Chrysalis, or American Gothic Redux

It was my absolute honor to be a part of this collaboration.  Here are Michaela’s own words in why this collaboration needed to happen.

“We all go through a period where we come to terms with our lives and ask ourselves the very simple yet very difficult question, “Am I happy?” It’s terrifying how much weight these three words carry and what they actually mean. They force us to take a long, introspective look at ourselves and demand that we be honest. I asked myself this question towards the end of 2017.

I was extremely depressed and had just relapsed into self-mutilation. That behavior provoked this question and it demanded not only an honest response but a quick one. I was not happy. I felt trapped in my life: my relationship was dead and I couldn’t afford to move out and I was in an emotionally and physically demanding job with an abusive boss and got paid very little to do it. I was drowning and cutting myself for the first time in years which made me snap out of it and realize what was happening to me. Things had to change and they had to change now.

In January 2018, I allowed myself to ask for help and my dad and stepmom were there for me. I left my relationship and went to live at my dad’s house. Once I was there I knew I needed to change careers to be able to live on my own. In September I got a different and better paying job. The job was in Ann Arbor (a place I had visited very few times) and I needed to move. In October I said goodbye to the familiar part of Michigan where I grew up and spent my life and moved to an apartment in Ypsilanti. In November I entered the best supportive and loving relationship of my life. This is where the title ‘Chrysalis’ came from for this shoot.

During all these major life changes, my hair was extremely long. I’ve always had long hair but this was the longest that it had ever been. It was finally starting to cause me back, shoulder, and neck pain. I needed to cut it but wanted to document the length and the beauty of it first. Satori Circus is a wonderful human being and great a friend. I reached out to him and threw out a hair photo shoot idea and he immediately got excited and got Brett interested and involved. My dad and I have been coming to Woodlawn Cemetery for my entire life and I decided to do the shoot there. I will admit to having body image issues but both Brett and Satori were very supportive. Brett was great at encouraging poses and directing subtle changes to my posture to make everything look natural. He really did a remarkable job and I am beyond thrilled at how the images came out. I am extremely thankful to them for their support and willingness to artfully capture my chrysalis.”  -Michaela Pelton

Below are just a few of the powerful images we created.  I hope they speak to you in some way.

If you are interested in collaborating with me for some Fine Art work, please contact me.  If you are in need of some portrait work, please contact me.  Feel free to refer to my Rates.