After I posted my image of figure studies to this blog, I received a message from Katy. She was inspired by my images to try to pose for similar images. I knew Katy through working together briefly and of course through her yummy blog Katy’s Kitchen. When I first met her, her confidence and assuredness stood out and her short hair just rocked, so I knew we’d get some great images!
We did the shoot, and had a great time,all the while talking about all the interests we had in common: music, photography, feminism, body issues and social media. Through it all we created a ton of great images. I really think her confidence comes through in this photos.
When we were scheduling the shoot, Katy hinted that she had reached some sort of milestone in her life, so in preparation of this blog post I asked if she could maybe talk about the decision behind doing this shoot and what the experience was like. She eagerly agreed to but I was completely floored by her reply.
“As a survivor of sexual assault, standing half naked in front of a camera lens left me feeling exposed, vulnerable, and afraid—but also empowered. Like many other women, I have had the ownership of my body stolen from me. As a result, I am cautious and hyper-vigilant, especially in situations where the possibility of a threat exists.
Being partly unclothed in a photography studio was, to my brain, a very real threat. But having these photos taken was entirely my choice, and taking the opportunity to use my body for art and personal growth was indescribable. When I left the studio I was overtaken with emotion. I felt powerful, beautiful, and strong—but also emotionally exhausted. Fearing danger is draining. But as I look through the photos from that day, in my eyes I see true resilience.”
Katy has written more about her experience for the Manitoban here
Before she revealed the back story to our shoot I was already honoured she asked me to photograph her. But learning of all this I was humbled that she has chosen me to be the one to create these images for her.
I feel everyone deserves the opportunity to see an image of themselves in a light that’s positive and uplifting. I consider it one of the greatest gifts to be able to use all the tools I have developed over the course of my career to create those images.
Thank you Katy.