I had my first professional photo shoot in January of 2010. As I began performing on stages I needed to create a professional still look for social media. However, I can’t say that I have had low self-esteem but I have had what I call “middle-class self-esteem.” This means I don’t consider myself ugly, but I never really viewed myself as pretty. I feel like I am just “ok.” I have had issues with my weight since I had my son in 2002 and it has held me back from understanding my value as a woman. It wasn’t until a dear friend of mine said “hey, you should start a model mayhem account” that I even considered continuing with photo shoots.
These photo shoots became more than just pictures. They are now mile markers in my progress with growing my locs, managing my weight, deciding sexual preference, and the fun of my lifestyle. Below are three new projects I am working on for 2012. As they are complete I will post them here. You can get to them quick by clicking the “Photo Projects” category on the right column.
1. THE INTIMATE FRIEND PROJECT
There was a point where I would have a photo shoot like every other month. Then I stopped for a while. Now I am back at it. Since my life has become a bit public I have transitioned from one sexual preference to another. This project is an expression of my new found freedom of just being me and liking what I like regardless of gender.
Steps to complete:
- Twitter and Facebook “all-call” for people who would like to participate in an artistic couples shoot (open to males and females).
- Choose a partner
- KEEP THE PARTNER’S NAME AND GENDER A SECRET UNTIL PICS ARE RELEASED.
- Review pics with the partner for possible clothing ideas and poses.
- Photo shoot by one of my favorite photographers Douglas Jacobs (more on him soon).
- Create poems based on the experience at the photo shoot.
- Post project on website.
2. THE INSECURITY PROJECT
As I stated in the opening paragraph I have had my share of insecurities. This project will be a stop-motion video. A stop-motion video is when several still images are taken of an action then loaded into movie editing software and placed at a speed that turns the images into video.
Steps to complete (in this case images to capture):
- I am lying in bed in the morning
- Under the cover I have on several layers of clothing
- I rise, get out of bed and reveal all the layers of clothing
- I go into the bathroom to prepare to shower
- begin pealing off each layer of clothing
- I reach the final layer which is black panties and tank with the words insecurity painted all over.
- I get into the shower with it on
- get out, put back on all of the clothes
- leave for work
The concept is based in the thought that we carry layers and layers of character traits, opinions,and actions that hide our insecurities.
3. THE HUMAN SIDE PROJECT
This project stems from my concern with how obsessed our society is with celebrities. Beyonce being pregnant is not just accepted its celebrated as if she is some celestial being. I mean I think it’s awesome but DAMN, everybody calm down. I consider myself to be a regular old country gal with a few poems in her pocket so I figure let’s see how human these celebs are. I am asking for recommendations on local celebs to contact and try to get a professional photo with them. By professional I mean I didn’t just happen to see them at the club and say “hey can I take a pic with you” with a camera phone in hand. I mean I reached out to them, they agreed and we meet up for all of maybe 15-30mins with my photographer and I to snap a pic.
Steps to complete:
- Ask for recommendations from Twitter and FB
- Create a list of the local celebs
- Seek ways to contact them (twitter, fb, email, letter in the mail)
- Simply ask if they would give me 15-30mins in a location of their choice to snap a pic
- If they say yes, we keep it quiet till the pic is revealed, I post the pic and blog about how they are cool ass human beings!
- If they say no, I scratch them off the list, snag a pic of them off line and blog about them saying no and why I think they wouldn’t do it.
Simple right? ha! Probably not, but hey, all they can do is say yes or no.
SHELLY BELL IS KEEPING IT MOVING IN 2012! PURA VIDA!