I have Bugatti taste with a Ford budget.
This translates into a lot of hot glue and totally hacked projects that look good on the surface but couldn't hold water in a rainstorm.
My goal with any project- make it look good on camera. Usually, I succeed.
While this project looks ok in pictures, it did NOT hold up. This flimsy armor broke a little more each time I took a picture. By the time I was done, it was hanging off me like a limp rage that had just seen a bad day at the movie theater.
*Note to self- foam construction board makes poor quality fake armor.*
**Still, not bad for $25**
"But why all this time and effort?" some may ask.
I've wanted a suit of armor for years. It's just cool. As a young child, my father read us the Hobbit. I fell asleep listening to stories about unearthly armor and glowing swords. As a teenager, The Lord of the Rings hit the screen.
I was in love. I was in love with every moment.
I was in love with every costume and every powerful speech.
And then seeing women in armor! GOOD-NESS! I was convinced I was not only born in the wrong century but also in the wrong world entirely. My soul told me I was meant to wear heavy armor and battle the forces of evil surrounded by my brothers in arms. I was meant for epic dialogues as I faced pure evil with my sword drawn staring down death but hoping for victory.
The closest I ever got was an almost fistfight with a mean boy who constantly told me I belonged in the kitchen (jokes on him, the kitchens where all the food is and I'm a really good cook).
I've never ridden into battle or heard the sound of sword against shield. I've never faced off evil in defense of my home or country. . . .
But I have faced evil of another sort . . . some daemons very personal . . . maybe I'll talk more about that one day. I've also faced the demons of broken dreams and broken hearts carried in by people who choose to be photographed. I've stood shoulder to shoulder with them as they told me their story. I've cried with them as we talked about unbearable loss. I've held their hand as I reminded them of their strength. And I've watched as once broke, hurt, and doubtful women stepped into their own power and embraced their uniqueness.
It's not ridding into battle with other knights, its more than that.
It's real. It's real problems from real people with real lives. And I get to be with them as they discover parts of themself they thought were gone . . . or perhaps never knew were there.
There are not the type of battles I thought I would be fighting. I never thought a camera would be what I used to free people from villains.
But here I am.
And here you are.
Both of us in quiet battles of self.
Maybe we'll meet on a battlefeild and you'll let me fight beside you as I remind you how strong and beautiful and brave you are.
Maybe we'll share war stories of motherhood, growth, heartbreak, and love.
We'll talk and I'll be by your side as we fight back self-doubt, self-hatred, and uncertainty.
When all is said and done, you'll leave here stronger, your sword sharper. You'll face more battles and more sorrows but you won't be the same . . . not after this . . . not after you get a glimpse of how divine you really are.
That's really what those stories are about, isn't it?
This quest to be more than you were when you started . . . to find something great and good and powerful within yourself.
That's what makes a good story. That's what makes a good life.
And, ultimately, that's what makes a good photograph.
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