Some years ago, a few months before I turned 30, I decided to take a photo. Not just a regular beauty photography, I wanted an artistic photos. I wanted to freeze the time and to have something to look at a few decades down the road to remind me of who I was.

So the search for the right photographer began. I was trying to find someone suited for my vision, someone whose portfolio capture my eyes and speak to my heart. And one day he popped out of my computer screen.  Simple, plain images that capture every possible human emotions in a play of monochromatic colors.

He was more than just a photographer.

He was an artist

He was a painter

He was a poet

The photos were nudes

So I thought, I have to meet this person. I wanted to know how he created those images that speak so clearly of love, passion, joy, dream, and melancholy. How can he capture those emotions so clearly? To create a poetry out of monochromatic colored images that really show the character of the object.

My first meeting with him was filled with awkward and quiet moments. He was a very reserved, quiet and shy person. He let his works do the talking for him but somehow, I felt secure. Somehow, I felt that he would be the right person to help me realized my vision.

He said to me “You can’t force a moment. You can’t force a pose. All you can do is speak from the heart and let the moment come to you. Then, sometimes, magic happens”

On the day, I was reluctant. I was a little bit scared. But the moment I stepped into the studio, my mood changed. It could be the lighting. It could be the music, but most importantly it was him. His quiet presence slowly melt the ice as I finally relaxed.

Taking off pieces of the threads covering my skin until there were none.

As I gradually emerged from the comfort of the layering garments, I felt a moment of lightness. Of liberation, of freedom. A comfortable feeling of being in your own skin without having to worry about what other people may think. At that very moment, there was only me, him and the camera lens capturing every moment.

What I experienced was a mind blowingly fun, carefree and uninhibited session which lasted hours and full of laughters. What began as a shy smile and awkward moments turned into a transformative session, and what was intended as just a photo session has transformed beyond the ordinary, allowing me to fully expressed the inner feeling and be true to myself. To bare the mask, put forward my best smile, and be the person I never thought I have inside.

Through the images, I saw a person who is so different from the one I know and I am glad that I finally get to meet her.

Sometimes it takes another person’s pair of eyes, and a couple of lenses, to become your own true mirror. To take away the fear, to infuse love, and to allow magic to happen.

After all, freedom comes when you allow yourself to be free.

You owe yourself your own freedom.

And it was exactly how I felt back then..

Originally written while on travel – New York, 1 October 2014

Written by dewiloho

A wandering poet, a traveling yogi, a passionate knitter, and a self-taught baker

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