"I Contain Multitudes"

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large — I contain multitudes
— Walt Whitman

We contain so many sides, and contradictory layers that make us one 'self.' And yet so often we feel we must pick one, one corner to show the world - this is 'me.'

When my dear friend (and very talented photographer) Hannah Weatherford approached me with an idea of portraying two sides of herself: both masculine and feminine, I was excited by the challenge. 

And I was surprised by what appeared. After shooting many hours, two wardrobe changes, and a self-given razor haircut later, the resulting photos were not what we expected. The feminine portrait was strong, angular and forceful almost defiant. As though she was challenging the large, black, bulk of the camera to discover and convey what was in her mind.  While the masculine Hannah appeared at ease, not noticing me and the lens, as though there was nothing to say back to the camera this time. I was simply a witness here, gently guiding the light and pressing the shutter.

I would have imagined the feeling of the images to be reversed, yet this is what appeared.

Each of us has so many seemingly contradictory sides within. To embrace and hold all aspects with love and attention is an incredible gift to oneself. I feel fortunate to have friends and tools, to explore and support one another in our growth, and acceptance of self.