This became a photographic concept about people, humans, men,women….us as people.

Underneath the masks we hide our real selves….Aren’t we just animals?

When you strip off the clothes and we are laid bare, are we scared and timid, or are we fierce? What kind of animal are you when you look at yourself?

Thankyou to all the participants in this project. I consider it an overwhelming success by virtue of the sheer volume of people who wanted to be involved. The participants know who they are, so thankyou.

Thankyou also to those who enquired and ultimately didn’t decide to participate, as even enquiring about the project showed me the greater interest in shooting more art projects of this nature.

I took no offence if someone said no, as ultimately that’s what this is about, being laid bare, how we present ourselves by what we choose to show ( or not show) the world….Thats what this is all about. Your interest was appreciated.

Thankyou to all those who wanted to participate and I just wasn’t able to get to shoot. Series 2 will be starting in the near future.

The whole series was shot with a Panasonic Lumix LX100 Point and Shoot for those who are interested in knowing.

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  • All models over 18 – Records held by the photographer.
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In no shape or form am I a “Street Photographer”.

The Nikon V1 isn’t really a serious camera either, so we are a pretty good match.

These shots were taken in Saigon, Vietnam in late 2013. Previously displayed on an old defunct blog, but I didn’t mind them so I’ve rehashed them here.

 

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So Victoria has Crohns Disease.

Actually…..

When you meet Victoria its more like she has Crohns tagging along to just keep life a bit more interesting. An unwanted challenge that she has accepted and is smashing its arse. Giving it faint hope….but laughing in it’s face. She laughs a lot. Six feet tall….if I was Crohns I’d just give up now. She has your number….

“I’ve been sick since I was six. I used to get sick all the time….It took them until I was seventeen to work out what it was.”

“I’ve had 20cm of my bowel removed. I have scars on my stomach.” She showed me the scars.

“I’ve got a creepy cat, Rodney.” Unrelated yet enthusiastically received information.

I have to agree….Rodney is like the cat from Pet Cemetery…..Church. I respect that. He is cranky, and possibly undead.

So why do you want to shoot with me?

She laughs ( again) and she is honest;

“Well I can be ok with myself as much as I want…but I will always feel like I’m hiding myself. This will put everything out there. Then I have no choice but to accept it….”

By the end of this shoot, you don’t even notice the scars. Just the smile. We aren’t just a sum of our scars. Victoria is proof of that.

This is what Victoria wrote for me;

“There is a very fixed idea of beauty when you’re a young woman, and when you suffer from a chronic disease like Crohn’s, that is essentially unattractive, an opportunity like this is a special one.

I have experienced severe illness over the past few years, so this is not only a new beginning in terms of my health, but of how I fit into a world that recognises beauty in such a limited way.

I have learnt to accept the hallmarks of this illness, but I also need to embrace them, and to not only broaden my idea of what’s beautiful, but hopefully other people’s as well.

This is not what beauty is, in a traditional sense, but it should be.”

I hope the photos bring you out of the shadows Victoria….where you belong….

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