Sometimes I am down on social media for creating a false landscape of “everything is perfect.” With everyone wanting to share their best emotions, accomplishments, filtered photos and happy occasions, it can be a place of appearance over substance. It does, however, have its good points. Reuniting with long lost connections, fostering community, raising awareness of important causes, networking for job search and, (as you’ll guess from the title of this post), finding talented photographers. This is how I came to find Adrian Buckmaster’s work.
Strolling through my news feed one morning I saw some striking photos of a dear old friend that I had lost touch with until very recently. Keep in mind, the world of bellydance photography is often very “safe” in terms of its’ need to cast a wide net and have mass appeal for potential clients. It’s only natural that the trend would be smile and look pretty in one of the following 5 poses – it’s commercial photography with the intent of being hired. I’ve done it myself on occasion. In any case, this particular photographer jumped out at me for having a unique aesthetic with a lot of honesty and heart. I wrote to my friend, told her that her photos were captivating, and asked for the photographer’s info. I wanted to take some risks!
I am honored to have collaborated with every photographer I’ve worked with and while I have some of the “traditional” stuff, I tend to push the boundaries a bit. I’m proud of this. The shoot with Adrian was certainly no exception. My objective was to be less concerned with “looking pretty” and to practice the delicate skill of revealing myself as opposed to tacking on a layer for the camera. Adrian helped to guide me to that place. It’s not always comfortable to go there, nor is it a skill I have mastered, but I am less interested in saying “Hi, I’m your friendly bellydancer.” I’m far more interested in saying, “This is me.”
I arrived at his studio with no makeup on (at his request). We started the shoot this way and then it evolved — first in a simple white top and then it graduated to my most elaborate costume. Deity Delgado did my makeup and was on hand to help with styling. She would adjust my hair to match the feel of the lighting and costume, add a bolder lip when it was called for or added high drama for the last leg of the shoot. They are both masters of their craft. Sharing a project with fellow artists is the stuff I live for at this phase of my dance life.
I hope you enjoy the fruits of our labor. Photos by AdrianBuckmaster.com with makeup/styling by Deity Delgado.
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