Since starting this portrait series back in September, when I’m out walking I find myself constantly scouting for interesting locations to do more shoots. I was out on a walk in Stanley Park when I came across this wonderful tree. I knew it was the perfect spot to photograph Jess, who I’d just asked the day before to pose for me.
It’s a beautiful old tree with multiple trunks and you can climb inside and sit amongst them. I explained to Jess that when I use natural settings like this I’m trying to convey a connection between nature and the person posing, not just use it as a backdrop. For me nature is a place to recharge, clear my head, and become centered. I think Jess captured this beautifully.
In mid-April when I took this photo, I ran into Jess in the middle of a two month sabbatical she was taking from her job. She had a wonderful attitude and emanated positive energy. When I asked her what she was up to she said something to the effect of, “hanging out, spending time with friends, learning new things, and just enjoying life.” Her words made me realize I hadn’t been enjoying my own life, and this probably goes back farther than before the art-focused sabbatical I’ve been on for the last few months. Talking with Jess was like a splash of cold water in the face. It woke me up and made me realize I needed be more conscious of taking pleasure in what I was doing, of making time for fun, of letting go, and of enjoying my life. And so I have been.
Nature is a way for me to recharge, clear my head, and become centred, but the influence of good people around me can do this too.