As much as I love shooting engagements & weddings, work for small businesses is a welcome break. I had the fortune of shooting portraits for the studio of Alexander Raab, a violin teacher here in Denver. He needed images to use on his new website and for upcoming communications with clients, so we gathered a small group of his students for a little outdoor practice session. What a delight to be greeted early on a Sunday morning with this light and such well-behaved kiddos.
This shoot is incredibly late to the blog and I was recently reminded that it never made it up here! And what a shame it took this long, since it was one of my favourite shoots this year.
Alex is a beautiful girl from Colorado State University who needed portraits done to complete an assignment reflecting on her life. She knew she wanted to be in water swathed in white fabric, so together we found the perfect location and got to it.
The first and last image in this series are film - hence the grain - and the rest are digital. I could see these being really beautiful as part of a mixed media work with embroidery or paint...any mixed media artists want to take up the challenge?
The past week has been a week of grief for many American residents, including myself. Not because Hillary Clinton lost - parties have won and lost throughout history and the USA hasn't caved in yet - but because America has revealed its character. Our concerns about inequality, violence and apathy have been reaffirmed.
Whether or not a Trump presidency changes anything on a policy level for LGBT people, the problem is that there are millions of people in the US who now feel empowered to discriminate against their fellow Americans. Millions of people voted for Pence, who said that preventing gay marriage was enforcing "God's idea" for America, and that gay couples signalled "societal collapse". Ken Blackwell, who has been appointed to lead domestic policy under the new administration, has compared homosexuality with arson and kleptomania. One of Trump's Supreme Court picks William Pryor argued that people need to be "protected" from the "consequences" of homosexuality. Another, Don Willett, has a history of rejecting gay marriage and deriding transgender children. Trump's appointed Attorney-General Jeff Sessions said a gay Supreme Court nominee would be a "big conern" about which people would feel "uneasy".
As a Christian, I'm horrified, and deeply sorry. I don't know what to say, and I didn't know the right thing to do. Maybe I still don't. But photography is what I can do, so photography is what I will do.
I would like to offer free portrait sessions for LGBT couples - you don't have to be engaged or married, just in love. Any age, any gender, anywhere in Denver & surrounds. Contact me to book a session.
PS: I understand that I will receive push-back on this. Republican voters, please understand that I am not accusing you of bigotry. I know there are many well-meaning people who voted for Trump, and not all are anti-LGBT rights. I am just doing my best to help people who will likely face increased prejudice over the next few years, as bills like FADA, which Trump supports, will tangibly affect their lives. I am trying not to be alarmist - like all of us, I am merely trying to love others as best I know how.
PPS: I want to make this effort as intersectional as I can. Please let me know if you are Muslim, or otherwise stand to be rejected by other photography businesses because of last week's results, and we can talk about how I can help. I often offer free work to nonprofit organisations.
It's been a while. If you've been following this blog for a few years, and saw my move to Colorado, you might have seen this pivot coming. I've redirected Not So Naked to chanelleleslie.com, and I'll be showcasing my photo work more than anything else here from now on - hopefully on a more regular basis than the past couple of years have offered. I'm focusing more heavily on offering wedding and engagement work, mostly just because that allows me to take advantage of the gorgeous wilderness around here more often, but also because the club and fashion work I was doing in Adelaide just doesn't have a natural home in Denver. It is, after all, the middle of the USA.
With these mountains, forests and lakes, though...I can't say I'm missing the clubs. I'll keep you posted. Music photography to come!