I had the pleasure of photographing Kristel just this past June on a Swedish farm that was enveloped by the forest. We were camping together for initially 10 days which then turned into 18, learning stories about each other through long nights in a smoky teepee, and chilly mornings in an open air kitchen. Originally from Columbia and now Germany, Kristel captured me from the first moment we met when she grabbed my hand and my giant backpack and helped me up the long gravel driveway, peppering me with questions about my home. Every morning I watched her diligently take space, stretching on a deck, grounding herself for the rest of our daily group activities, while the rest of us ate our breakfast. I loved that she did this for herself, even on the coldest mornings when all I could think about was folding myself into my layers.
I knew that I wanted the chance to capture her in this exact element. For me Kristel is one of these young women that holds an allure not through her sexuality but through the questions she asks and the eagerness in which she listens for the answer. One time I told her she was like a little witch and she smiled slowly asking, "what do you mean by that?" I kind of mulled it over in my head unsure of how to explain the feeling she left with me. Half of this world, half to another which was ruled by a sense of mystery and muddy feet. A world where feathers are a part of one's hair and any question is available for exploration.
One night we found our way to bed at the same time and I dared myself to take her hand before we fell asleep. We slept through the night like that, face to face, and when I woke up she was already gone. Kristel the Columbian, the mysterious, the open book, the gypsy, the child, the woman. Thank you for letting me photograph you.
Girl God/ The Shoot:
My sister Viva and I for the past 7 years have only been able to visit with each other during the summers, an annual encounter that I greatly look forward to. Starting in 2013 we began to collaborate. Viva has always been an artist through and through. For most of our shared childhood there was the feeling that I could not capture the girl who seemed entirely absorbed in another world. Constantly painting, drawing, writing and dancing, Viva always seemed to me like a kind of mirage. Now that we are older and seemingly passed the complexity of our five year age difference we have begun to finally meet each other as sisters. So much so that at times it is almost odd to sit next to someone that is wired so similarly to me.
We shot this sequence of photos just yesterday as a parting gift to each other, as her summer on Maui has ended. I chose to incorporate them with this specific piece that I came across again this morning. Sometimes I will put together an entire entry here and then completely forget about it. When I delved into my archives I was surprised at how this piece stirred me. I decided to throw this shoot of Viva in because she held a deep love for Tina who delivered her as well. (You can read about that story here.)
And as a last note, I couldn't think of a better living example of one of my Girl Gods.
I miss you already Little One.