Cycles of the Seasons

Does your energy shift with the shorter daylight hours? Do you notice your mood lift when pineapples are in season and the sun kisses your shoulders? That’s because just as we have physical seasons in nature, we have seasons within ourselves. 

This is a visual representation of how we can celebrate the cycles of the seasons within ourselves. Treat your own cycles with the same respect and patience as you would with nature. That is, flow versus resistance. Change versus conformity. True expression versus silence. 

I’m incredibly proud of this personal project and grateful to have worked with another beautiful being that allowed me to take her photograph and create genuinely. So immediately after delivering her final photos I contacted my model to see how she felt. We spoke about some of her concerns around being a first time model, her experience in front of the camera and what helped her get comfortable and be herself.

EV: What were your first thoughts when you saw your final photos? How did they make you feel?

Honestly, it almost doesn’t even feel like me. There was a part of me that was like, “Is that MY face?” At the same time there was another part that was like, “Holy shit! That’s my face.” It feels like an out-of-body experience- like, “Okay, look at me, I’m high-key rocking it out here.”

Whenever I have a womxn shooting for the first time, they all have some sort of insecurity or worry about being in front of the camera. What were yours? 

There was definitely a lot of, “Okay Raphael, don’t make those stupid faces of yours.” There was also a lot of insecurity around my body/posture and whether you would be able to actually see my insecurity through the photos. There is also the aspect of the fact that I’ve been dealing with chronic health issues a lot so my weight has been fluctuating. I definitely feel like I’ve been on my thinner end lately and had a lot of anxiety around “looking like a stick.” 

What was your actual experience like (shooting with me)? 

It was really fun! I was super comfortable with you and the addition of Jidenna playing in the background made it super easy to kinda get lost in the atmosphere and enjoy it, rather than being in my head the entire time. You were also really great with gentle direction and suggestion so I felt like it flowed really well.  

Based on your experience, do you have any personal tips for anyone wanting to shoot for the 1st time?

AHHHHHHH. Honestly, the quote, “Act like you have the confidence of a mediocre white man,” comes to mind. Even when I didn’t necessarily feel like I looked good, I tried to imagine that I was the hottest person I knew and made faces accordingly. 

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