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  • Writer's pictureMara Cabral

a beauty and her tattoos

Updated: Jun 3, 2019

The concept of tattoos is an amazing one. Beautiful works of art drawn on your own skin. Having your body as a canvas for some meaningful art work. I never thought of having one done myself and yet, I am fascinated by other people's tattoos. It all comes together so beautifully. The story behind the tattoos, they fact that people have them permanently drawn onto their bodies and the fact that somebody has the artistry and the skill to make it happen.

It's no small deal. Choosing a drawing that will be part of you forever. Choosing the artist that you trust to do the job. And of course, valuing that artist's work enough to pay the asked price. Tattoos are not cheap. But the work and the skill involved in them is amazing. People often don't realise how many years of work come behind the skill of an artist. How many hours, months, years of investigating, practice, experimenting took the artist to get to that point. How huge the investment is in time, money, materials. And last but not at least, how hard and time consuming it is to try to make it work as a business, to actually make a living out of your art in a society where the value of things that take time and patience has often been forgotten.

I also love the concept of bodyscapes in photography. I admire the beauty of natural shapes and the human body offers so much in terms of photography. Using light and shadow to reveal the delicate shapes, the poetry of being human. Which is why when I saw Emma's new back tattoo I felt a urge of creativity coming through me. And, as I do sometimes, I asked her if she'd be up to try something new. This shoot was born out of pure creative impulse. One of those shoots you do as a photographer because you really want to.

Pure creation has always been a part of my path and it always will. I do photography because I am passionate about it. I love photographing for my clients and I feel really thankful when people respect and value my work. But there is always space for some purely creative work. Work that I do because I need to create, because creating is part of my internal balance, part of who I am. The main reason why I learn and grow as a photographer.

Even when working for myself, if another human being is involved, I still love to have their input in whatever we're doing. I love working with other people and when I do so, I want to consider the whole of them. A model is never only a body to me, it's a whole person, with their own energy, their own story, their own very special beauty that shines from inside out. Which is why I was really happy when Emma brought with her Yoga elements that we incorporated into this session. Emma has been doing Yoga for a few years and one can see how it has become part of her already.

I truly enjoyed this session and I also loved having absolute creative liberty to explore in terms of editing. I love looking at each individual photo and work out what it calls for in terms of editing, which elements I might add to it, what I can change and what I should keep. Sometimes less is more, other times, it's lovely to just take it to the next step. Art is all about exploring and taking risks. Just like life itself.

When I invited Emma for this shoot her reaction was brilliant. She said it is a bit daunting, but as she was about to turn 40, she would go for it and have a go. Defy her own limits and try something new. And what she brought with her, her strength, her presence, her honestly, her capacity of being absolutely genuine, were a lot more than I could have asked for! Thank you so much Emma :)

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