At a recent photographic workshop the model for the day looked very tense and restricted during the first part of the shoot. I spoke to her about this and on reflection she told me she was feeling pathetic. I believed that one of the photographer’s had contributed to this because he was getting frustrated with the model for not being relaxed. He didn’t say anything directly to her but did mention it to me. Further I could feel how angry he was and must admit was surprised at his level of anger.
The interesting thing was that at each workshop we set a theme for the day. At this workshop the theme was about presence and as part of this being aware as to if our thoughts and emotions may be intimidating others. I believe that at some level we are all connected and that our inner state of being has an enormous influence on those around us. As it is relationship can be very pressuring and when we have strong thoughts that are then not communicated in a physical sense the results can be very destructive.
I find too that photography can be such a great reflective tool for life. I think the saying mind over matter is very apt and is shown very clearly through the camera. The aesthetics of models reflect such a vast range dependant upon when the model is intimidated as against feeling secure. Often models are amazed how much their faces change throughout a photographic session. I often use this as a reference to illustrate to them the power they have over their physical lives dependant upon how they deal with their emotions and thoughts.
This shoot and the depth of the model’s reaction reminded me of other times in shoots where people have admitted to their discomfort. I have had both models and photographer’s admit to feeling like they were imposters and wasting the other person’s time. So many of us have been raised to fear disappointing others and this creates a cycle where we are tense in many interactions. However because we rarely are transparent about our vulnerability the energy is passed around unconsciously or secretly.
I believe that it is crucial to our own happiness and the happiness of those around us that we take responsibility for our emotions. The model from the shoot went home and reflected on why she felt so pathetic. As part of this she had to accept how strong her feeling was and how much it was shutting her down. Just by being aware she is now able to communicate with the things that have contributed to her pain. Through this communication she is already feeling a deeper sense of self esteem.
However many of us avoid and bury things like anger or fear. However in doing this we just build up more of a reserve of negative conditioning. I believe that this is what contributed to the photographer’s anger at the situation with the model. In a rational sense there was little to warrant his level of anger during the shoot. However there was also on a rational sense no apparent reason for the model feeling pathetic. I believe that in both instances the surface level reaction was stimulated by past and deeper experiences that most likely did warrant the emotions that both felt.