The Traveller Menswear Forest Photoshoot

 

I returned to the North with much enthusiasm in the summer, but as the Autumn kicked in, it became clear to me more and more how dire my situation was becoming, my friends were returning to university and I fell back in the routine of using the internet to socialise. Money was scarce, and I had to sign on to find a job I would inevitably hate like most people, It’s what I was afraid of most at the time. Photography opportunities, travelling and such slipped away due to train fares and lack of work and I was going back and forth to doctor appointments every week, being given an array of different drugs ranging from antispasmodics to antidepressants, I was having allergic reactions to most of them, and others just left me not myself. I couldn’t give blood and couldn’t seem to do anything worthwhile. Moral was low.

Traveller

I stopped taking all of the medication given to me and monitored my diet enough to know what was making me sick, so I stopped eating the majority of my regular diet. My acne/allergic reactions started to die down and my hair grew 5 inches. I knew why I was down and immediately tried to change that by focusing on getting back out there.

Reaper

This is the first real photo shoot I have ever done with a male model. It was exceedingly difficult even though it is just my boyfriend wandering around the woods with me. It had been weeks since my last shoot, months since my last shoot with another person, and maybe over half a year since I had shot with anyone new because I was too shy and nervous and unmotivated to find new talent. I have fallen in love with nature and people photo sets recently, it was something I never got at university, but recently since I started using Tumblr properly, it started to click. You see other people doing it, you try it yourself and it starts to make sense.

Grim

I originally thought these photos were rubbish, so caught up on the complicated aspects and high expectations of fashion photography, letting go can be really hard, relearning a skill from a different point of view and genre is hard, it wasn’t until I grouped the pictures of the model with the forest that things started to unwind – and weirdly I started feeling better about myself.

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After over six months of unintentional confinement and comfort zones I just booked up a day full of casting shoots with a brilliant male model I never thought I’d be good enough to even talk to (and he was the one who approached me!), two Asian beauts, spoke to a blonde bombshell and got the all clear for a shoot with her and started planning a Maleficent shoot with another. Sure I’m nervous, but I think I’m also excited to meet these new models.

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I have since found out that my stomach problem was a side effect to my Bipolar Disorder and is triggered by my anxious personality. It started when I began documenting my depression and using it for an exhibition at university – which is also when I decided to fix myself and put that feeling behind me. It’s a year and a half later and I’d say the depression was at a level of normality, but I still have to deal with the physical side of it and avoid stressful, threatening or any situation that may cause me to panic or tense up (but that’s life).  Sometimes I feel trapped where I live because I cant just go out and shoot someone or express myself, but at least I’m not trapped in my own head now.

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The model does not represent my boyfriend, but myself and Death.

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I have fallen in love with the smaller, finer details in life, and have learned so much during my experience. I open my eyes and I see things, like, really see them now. Maybe that’s why I love mushrooms so much. If you suffer with melancholia or anything like that, immersing yourself in the world of recovery has amazing benefits, such as diet, psychology and even (for a time, to stop suicide attempts and further self harm) Religion.  Though now I would say I am out the other end in tact, giving up religion this spring was the best thing to ever happen to me and I have never been happier or felt more free or my own person. I don’t know how I went 21 years being so naive to what’s going on in the world.

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Thank you for reading, I hope you liked the pictures X.

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2 Responses to The Traveller Menswear Forest Photoshoot

  1. velesphotos says:

    Sounds like you’re in a similar position to me. I got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis a couple of years ago and since then I’ve come down with bad stomach and anxiety problems, which I’m pretty sure are all stress related. The whole last year has been a bit of a write-off, I haven’t been able to travel and I have had to cut right down on doing live music shoots, which I was building some momentum with before. I think I’m starting to get a handle on things now, and haunting the local woods has been my main photographic release. Hopefully next year will improve for both of us. Good luck!

    • Good luck to you too! It sounds exactly like what happened to me. My stomach problems are linked to stress and anxiety, but I would also recommend taking up the FODMAP guide, it shows you what foods aren’t good for your stomach and what cutting out can reduce pains etc. It’s just like dealing with IBS but your emotions make it worse. I knew someone at uni who had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and I know how challenging it makes things 🙁 Health is always in the diet, strength and willpower in being active and exercise 😛 To try and keep myself motivated I bought a fancy diary to plan out my weeks and set myself goals, its working wonders.

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