When I was a child I used to love being photographed. My main photographer was my cousin, Laura. Wearing different outfits, posing, dancing and listening to music made photo sessions something fun. Somehow over the time, I lost this or better said I started being shy in front of the camera. You know how when you were young you used to do all these things without giving a thought to, being fearless and careless. Well that was me with photography and so many other things. This photo shooting helped me to go back to that brave kid, to my true essence.
I met Vlada through an English school in Chicago. One day during break I was grabbing some lunch and this girl with beautiful big blue eyes asks me if she can sit with me ” Sure” , I answer. We exchanged a few words, not enough to get to know each other well but enough to feel more comfortable around each other. She is a portrait and urban photographer from Saint- Petersburg, Russia. More of an introvert kind of person, but really spectacular in her work. I guess she expresses her deep self through her art, which I love and truly respect. I love people who found and follow their passion. They are an example for me, they show that you can do what you love and do it greatly! Follow her work at @infernilo.
One day, scrolling on Instagram I see her post saying she needs models for photo shooting. Something sparkled in me. Should I do it? ” No, no, no, what are you talking about? What you are a model now? Who do you think you are?What will people think or say?” , my Self-judge started talking. ” But I am in my break year, I can do and try whatever I want. And I can be whoever I want, because I am nothing now.” said my Inner child. ” No you can’t do whatever you want. Look at you, doing nothing for a year and now you want to be a model.” Self judge was winning it. Usually it’s a fight between these two. That is why I actually took this break, to discover myself and see what I like and not like but what I discovered was a scared Self and a Self judge haha. Great friends! I thought ” You know what? I am just gonna do it! What can happen?”
Took a few outfits with me and headed to Vlada’s place. It started slowly, with Maya ( follow her great work at @beautybymayamonet) doing my make-up, Vlada taking a few ” behind the scene” shots, listening to music, laughing and talking about how each of them had discovered their passion. Being a ” trying to find my own passion” kind of person makes you admire the ” I found mine” kind of people so much. You ask them questions, thinking that maybe there is a secret recipe for it out there that you have no idea of. Haha. But no secret recipe.. it’s all about following your heart!
After 5 hours of being on high heels, posing in different postures, running 3-4 times in the same direction just to get the perfect shot, sitting in a not very comfortable position for five to ten minutes, being told what to do and how to pose, I decided this model thing is not for me. Haha. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I loved it, I felt like a celebrity. With Maya ( the make-up artist) freshen up or changing my make-up every 15 minutes on the street, all these people passing me by, stopping their cars to admire me, complimenting me, shouting at me ” You are beautiful!”, I felt awesome. I really felt amazing! It’s great, I would do it again if I’d be asked to. But I wouldn’t do a career out of it. I learned a lot of things about me from this photo shooting. I found out I don’t like being told what to do, I actually don’t like just being , like a piece of furniture. I like expressing, creating, doing and showing my own perspective. And as much as I like high heels, it was hard to spend so much time wearing them, not being able to sit for a minute.
It was an awesome experience. I thank God, the Universe and myself for doing this. I learned so many things and it changed my perspective about models so much. It really took me out of my bubble. Before I used to want to be like them, I used to think ” How cool your life can be? Just wearing nice clothes and being photographed everyday? Travel and be happy all the time.” But no, at least not for me and I want to say to you all that not for those models either. What you see it’s only the result, only the end. Which is amazing! But that’s hours of work, for the model and even more the photographer, editing and choosing from thousands of photos. Of course it’s worth it, but until there, it’s hard work! We live in an Instagram and Facebook world where we all mostly post beautiful photos, sometimes after taking five of them just to get the perfect shot. I like that. But don’t get lost in this perfect effortless world social media has created for us.