Opened Eyes

I had an interesting moment this morning.  The more I have distanced myself from my old career the more I can see why I left.  For many years I worked as a professional fashion/glamour photographer.  While I still take photos and still have many friends who are models and actors and I still love the people I have met and worked with over the years, there are a few things I just will not miss.

The drama of it all.  I really have a deep appreciation for the people I have met in this industry who I now call friends.  But those who are very selfish people and are very cut throat types are the ones who I am happy to be away from.  The true narcissism of some people can really weigh on a person.

I had a person recently get angry with me because I had to tell her that I would not be able to hire her for a shoot.  Before I could tell her that it was because I was retired and not shooting for that particular brand anymore, she decided it was okay to go off on me and that I was not going to find a better model and so on.  I felt bad.  She has been taught this insecurity and must lash out at me because there is no way it could be herself or anything she did to not get hired.  This is true, it isn’t her, I don’t have the work for her.  It is me.  But even when I gave her the true explanation why she was still angry with me.

Her immediate response with anger and just wanting to lash out has really made me realize that I no longer wish to have this tough skin which is required to be in this business.  I like being nice, I like being the guy who has fun and just takes photos of his friends.  Luckily I have lots of friends who like to be in front of the camera and love to just play around with different ideas.

When I first met Olivia it was while I was still working as a photographer and we were shooting for a magazine editorial.  I think this was one of the “ah-ha” moments for me.  I had already started this little church thing going on here and this was the day I realized that I can mix all of my worlds into one.

In between looks for the magazine shoot Olivia had asked me about some socks she had brought.  They were thigh high socks which she had completely warn out from her dance classes.  I asked her what she wanted to wear with them and she simply said “nothing”.  Now I’m not trying to push nudity on anyone here, but this was one of those moments when there just could not be any other wardrobe.  There was this freedom and innocence and just an overwhelming sense of being in the now.

This began the immediate friendship between us.  She and I shared a vision and were able to both be ourselves.  We shot this little series in about 15 minutes.  She then went back to hair and make up, got the wardrobe for the next set and we went on to shoot this editorial piece.  But this little series of images always reminds me of the good that has come from my past days working as a professional photographer.

For years I kept my photography, wood working, being Reverend Jim and my musical career all separate from each other.  I always thought that they just could not co-exist and that I needed to focus on one or the other.  What I have realized this morning is that bringing them all together is what makes me who I am.  I have to be all I am, and also bringing all of them together gives me much better insight into why I should or should not do something.

Olivia

Because of many reasons, far too many to list in this already too long post, I left the fashion/glamour industry.  I now know that I just have to let in the good and I need to maintain the friendships I have made over the years.  This could be the whole reason I was meant to be in the industry in the first place. Not for fame or fortune, but to simply have met the wonderful people who are now a part of my life.

I am not sure if everything happens for a reason.  But things do happen, good and bad, and how we deal with them and how we let them affect us can (and should be) totally up to us.

Olivia

I feel bad for the bad feelings of the model I didn’t hire, but I still wish her the best and I hope she finds her happiness in life.  For me, happiness has found me, I just needed to open my eyes and realize it was there all along.