I spent several days in Atlanta, GA shooting at the end of July, and had a final shoot set for Chattanooga, TN before heading home. That shoot got canceled at the last minute, leaving me wondering whether I should just pack up and head back to Pensacola, or do the frustrating legwork of trying to fill that spot with someone I didn’t know (and all the risks that come with that).
I reached out to Stasia, who I’d been following on Instagram for a couple of months, because I loved the power of her posing, the quality of the work she was producing, and that she seemed interested in making ART, not just being naked in front of the camera. With about 12 hours before I would need to begin shooting, my hopes were almost non-existent about getting a replacement at all, much less someone I would be very interested in working with.
To my surprise, we connected, chatted a bit, and she said she not only was interesting working with me, but had the time to do it in the narrow window of my schedule! We met at the designated spot the following morning, talked for a while, hiked for a bit, and got to shooting.
Not only was the location perfect, but Stasia is an amazing young woman whose inner beauty and enthusiasm is the perfect match for her outer beauty and the hard work she puts into modeling. We got to talk quite a bit and she impressed me at every turn. Her modeling chops impressed me as well, as she clambered over the terrain, got muddy, got wet, climbed slick hillsides, hung from trees, dove into the creek, got bit by bugs, scratched by limbs and sticker bushes and roots and rocks, experimented with poses, and leapt at every suggestion and direction I threw at her.
She wore me TF out. No lie. I think we were coming up on four hours of shooting, and I finally had to cry “UNCLE!!” because I realized: This woman is a force of nature, and she ain’t gonna stop and I’ve got a six hour drive to get back home!
Here are some of the shots from our time together – four of my favorites, four of hers. Below is what Stasia wrote to go with her picks!
“I have always felt self conscious about my body. I started getting tattooed as soon as I turned 18 and found a new sort of confidence in myself from that, so I’ve not stopped. The same can be said for modeling; I started with some body-confidence issues and a spell of really bad depression that I needed some kind of ‘out’ for. Since I got picked up and put in a studio the first time earlier this summer, I’ve had this desire to find out how I can use my newfound confidence and love for this art and the freedom of expression it gives me personally, to help others feel the same. I just feel like every body is beautiful and should be celebrated and this is how I celebrate mine because it is how I want to now, naysayers be damned.”