|LOOK AWAY by Sheryl Tait|
January is possibly the bleakest month of the year but not when you are being photographed by a photographer as inventive as the lovely Sheryl Tait which is what happened to me on 31st January 2015. I cannot remember how I came across Sheryl's work but when I saw it, I was struck by how different each of her photographs were. It seemed to me that Sheryl did not have a 'style' but that her photographs were fed by her natural interest in her subjects and her desire to tell their story; each photograph is as unique as the subject.
I used to do some acting and indeed an actor is what I always wanted to be and some people have suggested that I might want to to go back to that now I am retired but the reason I don't want to is that I know that my illness will get in the the way of me performing well. Before my surgery, it would have been mainly my tremor and since my surgery, it would be a mixture of things. But if I was not able to give as good a performance as I would have done if I was not ill, then I just don't want to do it - I don't want people to say that I have performed well considering that I have Parkinson's Disease. I want it to be good anyway. And this is why I want to go further in my shoots physically and emotionally - this is why I am prepared to stand naked on a beach in January. I want to make up for the fact that I have Parkinson's. Mind you, it helps if two people like Sheryl and Jordi are around as they are such considerate people. They made me feel safe and cared for.
We had talked briefly before about what we were going to do on the beach but the tempting of seagulls with chips idea was ditched which was a relief! We had to hire a taxi to ferry us to the beach as Jane had used the car to go to the studio. It was a bit windy and quite cold and, although there was a small family group with a couple of dogs on the beach, they departed at the right moment to enable the shots with the red scarf to proceed. Eventually, we finished and I have to say that, although I was feeling some physical discomfort, once we got started, I did feel that I could have gone on for a little while longer. We called the taxi company who were extremely unhelpful about a pick up but eventually, it was sorted and we were on the way back home. This is where the the third set of shots were taken followed by a Tim Andrews filmfest which Sheryl and Jordi endured with good grace.
A short while later, I received three stunning images each one very different to the others as you can see. Sheryl did not try to influence my decision and I went for the shot from the last session because there I am. Me. Unadorned. Connecting with the photographer and through her, the viewer. In many ways, it is as naked and theatrical as the others but with this added engagement. It is beautiful.