what the camera sees

Photo by: Syd London

On Tuesday Kestryl and I spent the day with our good friend and incredible photographer Syd London with the focus of getting new publicity photos for our separate work as well as our joint PoMo Freakshow projects. My individual photos are coming soon – the weather was less than optimal that day and so we had to raincheck. We now have backup on top of backup rain days booked, so those pics should be here very soon.

Over the day we ricocheted from intensity to intensity starting with a road trip to an abandoned hospital for Kestryl’s photos – ze has written all about that here. Then back in Brooklyn the focus shifted to us as a couple and capturing the essence of our work together, and the dynamics of our relationship.

We’ve needed new publicity photographs for PoMo Freakshow but had been putting it off. Ok, to be honest I had been dragging my feet about the whole thing for the past few years.  I’ve not had that many experiences with professional photographers, but the ones I’ve had have ranged from downright traumatizing to highly uncomfortable.  Needless to say this was not an experience I was keen on repeating. I was pretty honest with Syd from the beginning that I was terrified of the process, everything from the needed makeup (I wear very little in real life) to just having the camera in my face.  In my head I knew it would be different with someone like Syd- a trusted friend, a dyke, a queer, a storyteller but I didn’t realize just how transformative the experience would be.

I didn’t expect that I would leave the day feeling not so much exposed, but profoundly seen in ways that I seldom am.

Kestryl and I have been together for seven incredible years. We have a relationship, which as corny as it sounds

Photo by: Syd London

leaves me waking up everyday feeling like I’m in my own biggest fantasy.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s work too- but it’s worth that for both of us is worth doing which always makes me think of this quote from Jeanette Winterson’s ‘Weight’ “ Now he was carrying something he wanted to keep, and that changed everything.”  All my life this was the sort of relationship I dreamed of, but never believed was even possible let alone that I would be lucky enough to have for myself.

We needed the photos of us together and I knew that whatever Syd came up with would be ideal professional photos, but it never actually occurred to me that she would be able to see and capture everything that makes us tick.  The intensity, and the playfulness that braids together into the life we share artistically and romantically.  She made me feel completely comfortable with the whole process, and despite myself I even had fun!  Never before now have I actually felt like I looked beautiful in a picture, or that I looked truly like myself perhaps even at home in my own skin. Seeing the previews of these pictures hit my inbox one by one has taken my breath away with the quality of her work, but also left me without words (something pretty uncommon for me) at the realization of just how much she had seen and been able to capture on film about who we are and the way that we relate to one another.