Excerpt from the book REVEALED: Personal Visions of Transformation and Discovery
What I couldn’t have known when I conceived REVEALED was the huge impact it would have on individuals, myself included. I am touched to learn how a simple project gave someone the gentle reminder and permission to pause from their daily grind to look within. It also amazes me how powerful this process actually is. The REVEALED subject’s process also became my process. I am not alone in experiencing huge personal growth by working on REVEALED. The REVEALED process begins when a subject commits to the project. The next step begins two weeks before the photography session when the subjects are asked to look within and find objects that represent their spirituality, what they believe in and their essence. For some, this is an easy process; for others, it is difficult as this exploration can reveal new insights into one’s self and shed light on one’s shadow. The actual photography session is a 90-minute process of releasing the subject from their everyday life and putting together the collected objects to represent what they have been thinking and feeling for the past two weeks. This is a progression that has brought many subjects to laughter and tears, myself included. For years, I had been trying to figure out a meaningful photography project that I could immerse myself in. REVEALED was born from a powerful and inspired desire to photographically capture a person’s spirituality. This ambition came to me as I was examining my own sense of self and spirituality and how I express these things in who I am. The concept struck me like lightning and I was immediately driven to manifest this project. As the months progressed, I sketched, wrote and discussed this idea just with my assistant and my wife. I only shared it with them because I’ve learned that sometimes when I share an idea with someone else, they don’t seem as excited as me and this diffuses my idea and I may not act on it. I felt REVEALED was an idea I needed to build upon before sharing. I finally decided to share it with a think tank group I participated in. The group was a source of inspiration and guidance in finding direction on many different projects. That night, I left the group very frustrated after some participants felt that this vision was basically a “terrible idea” and nobody can “capture spirituality in a box.” I was told it had to be “someone praying in church or running through a field of flowers.” I felt so strongly about my vision that I woke up the next day determined to channel this frustrated energy to give birth to REVEALED. What I anticipated to be a weekend project has become a significant part of who I am as a person and as a photographer. It has been almost six years since the first REVEALED weekend, and I am honored that this project continues to grow and to inspire people. What I have learned from REVEALED is that someone else’s work can also be my work. For example, when someone’s REVEALED session is about their connection with their child and how much they have learned about their own life from their child’s life experience, I am reminded to reflect upon my own children and our relationship. Even Royce M’s REVEALED portrait and essay has reminded me to always think about my life and who I am and where I want to go. Another lesson I learned during the first weekend of the REVEALED sessions was to release the need to control the outcome... the final portrait. As a photographer, I feel the need to manage all of the different aspects... of the photo shoot. Beyond setting up the lights, setting up the camera, and working the flashlights, I needed to let go and leave the actual experience to the subject. They were in charge of their box, their facial expressions and their hands. By casting loose this moment, I found that magic can happen—the ordinary is anything but and what is complex is usually simple... A bag of marbles opened me up to a new revelation about myself. The man who wanted to be revealed by a broken box because he felt empty and had little hope, discovered that he can put those pieces back together. This book is full of those instances, big and small, of self-revelation that allow the reader to discover more about themselves. The REVEALED process is simple and anyone can have this experience. I ask you to take a few hours, a few days, or make it a two week process, of discovering who you are and what you believe in. Define your spirituality. Then take it a step further. Find items in your world that represent these emotions and beliefs that you have discovered. You might work alone or you might want to find an accountability partner and, in two weeks, sit down and discuss your spiritual exploration. Reveal yourself. Enjoy your journey.
Scott Indermaur East Greenwich, Rhode Island 2011 website - siphotography.com
Excerpt from the book REVEALED: Personal Visions of Transformation and Discovery
The premise of REVEALED is seemingly simple: you’re given a box to decorate in a way that expresses your soul and then you’re photographed in a darkened room with that box. When I first opened this book, I expected to see some interesting photos; however, what I didn’t expect was the profound and moving experience I had looking at these images.
After reading REVEALED for the first time, I found myself sitting outdoors in the very early morning hours. There was a vast expanse of stars shimmering overhead; they looked so close that I could almost taste them. A hushed silence draped over the land. It was as if the earth was slowly exhaling... and my connection to Spirit seemed more immediate, more personal. My Cherokee ancestors cherished this hallowed time of day. They believed that at this time the connection with Spirit was the most tangible and real. I was up at this hour because I wanted to connect with the deeper energy of this remarkable book. When I delved into it earlier and focused on the photographs, each was so meaningful and heartfelt; I had wondered if any words in my introduction could do justice to the power of the images. As I watched heat lightning illuminating the hills in the distance, I put my hand on the manuscript hoping that in the stillness the voices of the men and women in these pages could whisper how they wanted to be introduced. I waited. Waited some more. Only the haunting sound of a whistle from a late-night train echoing through the valley punctuated the stillness. The sound ebbed and flowed as it followed the contour of the land. Then, a feeling emerged. It swirled around, embraced and enveloped me. I knew what I wanted to say. Although words would be linear and limited compared to the panoramic experience inside these pages, I realized that each photo was a kind of visual diary that revealed far more than mere words on paper could ever tell. ￼ ￼Each image profoundly captured a glimpse into the depths of the essence of an individual and even granted privy to vast secrets of their soul. Sometimes the journey seemed also most too private, too intimate, but I hadn’t wanted to look away. I wanted to go deeper. Reading this book was a kind of spiritual sojourn for me because I found myself wondering if I had a box, what I would put in it? What images did I hold so sacred that I would use them to reveal myself to the world? How would I arrange those images? As I carefully looked at the boxes—one at a time—my response was visceral and palpable. It was as if the things inside of me that had been boxed were opening— being revealed. Painful events from the past, as well as joyful ones. Revealed. Even deeper than the outer events: the evolution of the soul, touchstones to my heart, visions of the future, and windows into what can be. Revealed. Ignited by imagination, I saw an image of myself curled up nude in my box, creation waiting to be, waiting to be born, incubating. Revealed. In no small way, this book serves as a luscious reminder of the gifts of the heart and the inner process of your journey though life. In a thoughtful way it asks each reader to reveal—if only to themselves: What is real? Who am I? Why am I here? My musing about REVEALED was interrupted by the soft trills of bird songs. The eastern sky was rosy. A new day beginning. May your journey into and through this book bring an even deeper revealing of your soul.
Denise Linn Paso Robles, California 2011 website - deniselinn.com