End of Magic


Years ago, when I was living in Sedona, Arizona, I began to see the world in juxtapositions. I lived in a bubble, with magic and beauty surrounding me every day. When I would leave temporarily, I noticed my sensitivity to the real world was on overdrive. The news, the pollution, the cars, the commerce, all of these things existed in Sedona, but to a lesser degree. I was living a fantastical life full of outdoor gatherings with friends, music, dancing, hula hoop performers, fire dancers, skinny dipping, art, and imagination. It was wonderful, and I was the happiest I had ever been. When I would leave, I couldn’t wait to return. Everything seemed too real for me outside of this bubble. I began to think of how I would translate this into my photography, and the ‘End of Magic’ was begun.

I diligently planned and chose a perfect model, who was my dear friend; I was ready. Then, sadly my model felt she could not do the work with me, because of her own personal sadness that the title evoked (back then it was Neverland Lost, but I hadn’t realized this title was taken by something to do with Michael Jackson’s Neverland). I was back at ground zero. I was 6 months pregnant and did not have time to find someone, that fit my puzzle. So, the project laid on a shelf for two years. Every time I thought about it, I felt robbed of my hard work and frustrated with the feeling of procrastination. How was I going to complete this with a two-year-old, and now I was pregnant with second child.

Magic sometimes does happen in the real world. We began renting a home in Charlottesville, Virginia, and six months or so after we moved in, we got a new neighbor. She was my dream pixie. She had huge, expressive eyes, with lashes that almost looked like falsies, they were so thick and long. She was perfect! I worked up the courage to ask her to take part, and she promptly agreed, with excitement. This young woman embodied my puzzle piece. More planning ensued.

That year, we moved to a new home that we had purchased, and had our second child. Our new home was near a lot of forest spaces, one of which was being chopped down to put in a high-end outdoor mall. It was horrific to see the slaughter of this green space (however, I will admit that the new shops were quite welcome, as they tend to be in smaller cities in central VA). I would drive past enormous piles of wood every day, getting larger, and larger. My daughter once cried at the outrage. It was difficult to compute, but those shops brought jobs and conveniences that were both needed. Regardless, I found my backdrop. We could begin. It worked out pretty well, but in retrospect, I have to criticize my methods (this was six years ago, after all). It would have turned out much better if only:

I did not have a one-year-old attached to me as I shot (although impressive, this did not exactly help me with keep mental or physical focus).

It had not been over 100 degrees while we shot. We could have avoided that heat, and had a lot more time, had we planned an early morning shoot.

I was so bent on finishing this, that I was impatient about waiting for the right gear. I wasn’t even shooting this with a full format camera! I sure wish I had my Mark III during this or I could have done the shoot with film like I used to!

But alas, my story is all told.

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