Creating an image…

“One bit of advice I could give you is to invest in someone who really knows what they’re doing to do your photos…”

A photo shoot… With a professional photographer. Got it.

As we sat for a cuppa and chat, Matt Bone had so many bits of advice to offer! As I grope my way around in the dark of this musical world of ‘getting it out there some’, his words were like shining lights. Matt is not only an incredible musician, and a man of much pearly wisdom when it comes to the music industry, but also a genuinely kind and lovely fellow.

Having said that, the idea of a photo shoot (beyond in the back yard with my mum, who happens to be a great photographer I might add) made my skin crawl. I really struggle with the idea of having to ‘create an image of myself’. It’s just not something I want to do. I just want to be myself and share my music and art with you. That’s all. Not create an image. I remember a man telling me outside a venue once: “if you want to get your music out there, you’ve got to sell yourself.” But I don’t want to do that either. It makes me sad to think that in this world, if you want to pursue your passion in music and art, you feel like you have to slice up your soul, rearrange it, and present it on a shiny dish in an attempt to sell it. What does what I look like have to do with how my music sounds or my art looks anyway?

So here’s the big question I want to know…how do I share my music and art with the world, without feeling like I need to create an image to sell?

….Well anyway, I did it. I found a fellow who’s photos look more like paintings, and that lured me in. He also offered to do the shoot in a beautiful natural setting instead of in a studio. Double plus. Bleary eyed, I parked my car just as the first rays of light splayed over the sand dunes, and like golden streamers through the wattle leaves. I felt a bit weird wearing my favourite earrings to the beach at 7 in the morning. But kind of special also. Not being one to wear make-up or sparkly clothes on any occasion, these lovely earrings were my one symbol of dressing up a little. Making it a bit special.

Arterium, his friend and I walked over the damp grass towards a beautiful tree, where the golden light created shiny borders of light around each leaf, and turned the green interior slightly translucent. Before we began, Arterium encouraged us to close our eyes and set an intention for the shoot. Gratitude for the beauty of the natural world surrounding us and a wish to capture something real and beautiful. Reverence. This was clearly beyond just business. This was his creative and soul-led art.

I could feel my heart beating in my mouth. I was a little nervous because I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to pose. Even the idea of posing makes me feel uncomfortable and in-genuine.

Arterium didn’t ask me to pose. Lucky.. Just to close my eyes. Listen to the birds. Move in my body. Dance a little, if I felt like it. Just to relax and feel into my body a bit. That I could do. I closed my eyes and focused all my attention on my senses. I listened hard and let the birds tell me their morning story. And curled my arms and fingers around the strands of wind, as it twirled on past. I moved gently to the rhythm of it’s rustle through the leaves around me. Stopping and listening to the natural world felt familiar and genuine to me. This I could do. This felt good. As long as he didn’t ask me to open my eyes too many times, where I’d be reminded of that camera lens…

We moved over the grass, up onto the dunes and down onto the beach. A large bird of prey with a white belly sat high on a nearby branch. Osprey or Sea Eagle, I couldn’t quite tell, but it was big. The sun turned the ocean into a giant bath of gold. I sat in the water, guitar in my lap, squinting in the morning sunlight. And all the while Arterium reminded me not to try. Just to keep tuning into the natural world around me, I so adore. I drank up that golden sunlight, and delighted in the cool salt water seeping through my clothes.

I guess it wasn’t so bad after all. In fact, it was a nicer more meaningful experience than I could have hoped for.

Gazing through the many beautiful photos after wards, I felt a gratitude for this kind of photography as an art form. Yes, I guess it is still ‘creating an image’, but perhaps more like the way I create an image when I paint. In each fleeting moment, Arterium had to see the light, the patterns, the shapes, the feeling, and be right there in the right place to capture it into a picture. Using golden sunlight and water as his paint, instead of oils. And all the while, encouraging me out of my shell, but not too much. Just enough, to keep it real…

I guess what I have learned is that you can put heart and creative love into anything you choose do.

Here are some of them… There are so many to choose from! Tell me which ones you like best 🙂

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