THE REACH. This image represents a collaborative effort between my friend Lisa Alexander Streib and me. I suggested the pose and she interpreted it, creating this image and naming it "The Reach." This kind of collaboration not only strengthens our friendship but also individual visions expressed in our work. (photo by Lisa Alexander Streib, reach by Hallelujah Truth)
My friendship with photographer Lisa Alexander Streib continues to grow and deepen over time as we collaborate in our photo shoots. I have written about our work as model and photographer before (see the links to previous blogs below). Yet I continue to be surprised that who I am as an artist, writer, and friend impacts Lisa, affecting how she SEES me and how that is expressed in her images of me! Then, in this creative loop, how Lisa's portraits of me changes how I feel about myself and her. Here in this photo below is an example of how Lisa's imagination and creative action affirmed me (read the photo caption for an explanation).
This beautifully crafted image began almost a year ago with a series of photos Lisa took to honor and glorify my hair! Having recently been diagnosed with the auto-immune disease, Alopecia, I had asked her to photograph me as a creative response to a life event that can be devastating. Losing hair with the possibility of going bald is frightening--a real challenge to one's self esteem!
Our collaboration is richly supporting me and my hair loss. First of all, I am not alone. Experiencing friendship through Lisa's creative lens is fun, lighthearted, respectful, and loving. We get the chance to be "girls" playing with my hair, hair ties, barrettes, hats and various drapes and backgrounds.
Then during these collaborations, Lisa and I are also experiencing something more than the supportive experience of the photo shoot. We are building something meaningful. Our creative acts result in a deeper sense of self, a closer friendship, and yes--the eventual image that honors me!
I don't know where our journey around my hair loss will take us or what images will result. Time will tell. The doctor says that everyone writes their own story with Alopecia. I trust in Lisa's creative vision to help me accept and manage what is going on with my health and hair. What a magnificent gift.
Currently, Lisa is working on a new series of photographs with the working title, "Constructions." In these photographs, she is combining architectural structures with portraits, experimenting with expressing more about individuals through the background she chooses to place them in. The photo below is part of this new series. Titled, "Focus," it depicts her daughter Laura.
|FOCUS. (image by Lisa Alexander Streib)|
With regard to "The Reach," she explained that the pose came from me. She said it was "very me," all that I am seeking the light and truth (thank you Lisa). Then she built the image from there with the wooden stairs and the trail of nails leading the way. The light she added speaks of me attaining my goal! How awesome is that! Thank you Lisa!
|FRIENDSHIP SELFIE. (taken December 27, 2014)|
True Collaboration: Show up. Do the Work. Consider it Good Enough.
Defining My Mission
Atlanta Along the East West Line MARTA and a Portrait of Two Women
Mark Nepo and Lisa Alexander Streib Collide in My Life
Infinity and the Selfie