“One of the greatest tragedies in life is to lose your own sense of self & accept the version of you that is expected by everyone else.” – K.L Toth.
Initially I wanted this image to represent how I thought addiction would feel... but as I was drawing this vision in my journal a man with many smile lines asked if he could share my table at the Brunswick Pub... I of course said yes.
He shared with me his story of being conscripted to the military and being forced to fight a war he didn't believe in in Vietnam as a twenty year old man.
I couldn't help but feel incredible gratitude for having the choice to live my life the way I choose, and also empathy for Richard who didn't have a choice. My direction and vision for this image changed after meeting Him.
These days, its uncommon for us to experience situations like Richard's, but we still can get pulled into someone else's idea of who we should be, how we should act, where we should direct our attention & how we should live our lives. Sometimes it’s difficult to ground ourselves when we are being pulled in different directions, but intrinsically we know if we are in integrity with our soul’s purpose.
Creating this image was my greatest challenge as yet with composite photography... I was unsure of how I was going to make it work with the skyline and amalgamating the body and root system, but I wanted to give it my best effort.
I asked Kaleb Kennedy to help me and he was perfect for the job given that he is incredibly bodily aware with his yoga training. His enthusiam also helped me with my confidence.
I have pieced together several images here to build the final image. I had to go to a local school yard and feed the birds mince in order to catch the images of the crows in flight, and take a few different landscape images to get the feel that I wanted.
We had some time after the shoot to take advantage of the beautiful surroundings for some yoga portraits, too.