It was last summer that my girlfriend Juli asked me to consider photographing a girlfriend of hers who was having a hard time getting a portrait of herself that she felt really captured the essence of who she was. It was not until this past month however, that I reached out to ask that both of them be photographed as part of the Revelation Project.
Cyra Morgan is an incredibly talented singer songwriter, and the moment I heard her voice and her lyrics, I experienced this deep sense of awe and wonder at her beauty and talent (inside and out). With an incredibly petite frame and eyes that can melt cast iron I got my first taste (similar to a vampire ) of a song she wrote and performed having been inspired by the book from the Twilight series. I was positively captivated.
One Friday morning last month , Juli and Cyra arrived to have their photo session, and the chemistry and mood altered and changed with conversation and encouragement. The space was charged with something indescribable and once again the results of the shoot and the experience were astonishing.
The following is an excerpt from my interview with Cyra and the photographs we were able to capture that morning.
For those of you who read this- I’d like to go down on the record for my prediction that this woman WILL be famous. She is still largely undiscovered, so if you know someone in the Industry… please feel free to forward her music, and by all means fan her on Facebook.
PS: We’ve still got Robyn’s watermark on the photos to protect them from piracy but we are working on our own logo for the Revelation project and will unveil it soon! (So excited!)
The Revelation Project Interview Questions:
MR: What did you think about the approach of the upcoming photo shoot ( before you got there) and what were the results you were expecting?
CM: I constantly struggle with photos…. in fact I am so photographically challenged, snapshots of myself usually make me cry. So I avoid the camera. I’m not an easy person to photograph, as friends have tried, and I desperately needed some head shots and publicity photos so I felt that it had to be done. Honestly I didn’t know what to expect. I’d seen incredible work from Robyn and Monica so I was hopeful. The results were not at all what I was expecting…. I was astounded. I thought that I would get some usable shots, but they are incredible…. when looking at the proofs I was actually in tears. They captured “me”, they captured so many facets of my being…. no one has ever been able to do that for me before.
MR: How did you feel during the shoot and was there anything in particular that made you feel more or less relaxed or open to the process?
CM: I felt nervous because of my photo anxiety. It took me a little while to warm up but the inspiring, creative energy in the room and the rapport between Monica and Robyn eventually led me to a place of letting go and trusting….. where I could truly be myself in front of the camera. Jumping on the bed put me in a relaxed place, sort of joggled all of the junk out of me. Time also, the longer the session… the more comfortable I became.
MR: Can you describe in three words the way you felt before we shot?
CM: Nervous, Apprehensive, Excited
MR: Three words for immediately after the shoot?
CM: Relaxed, Apprehensive, Hopeful
MR: Three words for when you saw the results?
CM: Astounded, Floored, Beautiful
MR: After you left but before you saw the results – did you have any thoughts about the experience? What were some of the things you thought about on the drive home?
CM: I loved the experience…. had so much fun. Felt like a kid again. Was thinking about how I’d like to do that more often…. a magical connection was made, not only with Monica, Robyn and myself, but also between the person that I am and the person that I’ve always wanted to be….. that I am ever grateful for.
MR: When you saw the results can you tell me your first impression?
CM: Woahhh….. couldn’t believe that those were pictures of me! Then came the tears…..
MR: Can you talk about the feedback you received from those who saw your photographs?
CM: I have been getting amazing feedback….. many have commented on the fact that my essence was captured in the photos….
MR: Did you feel beautiful during the shoot? why? why not?
CM: Not for a while…. because I was afraid of the camera. Afraid of making crazy expressions…. Toward the end, yes. I was really into their suggestions and creative input.
MR: Did you feel empowered? why? Why not?
CM: Incredibly empowered. Looking at the photos made me feel like me again. Like the me inside who had sort of gotten lost for a while. I’m now using the pics for a single cover and for my music which is incredibly important to me…. I now have what I need to to take the steps toward realizing my dreams.
(The photo that was made into a single cover) Here’s the Link to hear this one
MR: Since the shoot happened almost two weeks ago now can you talk about the lasting impact of the experience? Has it altered the way you view yourself or your surroundings?
CM: It’s very difficult to put into words….. after spending years in my every day role and of how others perceive me, after many emotional ups and downs and doubting whether or not my dreams were ever actually reachable for me, or if I was just kidding myself…. I saw those pics and was in tears…. I was like “Hey I remember you….. this is who you are, and she’s ready to come out now…..” It was such a gift. I definitely got a head shot and publicity shots that are an incredible representation of my music which comes from deep within my soul… I don’t know how they did it.
MR: Do you think this was an important/valuable experience for yourself? why?
CM: More valuable than I could ever express…. It feels like some wall within me cracked wide open and all of this light flooded in. It gave me freedom to be myself.
MR: Do you think it’s relevant for other women? why?
CM: More than relevant, I think it is necessary. We are all such beautiful creatures and absolutely need to see ourselves as such. I think that too often, we just can’t see it in ourselves….. we get caught up in the outer role that we play….. Robyn and Monica have a gift for finding that incredible beauty and drawing it out.
MR: How would you use the photos moving forward? Professionally? Personally? as gifts?
CM: I’m definitely using the photos professionally….. hence the single cover. Personally, I look at them when I need some encouragement….. when fall into the pattern of doubting myself.
MR: If you could sum up the experience what would you say?
CM: For me, it was an awakening….. a transformation.