Wednesday, October 31, 2012

When the veil between the living and the dead is thin...

Every year I find that Halloween simply isn't what it used to be. As a kid it was so much easier to feel that excitement. The mystery in the winds. It was the one night of the year that we all embraced strange noises and dark shadows. We wanted to feel a little scared. It was like the fear meant we were doing something right. We were on the right path. And just a little further into the creaking trees and rustling leaves we would find... something. 

What I really think it is is that as children we are much more in tune with the things that people generally grow up and forget to believe in. As children we believe in ghosts, witches, fairies (or "faeries" if you prefer, like I do). As children it's viewed as having an imagination and is therefore healthy. But I don't think it's just kids being kids. I think those things are real and when we are young we are so much more open to an experience that may involve the super natural. 

As an adult I find that I have to seek that feeling out. I think magic gravitates towards children because they believe in it without reservation. As we get older we have to make a choice; Do we believe in magic? And if we do, is it just because we want to believe it or just because it's really what we think to be true, just like the sun rising or the moon waxing and waning. 

As Halloween draws near each year I can feel the difference in the air and the wind. I can feel a presence in a lot of different places. It's said that the veil between our world and that of the deceased becomes weaker on Halloween and spirits can return to earth. I make sure I acknowledge this every year. If my past loved ones are around today I want them to know that I'm with them. 

It's a tradition in a lot of cultures to offer food to spirits on Halloween. That's where trick-or-treating came from. Some cultures viewed it as a peace offering to keep ghosts from haunting the household. I just see it as a sign of love and respect. Food has a lot of meaning and offering it to a spirit is the ultimate in respect and acceptance. So I go to the graveyard every year to bring one of my past loved ones a treat. Usually apples or caramels. Some of his favourites.

At this age, it's so easy for Halloween to just become a big party. An excuse to drink a lot, show too much skin, and of course eat lots of candy. But I like to go back to the fun I had as a child. Bobbing for apples, telling scary stories, and ultimately just getting entirely wrapped up in the eeriness that is Halloween. But above all else, I make sure that I appreciate those who have passed on. This day is for them after all. Life and death, night and day, summer and winter. And of course, the candy part is still important. Always has been, always will be.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

This is one of my favourite photos from this year's collection of Halloween portraits. Not only is the model my lovely and dear cousin, but it was shot in the cemetery across the road (which I have been waiting to utilize for so long), and ... wait for it ... The skull is real!

Now, before anyone gets all excited or offended about how I came to acquire a human skull just let me say this; I did not go searching for this skull. It kind of presented itself. And it is now reburied. 

On our shooting day my cousins said "I think I would find it really funny if I was in the spirit world and my head had been separated from my body for so long"

Friday, October 26, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving! This year, I'm grateful for getting to photograph my two best friends.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fall is here! And with it comes these photos of me in digitally orange-colour underwear!

So things in my life have been changing a lot lately, much like the leaves on the trees. I'm only working one job currently so I have much more free time. And I've made it a priority to focus more on my photography. Or as I call it: Taking myself more seriously. And apparently in order to do that I need to start by photographing the scariest thing I can think of. Yep. Myself. Now, if you want the whole pitch about why I take photos like this you can see it here: Under the January 11th post.

All the things I said in that post are still true. Except I have a slightly better idea of what bra size I should be wearing. I'm still not ashamed that I look like this. I still think it's important to feel sexy and beautiful. I'm proud that I'm not a size 2, although women of all sizes are gorgeous as well.

I saw a picture on Facebook this past summer of a VERY curvy girl rocking a bikini in knee-deep water. The caption read "Summer; Not just for size zero". There was a flood of comments. Some people were incredibly supportive, expressing how proud they were to have curves too. However some people had a much different reaction. Some people mentioned how they think being plus size means being unhealthy. Some people just expressed how unattractive they thought the model was. One comment said something along the lines of "Summer isn't just for plus size people either!" 

I want to address these comments and offer my own opinion.
1. "Being plus size is not healthy."
Here's my first reaction: Says who? First of all, plus size does NOT mean Obese. Having a little more meat on my bones doesn't mean that I'll die of cardiac arrest at the age of 45. And even if I was obese, should I stop loving myself because of it? Being ok with my body doesn't mean that I no longer want to take care of it. I can love myself and still want better for myself all at the same time.
2. "Plus size girls are not attractive."
You have every right to your own opinion. And I personally don't mind if you express it. Please keep in mind that it is YOUR opinion and yours alone. Other may share the same belief as you, however you only have your own voice and can only speak for yourself. That being said, there are lots of people who love curves on a woman. Myself included.
3. "Summer isn't just for plus size."
Ok. Really? This is the one that bugs me the most. When skinny people get upset because curvy girls aren't afraid to show off their bodies and be proud of it. I want to make one thing perfectly clear. Just because I LOVE my body at a size 8 or 10 or 12 or whatever I might be, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't love yours at a size 4 or 2 or zero. So for all you skinny minnies who get tired of hearing "I love my curves," please don't think it's an attack on you. It's only us loving ourselves. And you should too. Us girls are told far too often not to be happy with what we have, even though in my opinion, we are one of the most beautiful things on this planet. The last thing we need is to start turning on each other.

On a final note, why are we all so afraid to tell each other how beautiful we are? If there's anybody out there listening, I challenge you to tell somebody they're beautiful. Just because... They are.