by Zave Smith
Be open. You never know what might happen.
An unknown person reaches out, looking for a photographer to document the changes her body is going through. A picture of a bald woman is enclosed.
It does not take a lot of detective work to put a young person with a bald head and cancer together. The emails exchanged were not detailed. I was not sure what she wanted to do. But I was intrigued. What is her story?
At times I feel that I am a collector of stories. I meet people and I then create visual fictions based on their tales. Facts are just facts, but good fiction revels human truth.
We met on the corner of 11th and Callowhill. We talked for a few minutes, tossed her bike into the back of my van and set out to Fairmount Park. I knew I wanted to picture the contrast of her skin, with the green and the rock. I also knew that I wanted to abstract her story to make it more universal. I knew that I was meeting a young woman who was proud, strong and very brave, yet living a life of complete uncertainty.
I know that this series is just a start. I don’t know yet where these photographs will lead. But I know that I must always be open.
There is an image gallery I posted on Alpick.com last week: http://altpick.com/zavesmith/transformations