For someone who once filled out a number of autograph books as an awkward tween (we weren’t called that back then), it still surprises me how much social media has brought attention to and changed our views on privacy. Before, you would hesitantly write down the name of your crush on a piece of colorful stationery, but only on the promise that it never be revealed to her and her friends. However, that promise was nearly always broken (often in less than a span of a day). Now, anyone with a computer and an internet connection can find what you thought were your most guarded unmentionables in a few minutes. I believe that today the premium that one pays for privacy is at an all-time high.
I have always been a private individual for as long as I can remember. It’s not that I don’t have friends, but I am just more selective with the company I keep. I can see how this can be viewed as some form of snobbery, though I would like to think that my intent has always been to cultivate friendships that I can not only sustain, but develop well into the late years of my life. I do ‘play well’ with others, but I am not just deluding myself into thinking that I actually have as many Facebook friends as I do in real life. I see no need to share everything with everyone because most of the time you either get the unsolicited (often quite awkward) feeling-close comment or you pass by as an unnoticed blip on the news feed; there’s rarely a happy medium.
In photography, I adhere to the same principle on privacy. I don’t post everything I shoot. In fact, I make it a point not to. If the picture is particularly of a sensitive subject matter then I always make sure to get permission from the people involved in either verbal or written form. In fact, even before I reach the point where I have to ask for permission, I sift my decision through numerous internal filters that weigh whether the posting of the picture will be of mutual benefit to me and the subject. And I believe it is this discretion that has gained me the trust of people who have allowed me to photograph them at their most unguarded moments. I am deeply thankful for their faith in my capabilities to not only shoot empowering pictures that highlight their natural beauty, but to make sure that these are kept for their eyes only. I have seen how an elegant intimate portrait, which in my case often involves some form of nudity, can be easily taken out of context when it is shared (intentionally or not) with the wrong audience.
However, when I am given approval and the subject’s blessing to share her images to the world then I am more than happy to oblige. As such to end weeks-long speculation, I would like to announce with great delight that my best friend, Maricel, and her husband, Denis, are expecting their first child by the end of summer. I wish them all the best and many more wonderful pictures to come.