I love collaborating with models and other artists to create fine art photography and this is a fantastic example of why I love the process so much. This model’s insight into this photograph completely changed how I think and feel about the image.
This particular image really resonated with the model but I didn’t understand why until a couple months later when she asked me to prepare a framed print. It was going to be donated to a charity auction in Chicago to support domestic violence awareness.
She suggested the title for the piece, “Breaking Free.” Then she wrote the artistic statement that will accompany the piece:
The model in this photograph is a survivor of 25 years of domestic violence. She believes the piece poignantly captures the residual internal strife which remains to date, several years later.
The dark lines represent the prison bars and shackles, as she felt imprisoned in the relationship. Her hidden face is emphasized by crossed hands and raised legs, which appear an attempt to shield her from harm. The mottled shadowed areas at the rib cage, hip and underside of the arm resemble the physical bruises once endured.
The brightly lit areas represent present life. The absence of clothing is a sign of both rebirth and renewed strength.
It is the model’s hope that “Breaking Free” will raise awareness of the lingering emotional impacts of domestic violence. Additional, she hopes this piece will simultaneously provide encouragement to current victims that there is beauty and new life in survival.
Now I understand.