On Seeing, A Journal. #298

April 16th, 2019

“20 Years In A Woman’s Life”

Among the many experiences and unexpected joys/gifts of making photographs of people are the connections, relationships and friendships that evolve and flourish from working together many times. I am privileged to observe real life changes as our work developed.

About 20 years ago a young dancer, Lenna, came to our studio. She was magnificent in every way: her improvisational capability, joyous personality
(I can still hear her giggle) beautifully augmented her obvious joy in dancing.

As we worked, I was inspired by her commitment, determination, and willingness to explore with a free spirit that seemed to let her reach into the unknown. The creative gods blessed me from that first day on. Our mutual delight in the sessions resulted in a wide range of wonderful photographs over the next 10 years.

She worked with me on a number of “pairs” projects:

BodyKnots, included

For a number of years I had been working on a project studying the biologic sculpture that is pregnancy.

Lenna became pregnant and in her 39th week of pregnancy she came to the studio to take part in my project. She told me about some of the contrasting feelings she was experiencing near the end of her third trimester:

Dumpy;                                  Lovely;                                     Silly and Happy.

And she danced.

And leaped!

All during her pregnancy, she had not stopped dancing. What she showed me, dramatically, is that pregnancy does not preclude most physical activity.

With her daughter at 5 weeks.

Her daughter became one of the over 100 participants in my Growing Up project, returning to the studio annually.

Three, 5, 7 and 10 years; with the same physical structure as her mother.

Mother and daughter about 20 years from the first time we met.