Project Portrait: Day 126
Next up we have Samanta Giblin Echo. Samanta was another person who threw their name into the hat to come and sit for me. Samanta has just finished two years of intense therapeutic arts and child counselling studies, something she had wanted to do for over 10 years. She is also the one in her family who always takes the pictures and is never in front of them. So Samanta was a little nervous. When I asked her why she volunteered she said, “it just felt like the right time, but the day before I was coming up with excuses not to come.” But I’m so pleased she did turn up. We spoke at length for over two hours about everything: childhood, parents, adulthood, being a parent, the stuff life throws at you and the stuff you throw at life. We covered some pretty serious ground on all of them, and I had come up with lots of elaborate setups to try and convey some of the ideas we were talking about. But this photo, right at the beginning when I was just easing Samanta into the idea of having a giant lightbox just off camera to the right flashing at her, summed up the experience. I can say from the conversation we had that Samanta has seen and been through a great many things in her life, but in spite of that, has found a point in her life where she could honestly say she was happy. This photo says just that. I’m happy. It’s not a high-fiving, “life is awesome” kind of happiness. It’s a relaxed, gentle happiness, the kind that washes over you when you’re not expecting it. Thank you Samanta for sharing and giving so much during this, it was really a very moving experience for me. If you’d like to be part of my project don’t hesitate to get in touch – I have 250 places left to fill!