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What It Feels Like To Be A Girl

What It Feels Like To Be A Girl

(Girls R' Us, Girls & Little Tales)

Though my work has always come from a purely fairytale like world that was constantly locked inside my mind ( As a child i'd go to the library and pick out the 12 dancing princess and Rumpelstiltskin) I feel as though much of my work is deeply rooted in the fact that I am a girl, and grew up in a girls kind of world.

I have two sisters Al and Mili. I'm in the middle the perfect place to be. We grew up as friends. Mili took me to my first concerts, Mili helped me get my first boyfriends. We loved Al and would even stick her in a basket and tell her we were going to ship her to Africa if she didn't give us kisses.

Romance and fairytales have always been the two most important things in my eyes. Im a deeply romantic person and Im always lost somewhere inside my mind.

As I have continued photographing the same point would somehow seem to become known to me. I was told my work was very “feminine” Well yes of course it is after all I am a female, but I started to take that to another place. What it means to be a female, what it means to be a girl.

Some days I feel like I am 12 again. Dreaming and wanderlusting. Wearing my cropped top on a hot summer day outside whilst trying to get the neighbourhood boys attention. Watching Mili ride her bike with her friends as she gushed about her latest crush. Al is picking roses from our front garden in her little blue dress. The hot summer air blowing circles past us as the sun kissed our much too pale skin. I often think about those days. When I was a young girl. What fascinated me? what did I fear? what and who did I love?

Last year I created two series. “Girls R' Us” and “Girls”. It was about telling the story of what it means to be sisters. What it means to be friends when you are a young girl. How strange it is to grow into a woman. What parts of our childhood become lost to us? Or do some remain?

In both scenarios I had wonderful models become those wanderlusting girls. Frolicking through the forest, dreaming of a softer world that was filled with magic moments and dreams. Feeling the cold on the day we shot “Girls R' Us” and feeling the blasting heat when we shot “Girls”.

The interesting thing is none of the girls knew each other before the shoot(s) and yet I could see them bonding. I could see the importance of friendship seeping it's way into the shoot. Making every hug, every leap, jump and run actually real. It wasn't just for the photograph these were real life moments.

I continued the idea of girls and youth later when I shot a story at the end of the summer with 3 young beauties called “Some Little Tale” which was a bit more about the whimsical side of things but never- the- less emphasized the idea of what it means to be a girl.

Looking at youth is something I want to keep photographing & exploring. I see my niece Juby growing with such wonder and sweetness. I often think about who she will be, what her dreams will be, what being a girl will mean to her.

Girls R Us' Series, Models: Amanda B, Emily A, Kellie @ ABC (annabelle cho models) Kat @ B&M, & Marissa F, Muah: Lee Anne Wilson

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