Growing up, I always loved my friends’ parents - very often, they felt like additional parents to me. We were a community, growing up in Urbana, IL, and could easily float from one house to another, knowing we were safe and protected, and would have a creative, adventure-filled time, no matter where we were.
And maybe it’s kind of unique, but I almost feel closer to my friends’ parents now than I did growing up. Suddenly, these mystical “grown ups” become regular [wonderful, special, wise] adults, and you realize just how lucky you are to know these amazing people, who used to be “so-and-so’s dad” or “my best friend’s mom.”
Specifically, I think of my friend Sasha’s parents: I have sat around the kitchen table many an afternoon with Sasha and Jane and Mark, with full cups of tea (or margaritas) in hand. We share stories, talk about art and travels, and reminisce about Sasha’s and my childhood. We gossip about Sasha’s latest drag endeavors, and get updates on the smart, witty drag magazine Sasha and his partner JJ have produced. It’s the best.
But it’s really when you get the chance to photograph someone, as I had the privilege of photographing Jane, that you really learn to love them. Because they are vulnerable, and you are vulnerable. Because when all you have between you is a camera, you don’t get to hide anymore, and you get to connect in the deepest way with the person on the other side of the lens.
And so it is that Jane and I spent the best afternoon. Sasha, calling upon his drag queen makeup application skillz, applied a subtle eyeshadow that made Jane’s eyes pop. With a little adventure through her wardrobe, we pulled the outfits that would be the most photogenic and flattering, and made sure Jane’s favorites were represented (because you want to look like yourself when you're being photographed!) - and then we made some magic.
Here are just a couple photos from our modern glamour session. I hope you can see just how amazing (and sassy!) Jane is from these few photos. She’s really the best. Sasha is featured, as well, in the last couple images. What beautiful people I know.