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Another Look at Beauty

My friend Katie Johnson is an inspiration, whether you know it yet or not. She is someone who has consistently and constantly believed that beauty is nothing more than your love of self, and has written about the topic in this beautiful article penned by Meghan O’Dea.

I often get asked how I choose my models, and I had the pleasure of meeting this particular one when she showed up at an art exhibition of mine. She pitched herself as an art model and said that if ever I needed someone to model, she would be my girl. This was, at once, instant good news as I hadn’t been shooting that long and I was looking for new people to photograph. I was also deathly shy, so her being so outgoing worked in my favor.

But what really got me excited was not her ability to pose or the fact that she had an impressive resume; it was how passionate she was to create. Not just take a picture, but to create one. She wanted to be part of the process, part of the imaginative scheming, part of it all. She was someone who breathed art, and saw herself as art.

To be able to see yourself in such a unique way is a beautiful thing. She continues to live her life in that way today, and remains someone that I can look to as an amazing role model and friend. I say all the time to people that I am far more likely to follow someone on the internet, befriend them, or simply watch in amazement at all they do if they are passionate about what they are doing. Passion goes a long way. Belief in self goes a long way. Respect for yourself goes a long way.

So, thank you Katie for always being at the center of these principles and for letting me take your picture these past 3+ years. This is the standard I try to set for anyone that I photograph: self-respect and inner beauty that shines through to the outside.

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