I sometimes find photo subjects in the most unlikely places. I may be on a friend's Facebook page and see one of their friends when a photo idea comes to mind for that individual. Then I have to go through the process of adding an unknown contact in addition to reaching out to them to see if they would be interested. It doesn't always work, but when it does, it often produces amazing results. Sometimes even better than what I expected.
One of my FB contacts happened to post pics on their page from their recent birthday celebration. That's when I saw Angie in a few of them. I had to do a double take at what I was seeing. She was wearing a skirt with a predominant prosthetic leg. A skirt. Which means she was making no effort at all to cover it up with slacks and/or making any effort to conceal it. She was proudly taking pictures like that. To say I was impressed was an understatement. I knew then that she would be ideal for a shoot. Definitely something different from outside of the norm of anything I had previously done.
I had to first make sure that Angie was cool with the whole photo shoot idea. Which first meant she was cool with even adding me as a FB contact so we could discuss it. I got lucky in that regard and she was. It also helped that she was so down to earth to make that possible. You may notice a recurring theme in my photos. I tend to shoot a lot of folks that are "down to earth". Well it does help to make for some great captures.
Angie was totally on board with the idea. I made sure to point out to her that I really liked the fact that she had no problems displaying her prosthetic leg and that I wanted it prominently featured in our photos as well. She was even better with that idea. Although she informed me she would be getting in a new one soon. One that looked more realistic. She wanted to know if I wanted to wait until then to do the shoot. There were two problems with that. The first being that I was already in town that weekend doing shoots so couldn't wait for the new leg to arrive. But the more pressing issue being that I actually liked the bigger contrast of the less unrealistic looking leg. That just had a more effective dramatic effect which I was really feeling. And again, she was fine with that as well.
Angie made a unique request for doing this shoot. She wanted to know if her friend could be present and record it for a documentary she was working on featuring Angie. Of course I had no problem with that. Even though I normally don't translate very well to video. I was just going to make sure the video footage didn't get a lot of me in it. I'm still waiting to see the final product of that documentary though. Hopefully, she managed to catch my best side.
When it came to editing, I wanted to to something special to convey what I was thinking with the very concept of the shoot. That's how I came up with this framing and the blatantly obvious quote. If you only knew how many times I hear someone tell me that. It's something I never understood. Especially when I see those same folks plastering photos of themselves all over Facebook. So you're okay with the candid photos but when you get the opportunity to shoot with a professional who knows how to get you in flattering light and angles, you want to pass that up? Yep...makes perfect sense to me.
Angie is living proof that we should be proud of who we are and what we have. Don't be ashamed of the body that God gave you. Embrace it. Besides, it's only your exterior anyway. It's your inner personality that really shapes what you are. How you carry yourself is what people will remember most about you. Everything else will always be secondary. Some of the most outwardly beautiful people instantly make themselves ugly by the way they carry themselves (perfect example: flipping off the camera and thinking it's cute). So the next time you want to use the excuse that you don't like the way your body looks...just don't.