Melanie volunteered to be part of the project portrait series after seeing some of my earlier work. In fact, she discovered it by chance as she moderates the FB page of the studio I work in and saw me tagging it as a location. With every new person that comes and sits for this project, I always ask them the deceptively simple question, “tell me a bit about yourself.” It sounds easy but I’ve come to realise it really isn’t.
It requires someone to have a sense of the journey they’ve been on, and how difficult (and positive) experiences have shaped who they are today. I’m loathe to quote Steve Jobs, but it does make a lot of sense in this context. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards.
So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” For Melanie those dots have been difficult, challenging and life altering pretty much since birth. When I asked her why she volunteered to have a portrait she said, “I’m tired of hiding all the time and saw this as an opportunity to prove that.”
So for this photo I wanted to show Melanie emerging out of the darkness and into the light. It’s a portrait about hope and overcoming. About the start of something new. Melanie was an absolute joy to photograph and we had a big hug at the end as I felt we’d both connected over all the above, and hopefully this portrait.
September 1, 2016