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"Naked Soul Series"
"At the deepest level, the creative process and the healing process arise from a single source.
When you are an artist, you are a healer; a wordless trust of the same mystery is
the foundation of your work and its integrity."
- Rachel Naomi Remen, MD
We all have burdens to bare. Let's face it, life can be hard and challenging at times, especially now that we are living this strange reality of being alive during a 'pandemic'. The flip side to all the challenges is that life can also be wonderful in many ways. We have the ability to learn, to grow, and to heal by making the most of what we carry, especially when we can find some semblance of meaning and purpose in all the suffering. There is always a lighter side for every shadowy aspect we must live.
The Naked Soul Series is about creating an artistic body of work that explores the Freudian-like concepts of taking a deep dive into our subconscious minds to root through our pain so that we may transcend our suffering and shape it like clay into a more peaceful mindset. Through an intuitively led process, we will explore together an aspect of pain you are willing and ready to explore through the art of portraiture. It is important to note that although I have a great passion for psychology I am not a licensed therapist.
In order to participate in this series it is of paramount importance that you have access to a stable network of friends, family, and/or professionals you can seek help from if things become too overwhelming or if you feel triggered, anxious, or overwhelmed by talking about your pain, or exploring it through an art project. I have high regard and respect for a person's mental health and overall wellbeing.
I also believe to be happy in life we need a balance of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health as well as many tools in our tool bag to navigate hard times. For anyone that chooses to participate in this project, they will be reminded, if at any time during the process of a session, or leading up to one or following one you are struggling I would urge and encourage you to seek the help of a mental health professional immediately.
It is my hope that through this project people will find value and hidden gifts of joy in their pain, and perhaps come to appreciate the healing energy of art. Due to the sensitive nature of participating in a session like this, a special model release waiver will be required to be read, discussed, and signed. On the waiver, I will include the contact information for mental health services in our area. Depending on the nature of what you are healing, you may be asked to work with a mental health professional prior to or to participate safely in the session. There is of course some onus on the participant to self-monitor their mood or any symptoms and to seek help for themselves. I would encourage also that we both respect each other's boundaries, and I would ask individuals to report to me (the artist) if they are comfortable in proceeding or not. I will do my best to ensure confidentiality of topics discussed in our time together, but can not guarantee with 100 percent accuracy the protection of confidential material, as there will be a written release waiver to complete and a google document application form shared over the internet through our respective google accounts and communication.
It is well documented in the human sciences that art has incredible therapeutic power. Many people have reported feeling more hopeful, and a sense of relief after participating in art as a healer. We can decrease cortisol and stress hormones in the body by participating in art, and even by appreciating it. Even Harvard Medical is noting the importance of art as a healer, check it out by clicking on the following link; https://www.health.harvard.edu/mental-health/the-healing-power-of-art
It is my vision that a session like this can create a sense of release, and allow more room for the energy of joy and gratitude to enter the soul. If pain can transform into peace, then a more peaceful life may be led. A series like this allows someone the space to call back their power to themselves through a playful process and gentle exploration. Freedom of movement and expression throughout the photo session will allow participants to feel safe as these are primarily client-led sessions.
"Art is a wound turned into light." - Georges Braque
Before a session takes place we will have the chance to meet virtually and talk about your comfort levels in being photographed, and give lots of space for questions. Together we will create a storyboard for your session that includes wardrobe or lack of. Sessions like this are meant to show the human form. Although this series is called, 'The Naked Soul", complete nudity is NOT required to participate. The positioning of clothing and fabric draping over a person will be an important aspect of the shoot's creativity. You may even choose to remain anonymous in your images. In order to protect anonymity in a session we can use props, hair, fabric draping, posing and camera composition and framing. We can also choose discreet locations for added privacy. Again, these sessions are largely client-led. You are welcome to bring along a friend or family member to be by your side throughout the process, from start to finish. You may even choose to be photographed with a safe person in your life. Your comfort and security are so important to me as an artist.
If I feel that you are not ready to participate or can foresee a possibility that you might not be a good fit for the project I will maintain my right to cancel our session at any point in time during the process.
Due to covid-19, sessions will follow all government laws in respect to maintaining the health and safety of the client(s) and myself, the artist, and all sessions will be conducted at an agreed outdoor location. Covid-19 policies are posted on this website under the "Services and Bookings" tab at the top of the page. Please read through these carefully.
Safe social distancing will need to be maintained throughout the process, therefore it would be helpful to have someone in your bubble with you if you are comfortable doing so to assist you with wardrobe and posing directions (from me). If you will be photographed by yourself without the help of a loved one then I will direct posing at a safe distance from 6 feet away. In order to participate, you must be at least 18 years of age.
Depending on the success of this series, it may become a regular session choice that I offer long-term. For the time being, these sessions are only going to be offered for a limited time frame. Session bookings will begin effective immediately for the 2021 summer and early fall season. Please see the "Services and Bookings" tab at the top of the page and look for the "Naked Soul Series" offered in the list of services and click on the "Book Now" button to begin the booking process.
Sessions will be offered at a start-up reduced rate of $50, the non-refundable retainer amount that is required to confirm any booking. I would like these sessions to be affordable to anyone who is wanting to participate, so I have kept session fees to the bare minimum (no pun intended). However, digital files will remain the copyright of me, the artist. Images may be displayed in a print exhibition on the wall or in a book or other printing format at a later date. Signing the release waiver will also include the allowance of printing for these promotional purposes. We will follow up the photography with an image reveal session where you will get to see your best images. You will be offered the opportunity to order photographic prints in a variety of formats during the image reveal session. You are not obligated to purchase any prints whatsoever, but if you choose to order a professional print or printing product I will gift you the signed digital file at no added cost.
On that note, I will wrap up this introduction to this very exciting project with a quote from the wonderful author Gary Zukav. It was while watching him on an Oprah episode that I felt inspired to create this series. I highly recommend his books for anyone actively seeking to heal in mind, body, and spirit (as if there were ever any other way).
"If you don't experience your pain you will remain locked in the pain in your emotional experience of life."
Inspired and excited to join you in this healing journey,