An opportunity I
was given took.
I asked my dear photographer friend to do me the honor of taking some pictures of me that might be used in my book. She has photographed me before and those pictures are among the absolute favorite images that I have of myself.
She rented a studio. I was very close to being on time.
I arrived hungry and spent but I brought along some maki and spring rolls to share. Eating was my first priority. I felt a little cranky from the day’s nonsense. Thankfully we were not in a rush. We chatted as I fed myself and she fiddled with getting the espresso machine to produce something potable.
We’ve been friends for many years. We used to work in the same school. I’m still there. She moved on and now does only the photography that’s worth doing. I love her work.
I changed into a simple summer dress. Perhaps my favorite by now – it’s blue and feminine and undemanding.
To begin she showed me an approximate spot on the backdrop spread and instructed me to close my eyes and just dance. Music was playing, I felt relief and began to move. I dance rather naturally. If there’s music that speaks to me, I just listen and respond, however I choose, in whatever way I feel. She encouraged me to do precisely that.
small movements, just the hands, then a slight sway of the torso. My eyes stayed closed while my shoulders relaxed and my feet joined the party.
At some point I opened my eyes and danced more freely. Twisting, turning, reaching, bending. She asked me to spin. My skirt rose while my calves flashed. The soles of my feet peeking out at the camera lens, also wanting to be seen, appreciated.
Music flowed – some familiar, some not – and I moved. I sat on a stool and danced. I sat on the floor and danced. From time to time L. would show me a group of pictures, excited about their beauty. And I agreed. They were beautiful photos. Of me. Just moving, talking laughing in front of the camera without a care, well, in those moments I felt beautiful. Graceful. Strong. Expressive.
There was nothing hard about it. I got to be me – dancing, moving, conversational me. L. gets me. She sees me for who I am and knew exactly how to help me show who I am for the camera.
In the afterglow I realize what a rare gift I have been given. These few hours in a spotlight that is kind, generous and warming. I put myself on display for an opportunity to be seen and to see myself.
Tomorrow I will get to see a sample of what the camera captured. I wonder what my memory will say.