Muse

Louiza Babouryan

What are the benefits in shooting with the same person over and over again? In this blog, I'm going to talk about my experiences photographing and filming with Brittabug over the last 2 years.

Let me also preface this by saying that I thrive with intimate relationships. I feel my best when I can have a deep one on one conversation with someone. I thrive when I feel known. So for me, creating with someone that I know well and they know me and all my flaws makes me feel safe. That's when I can create my best work.

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Many people ask me how I started working with Brit and to be honest, I saw her feed on Instagram and knew that she had the look and feel I wanted. When I look at a model's IG feed, I don't look at their physical beauty, (Although Brit is so beautiful) I look to see if they convey emotion. If there is something lingering behind their eyes, if their body language speaks, if I can feel them thru their images. And when I saw her images, I could.  And then, I just asked her if she wanted to meet me for lunch. She said yes, and we sat and talked for a few hours and I got to know her and the things that moved her. We decided to do a test video shoot and the rest is kind of history. 

When you find a person that you can work with that gives input to a shoot, the experience takes on new life. When you have an idea and then they have an idea and you can blend the two, magic happens. It's a connection you can't achieve by doing it alone. That person elevates you to new heights and hopefully vice versa.  

Here are a few perks to shooting with a "muse"

TRUST: When you shoot with the same person over and over, you gain a sense of trust. They trust you and open up to you. When there is trust, the walls come down. It's easier to show your inner self. And that goes both ways. I've cried at a shoot with Brit and with tear filled eyes, we continued to shoot. I wouldn't do that with someone I didn't trust.  Therefore, trust opens the door to create more emotional imagery.

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FEAR: When I work with someone new, there is a level of fear. It may show up as nervousness or it may show up as doubt but at some level there is an uneasiness for me. At least until I get to know the person a little more. With a muse, the fear goes away. You have already spent time getting to know them, how they move, how they see and feel the world. You learn to let go of your insecurities and just create. It's so freeing!

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RISK: When you aren't afraid of failure, you are willing to take more risks. If you photographed the same person once a week, would you care if the shoot wasn't a success? Would you be willing to try new things even though they might not work out? For me the answer is YES! So what if it doesn't work, we can try something else next time. With the risk factor low, I am willing to get out of my comfort zone and that almost always lends itself to beautiful things. 

INTIMACY: So many of my film projects have come about when I am struggling with something. The film "Breathe" was at a time when I was dealing with some anxiety and I felt like I was suffocating. Because of my experience with creating the PostPartum film, I knew that I had to make another film to free myself of this pain. I knew from working with Brit, that she would be able to take my feelings and put them into her movements. I don't think I could have done this film with anyone else and it's because we had established a level of intimacy over the time we had worked together. And by that I mean I felt safe telling her my struggles and giving her my pain so that we could make that come to life in film. To me, that's intimate.

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I have to say that I am so blessed that Brit came into my life. She is such an incredible person, artist and friend. She sees the world in such a raw and beautiful way. She has absolutely changed the way I create and I am beyond grateful for her friendship.

I encourage you to find someone that you can have these experiences with. I encourage you to find the time to create for yourself. It doesn't have to be every week, but maybe once a month. Go through your calendar now and find days you have free. Give yourself an hour or two; that is enough. See what you can accomplish and see how it changes you. 

LOVE

Jackie Palmer

Filmmaker/Photographer