027 – woman – rock climber – stripper

i usually like to put the photos first on here, and then leave any notes for after – i think today’s post will be better served by reading this first though:

i met a woman on a train ride home from work a couple weeks ago. we talked for a second and i asked if she’d like to set up a time for a photo shoot.  i knew nothing about her at this point, and she knew nothing about me.

a couple days later i got an email from her, and she said she was interested in doing a shoot. we set it up for today, and i arrived at her house at 7:15am this morning.

a quick ‘google’ of her full name (which she asked that i keep private here) provided plenty of results about her professional career, rock climbing – she’s quite well known for it actually. up until arriving at her house this morning that’s all i knew about her.

that, after all is the idea behind the extended interactions series that i’ve been shooting… for me to go in blind (or with as little details as possible) to a stranger’s life, to document the minute and mundane of their surroundings, routines, and hidden lives. i believe that everyone’s life is beautiful and interesting – and it’s my goal to show that through photographing the small things that make it up.

hanging out with her today, and getting the chance to photograph her was a pretty amazing experience.  she’s truly one of the most centered + balanced people i’ve ever met.

i think that preface will do for now.  continue on to see the photo series, and afterwords a brief, but very essential, description of some things.

- three photos on the bed: photos of her dad from when he was in his teens – he built bikes, he’s the reason she started climbing

- various stripper accessories : she moonlights as a stripper at a high-end club in san francisco, only her boyfriend knew before today – she said in the past three months since starting at the club she has felt ‘more empowered as a woman’ than ever before in her life – she also said it is the first time in her life she hasn’t felt like ‘just a tom-boy’

- the cash : a portion of what she has made in cash since she started stripping – she keeps it in a basket with her underwear

- the two photos in the window : her mom, and dad, holding her as a baby

- the mountain shots + cityscapes : she led me on a hike up to the top of claremont canyon that nearly kicked my ass, she does it every morning

- the quilt : her grandmother made it by hand – she’s had it her whole life

- the desk : it belonged to her grandfather, it still has notes taped across the front that he put there

Charlie Jan 28th, 2013 at 1:53 am

Wow. The past two days have been special here. You’re capturing a real depth and intimacy. I like the way each photo tells a little bit more of the story, for example, the shoes at the beginning. The objects seem to tell the story and the face makes you emotionally connect. Her blue eyes are ridiculous as well.

smyth Jan 28th, 2013 at 10:24 pm

thanks charlie! goal accomplished then. specifically a personal goal to get better at conveying emotion through my photography… and yes, her eyes are amazing

byph Jan 29th, 2013 at 12:49 am


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