About the Work:
The Shower Series has helped me to explore what drew me to photography in the first place. Starting out in the art world as a model, I often work on shoots with high production. The perfect lighting, the right angles, wardrobe, makeup, the input of directors or stylists. It is still baffling to me how much work can go into one shot. This type of approach leads to the generating of a moment, and although I do believe that is art, I also believe in the opposite approach.
My love of “modeling” began with taking self-portraits on my phone: low quality, grain, and all. I still loveworking with my phone today. Growing up if I was home alone or out in nature, I would strip down and put on a self-timer. I loved the natural, the raw, and the organic. I carried a disposable camera with me on every outing and vacation, loving the ones that came out a little overexposed, or with someone half out of the frame. Those imperfections made me feel like I was reliving those moments. No retouching, no altering of any kind. Looking at the moment exactly as it was.
Modeling can be draining on the mind. This career path requires me to assess myself physically pretty regularly and I do my best to do it in the healthiest possible way. I made the decision to pursue a modeling career entirely freelance because I worried the demands of an agency would make me resent what I so love so dearly. The Shower Series was an attempt to find comfort in the bodies around me. The things I often pick out about myself and condemn are the same features you will find from body to body. Dry skin, blotchiness, redness, curves here, flatness there, potbellies, hair- hair everywhere.
As I attempted to comfort myself, I realized I was getting much more out of the series than I set out to. I was learning how to make people comfortable when they are being vulnerable with me. I learned how to help people laugh themselves back to comfort. I learned the different array of opinions on nudity, intimacy, and sexuality. I learned how to sit in uncomfortability a little longer. Then I learned what I was asking of people was a pretty tall order. To let go of the control we are allowed everyday by presenting ourselves how we choose. “Do not pose”, I told them. If I had to be invasive, I did my best to do so graciously. I cannot thank the participants of this project enough.
Thank you for reading, Lena Jackson