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Do I Contradict Myself?


Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)

- Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

Today is Election Day. I'll just mention this because, although it's not strictly relevant to yesterday's shoot, it's on my mind. I photographed an old friend. Someone I'd lost touch with back in what I could sum up briefly as Alexis Version 1.0.

Bear with me for a moment while I wax tangential. Remember that kid in high school that was kind of a jerk? It's been years, but Becky Wells will forever be the girl who made you hold a blanket around her at the class picnic while she peed in the bushes. Tim Polaski will always be the guy who tortured the school gerbil. And you, somehow, have escaped this time capsule, and grown into someone layered and complex, with wisdom far beyond your ninth grade campaign for Student Secretary.

I'm hesitant to reconnect with people from my past, for completely unfair reasons that are mostly unfounded and/or outdated. Becky and Tim and a host of others from 1.0 have been placed in a box in my memory labeled "Yes, Facebook, I DO Know That Person. Now Stop Suggesting I Friend Them."

The truth is, very few of us are anything like ourselves in high school. Once confident we had the answers to everything, if we were to look back on our former selves, we'd laugh and probably cringe at our blessed assurances. Not that it's a compelling reason to go through the phonebook and rekindle your friendship with that BFF you haven't spoken to in years. But it's important to remember that we change.

And sometimes, we keep changing. We change as the world around us changes, as it requires us to accept new realities, or understand old ones in a new light. We change as we become more ourselves and less afraid what people think of it. And while we're changing, it can be difficult to remember that others are doing this, too.

Yesterday was a good reminder of that. It was my genuine pleasure to photograph someone from my past through a wholly different lens. I thought I knew things about her school of thought and honestly, maybe I did. I'm sure she had opinions about mine. But she's different, now, and so am I. Less afraid. More aware.

Better Versions.

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Please do yourselves the favor of checking out the talented singer-songwriter Christine Irizarry on social media.

To view the complete set from our shoot, make sure you're subscribed to my Patreon account!

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