About a year and a half ago I had written down Jacita's name as someone who I wanted to photograph. I waited until I felt the time was right to ask her. Earlier this year when I did ask her she said "Yes," but with trembling.
Jacita had always wanted to do a shoot. It wasn't just for the photos though. It was to conquer the fear regarding her own negative self-imagery. In a world where the definition of beauty is so heavily influenced by magazines and models, it can cause many of us to question ourselves. "Am I beautiful? What makes me beautiful? Are people noticing me? How come my friends get noticed? Am I ugly? Am I not skinny enough? What do I have to do to be sexy? How come Joseph hasn't done a photo shoot of me?"
This is a real journey for many of the people I photograph (It has been for me too). They are choosing to be vulnerable with me. The degree of intimacy they grant me directly shows in my portraits. That intimacy & vulnerability allows me to go beyond the surface.
I am not interested in cookie-cutter fake photos. I am interested in highlighting the real person. The person underneath the poses and the fake smiles. Realness is what I desire in my photos. I guess that drives me as an artist.
As expected Jacita was a lil nervous in the first of the four setups I designed with her. Somewhere around the ending of that first setup she began to relax into it. From then on she really just worked it. All the pre-shoot conversations and preparation all came together. Jacita rocked it.
That is why I am choosing to share this portrait below. It is one of my favorites from the third setup of the shoot.
Big-ups to Jacita for facing her fear and getting some amazing photos.