A lot can happen in a year. There are times when you feel like you’re going backwards, and times when you’re flying so far forward you’re not quite sure what to hold on to. A few days ago I went up to Duluth, MN to visit Laura. We figured that we’ve been friends since we’ve been conscious and spent two blissful days on Lake Superior soaking in its beauty.
I knew I wanted to shoot with Laura since it had been over 2 years, and I had a vision of a flowy red skirt and the vastness of the lake being some key components. On a whim, I bought a $7 skirt from Wal-Mart and we made it happen.
Sometimes when I go into a shoot that’s personal, I know that I want drama or depth of emotion but I’m not quite sure why. This day was no different. Laura and I climbed down to a perfect spot along the shore and instantly fell into the rhythm that I was hoping for. Although we spent a good chunk of time making jokes and imagining fake captions to what felt like incredibly over-dramatic photographs as we made them, we didn’t stop chasing that mood.
Until I sat down to cull through the images, I still wasn’t sure what the point was. Okay, a pretty girl, a flowy skirt, a beautiful vista…can it mean anything? Will it?
As I worked through the photos I couldn’t help but feel so deeply about how they speak to the gamut of human emotion. The vastness of Lake Superior acts as a foil so huge and powerful that one can’t help but feel that their emotions may be unwarranted or at least unimportant in the vast scheme of nature. Such a large body of water is capable of crushing ships mercilessly and certainly has no thoughts about us. But, in spite of the cruel truth of nature taking it’s course, water can reflect such an intense feeling of turmoil, or of peace, or of longing. It often personifies our feelings in a way that makes us feel that maybe, just maybe, it’s listening.
So, a lot can happen in a year. For me, this shoot takes us through it all. Peace, trouble, strife, longing, laughter and everything in between. Part of being friends with Laura for so long is that we have an incredible sensitivity to each others emotions – whether we are together or miles apart. I think in between the joking Laura let me truly see her and I knew in which moments she was being herself with no pretense. Afterwards we were both bone tired and I felt like for some reason we had just had a heart to heart conversation without words.
I hope these images translate the depth of my intent to you as you allow them to pull you along in their current.
I think Laura said it best: “This lake has listened to a lot.”