Stories

Creating Light photo adventures & inspiring stories.
 

Finding Voice

Portrait 28 }

My feet were burning, the sweat rolling down my back and I was covered in dust from head to toe. 

And yet I was ECSTATIC. 

I was nearing the end of a 4 hour portrait session with 4 different women. Feeling more alive with each beautifully unique soul that I photographed. The last of which walked through the door of the studio with her gorgeous head of curls and sat on the chair in front of me as I snapped away. 

Sherien-Portrait

I have known Sherien for many years as a coworker from a previous job. However there's something a little different about putting a person in front of the lens.

It completely illuminates the subject.

She was no longer just the familiar face waving at me from the other cubicle, she was a woman of so many facets and energy and PRESENCE. I often stand in awe in front of these women, feeling honoured to capture their portraits. Noticing the light that they carry, sometimes themselves not even realizing how dazzling it is. 

We all wear masks of varying transparencies. And at different times they take on many forms. As a photographer I try to see and connect beyond this veiled barrier. To the authentic essence of the person standing before me. To see them for who they are in that moment.

And in order to do that I need to soften my own guard as well. And leave myself open for that connection. 

Sherien Portrait

And I was so glad when I had the chance to further connect with Sherien a few weeks later over a yummy meal in the city's east end. We talked about the amazing adventures she's having as the passionate, talented creator behind Taza Media. The documentaries and stories that she tells are textured with meaning, driven by the issues of race, restorative justice, and life's social complexities. And she advocates for and illuminates these topics with both a commanding and artful touch.

During our lunch date we talked about her recent travels while filming the new documentary feature House of Z, capturing the life & career of fashion design Zac Posen, as well as her previous work Colour Me about reexamining black identity & youth.

We talked about what it was like to tell the stories of others. Of being able to share their voice and finding our own through our creative work. And the struggles and beauty of being a woman and creating a meaningful life. 

Sherien's work and drive inspire me. And it was wonderful to be able to reconnect with this vibrant beautiful soul.


Other 100 Portraits stories...