I've always been quiet and soft … outwardly anyways. I didn't often voice my thoughts or opinions, I apologized for things I didn't need to, I tried not to take up too much space, and I thought so much about what would make other people happy, or like me more, that I pushed my own needs/desires/sense of self so far down, and the "softness" became the central part of my personality. But that's not all that I am.
There is strength in softness and vulnerability and love … but there is also strength in knowing yourself fully, all of the other/darker/harder parts of yourself, and embracing those as well.
I may still be quiet and soft and introverted and empathetic — but there are other parts of me that are hard and loud and seductive and stubborn and angry. Being on my own has allowed me to look closer at those parts of myself and feel comfortable with allowing other people to see them as well.
Recently, I've found that I don't put up with the bullshit that I would have in the past, I'm not willing to waste my time with personal relationships where people aren't willing to give as much as I am, and I'm done only acting in a way only to make other people feel comfortable.
There's a fine line between selfishness and understanding your own needs and while I'm still working on finding it, I hope that I'm getting closer.
For so long I talked about strength in femininity, or strength in the less obvious sense, and while I think that is still important and true, I don't feel like I've truly allowed myself to be anything else.
So as I typically do, I found myself with my camera in hand, feeling the desire to express myself visually in a way that words couldn't.
I have been slowly collecting a small arsenal of photo equipment, and I finally purchased light stands for my strobes today (longgg overdue). So when I got home at 9pm, I immediately got to work. Taking the role of not only photographer, but art director, hair and makeup, and model, I started shooting, and almost two hours later I wrapped up, and got to work as the retoucher as well. These photos turned out more glamorous than I originally intended, but my work often centers around soft light, things that are "beautiful" and far from harsh. I wanted to maintain my personal aesthetic, while still communicating something a little different.
Much like the way that I'm still trying to understand myself, this work is also a work in progress… but no matter what, I am just excited to be shooting again after a long hiatus.
Now that it's almost 2:30am … I'm going to stop rambling and hope that this is at least semi coherent ..!