I didn’t completely understand how powerfully portraiture can change the way a person sees themselves, but Flower changed that. I have learned how truly transformative the portrait experience can be.
Flower is a DJ and model, I have photographed her for years and we’ve had a great working relationship. I loved working with Flower, she always understood my vision and we created magic when we worked together.
Unfortunately I didn’t really know how things were going in Flower’s personal life. At one point while editing her photos I noticed an unusually undertone in her skin color, when I exaggerated the effect I was shocked! I saw what Flower was hiding, the bruises we undeniable. I reached out to her and asked if everything was ok, but Flower just wasn’t ready to share.
Flower was changed by her portrait experience, she was empowered. Flower later told me that I changed the way she saw herself, I changed her perception of her value.
Flower chose to leave her abuser and got a restraining order. Unfortunately a restraining order is only a piece of paper. Late one night Flower came home to her apartment, she unlocked the door, flipped on the light and made her way to her bedroom. Flower was shocked to see her abuser in her apartment, waiting for her with a knife in his hand. He grabbed Flower’s phone and keys and threw them, then he turned off the light, now she was in a fight for her life. The first strike of the blade was under her jaw missing her artery, stopped only by running into her tooth. Flower fought valiantly to protect herself and crawl toward the door to escape, slipping in her own blood as she fought her way out. Over twenty stab wounds and permanent facial nerve damage but she survived!
Even though Flower can no longer properly smile, she is happy because she can no longer frown either. Flower’s abuser is in prison, serving a very long sentence for trying to kill her.
I know the value of portraiture! Your transformation may not be as dramatic, but I guarantee that you will be transformed. It is a powerful thing to see yourself… to really see and appreciate yourself. Portraiture is life changing.
As a Photographer, Portraiture feeds my should and makes my heart sing. Showing someone their beauty can be a life changing experience.
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