I was invited to have a solo photography show at the Art Place in Chilhowie, Virginia. I knew how I wanted it to look, but I didn't have the whole picture together. I knew I wanted to have three different areas to display: creative portraits, client portraits, and a special group of portraits (ladies who are angels in the community) I photographed just for this show. I have been photographing and editing all summer! Finally, the title of show came to me: goddesses, heroes and dreams.
The goddess are my clients' portraits (there are a few gods too). When someone comes to me for a portrait, I try and create an image in which my client sees themself as a goddess/god. I want them to see the incredible person that they have been hiding for years. So often we are afraid to show our true selves for fear of being torn down. However, when you reach a pure point of enthusiasm in your life, when you heart is so full of who you truly are, nobody can touch you. The root of the work enthusiasm means "to filled with the gods." When you reach that state of being full of the gods, it doesn't matter what anybody thinks or says, you are free. That is the state I try to capture with my clients, an image showing them at their most fearless.
I knew I wanted to create a new set of images specially for this show. I also knew I wanted this series to be about women in our community that do amazing things, but do them quietly. So I asked around to a few trusted friends, "Who do you think these amazing women are?" It was funny how I got similar names from different people. All the ladies I worked with were a pleasure, and all so different in their passions and backgrounds. But what they have in common is a light that shines so bright from their eyes. All of them are confident, true of spirit, fearless, yet kind.
The creative images all came from my head (some from the heads of my clients). I get images caught in my mind's eye like some people get songs caught in their ear. Once I get something stuck in my head, I have to make it a reality. The creative process is half of what I see in my mind, but the other half is a game of chance. Is the clay going to dry too quick? Is the costume going to fit? Will light be right? The end product of creative portraits is a combination of what I have dreamed, and what actually manifested in the real world.
Putting all these elements together is exciting and pushes me toward my next goals as a photographer. I'm now open for a new era of portraits for the end of 2023 and going into 2024.
I hope you will come see my work at The Art Place, 124 E. Lee Highway, Chilhowie VA. It is at the red light across from Greever's Drug. Look for my work in the window. My photography will be up from Sept. 21 2023-Oct 29 2023. On Thursday, September 21, 2023 at 6:30 is an artist reception for the opening of the show. I would love to see you there.