Mother. Los Angeles, 2015. Leica M240. 35mm Summicron.
Whore. Crone. Virgin. Goddess. Mother. Huntress. Siren. Don’t fight against archetypes. Not as a photographer. Images today are too conflicted - people forget that the most important figures, the ones we truly respond to and are affected by, are all around us. These are the real people, going through real things in the form of real needs, fears, hopes and desires. You can’t mix Whore and Goddess. Because you can’t shoot high and low at the same time. And it’s not real. A lot of shots you see are trying to be two different archetypes. It halves the affect.
Know the archetypes. Study them. Learn to recognize a pureblood. A Crone/Witch, you feel cold in her presence. She has no soul. You point your camera and she ponts back with a crooked finger. You can have my shot, but it’ll come at a cost. She’ll boil you. Or try if you don’t make haste. I make haste with my camera all the time. I’m scared out there. You have to be.
A huntress breathes heavy, by the way. There’s a palpable lift and fall of her chest and she sometimes notices something in the wind. Her mind is so keen and her senses so sharp that she can smell your blood. She looks off for higher ground. A tree or a hill. She has a broad back. She will watch your every step, daring you to take a shot. You probably won’t.
When you’re walking around the city, you see people all the time. It’s a constant flow of people. But I cross most of them out because they aren’t purebloods. People who don’t even know who they are, I don’t know them either. Even the ones I shoot, not all of them fit the bill, but what are you going to do. You can’t go home empty-handed, so sometimes you just shoot the freaks. That’s okay, but it won’t stick. Purebloods - that’s what you want. Make sure your settings are right, they are rare and they disappear quickly.
The siren/seductress is the most boring of all the archetypes. Too prevalent. Young girls practice it in the mirror and these days out in broad daylight. It’s embarrassing and ego-driven. Old, lecherous men take pictures of it for their own collections. The ego says “yes please” and Tumblr and IG feeds it like commoditized strip bars. Don’t enter. The opposite is the Mother - she’s the most real of them all. Because she’s without ego. She takes care of another. It’s the closest thing we have to a miracle on earth. There is power in all archetypes, but I’m not sure any more powerful than Mother. Her milk flows into her child and the world stops for her. We are all reminded of our innocence in her presence. And today, with politics, our worldly goods, our opinions and brands. With poverty, hardship, racism and revolt. With our TV shows and our spy planes and our mobile fetishes. With all that we fill up our days. And with how far it takes us from our homes… to be able to remind us of our innocence.
It may be the only true power left.