We are born perfect little beings. No sins stain our pasts; no mistakes redden our cheeks; no idealizations corrupt our self-image, and no judgements enter our minds. We are simply natural sensory animals. But somewhere during the process of growing we start building defensive walls, one brick - one experience - at a time. As the bricks pile up we find ourselves emotionally disconnected from others and fearful of opening our inner selves, even to those we love. But what would happen if we risked cracking open these walls? Could we then free ourselves from the binding shackles of social expectations, judgement and fear? What would the experience of life be if vulnerability was effortless?
I found myself asking these exact questions after retiring from a brief modeling career. Measured, compared, and judged for years, I realized my discontentment stemmed from a subconscious need to meet an idealized standard, one that society and modeling taught me. The modeling world allowed me opportunities for international travel and gave me a window into a unique industry that few experience, but it also helped to create problems that affected my perceptions of self and my ability to open to others. Feeling lost and numb, I searched for a way to rid myself of the ghost of expectations past - something I found through photography and immersion in nature, which eventually led to the creation of the Intimate collection.
Through the ambiguous shadows, curves, and bristles of the photographs, we find comfort in another person; therapy in the rhythm of an animal’s heartbeat; or even freedom in a new landscape. Renewing ourselves, even momentarily, affords us a much-needed change in perspective and allows us to take the first step towards healing. I believe, at our roots, bodies and beings are pure and wholesome, clean and real - no matter the story behind them. When we decide to stop listening to input from messages of shame or self judgement, and we honestly acknowledge and embrace the vulnerability that defines us, we can truly be intimate.