photography equipment to me. Lights, modifiers, backdrops.... Her camera wouldn't detach from her hand without a surgeon, so I made an investment. I started taking pictures with a purpose. I took time to focus and frame and tell a story. Framing moments became an excitement and urge that I received from few other activities. I have five sisters, and I happened to be the only one following her into our basement darkroom, imbibing photo joy. Thanks, mommy.
Why Beauty Portraits?
My heart breaks when I hear women speak negatively about their natural features, or complain about those “extra” pounds. Women are the nurturers in the community – we do so much for others that we forget to take care of ourselves, and when we do think of ourselves, we say too many things about how we're not good enough, not fortunate enough, or not pretty enough.
I spent 20 years in Chicago making celebrities flawless for magazine spreads, regularly asked to de-humanize proportions and textures. Natural beauty is far more interesting and appealing than some of the facsimilies I was asked to produce. I've embraced the study of lighting, posing, and styling to now share the truth of how a combination of these three simple things is all that's needed to bring out how uniquely breathtaking you are.
Beauty is not confined to magazine covers. Beauty is not an unattainable object. Beauty is what happens when we love who we are.
Before we even talk about snapping a picture, take a moment and remember how valuable you are. You are more than a wife or mother or employee. You deserve to remember you are important and amazing, and to allow yourself to be empowered by that.
Imagine how it would feel to be empowered by your own image. How valuable it is to have a photograph of yourself to hang on the wall – one that makes you stop and stare in awe every time you look at it, and to take that feeling with you throughout your day. You deserve that reminder. You deserved to be framed.
Why NOT now? Our culture has been brainwashed long enough with beauty being some supernatural quality. Working with one of the most influential persons on the planet definitely gave me the right perspective to not fear moving forward when your heart is in the right place and you have the opportunity to do what you love. All of life's experiences culminate to this very moment. Let the past propel you onward to greater things.
Why the Spider?
When I was very young, I sat cross-legged in the grass of my parents’ backyard and watched a tiny spider weave its web in a slab of old wood. To this day, that patient creation remains one of the most beautiful works of art I have ever seen….
Sometimes this world feels big, and I feel like the tiny spider in it. The spider has become a representation of the focus and grace that one small entity can put into creating something awesome, gratifying and functional, no matter how big its surroundings.
As an adult and a photographer, I embody the spider, making something beautiful that I hope others will pause to appreciate, like I did, many years ago.
Thank you – and take your time viewing some of what I have woven.