Before I begin my rant.... if any of you want to purchase any of Joe’s prints (he has gorgeous landscape), or to hire him for commercial or personal / celebration or portrait photography -
BEHIND THE SCENE : IN FRONT OF THE LENS
Hey girlies & Guys,
So this is my 4 year BALD-I-VERSARY!
I have been thinking, and wanted to share a wee experience with you.
So you may or may not know: as well as running MiMo Wigs, I am also a registered nurse (RN).
Why am i telling you this? .........Well i used to work with a senior nurse, who has since retired and pursuing his other passion (and natural talent) of photography.
So I had seen so much of Joe’s work, and his landscapes and beautiful artistic photography from his global travels, and I have to admit - some of these are breathtaking!
Never did i know he was talented with portraits and commercial shoots too.... as well as events - that is rather phenomenal to be talented in so many areas!
I digress...... Soooooo a while back, Joe had a project at college, and I was lucky enough to be asked to be his model for the project. Sometimes, people ask me when i have been at various shoots what it all entails.....
Well, I have had a few shoots, and with a few photographers - this was totally different.
Joe is a friend, and he is so talented, and it was a little daunting having someone I KNOW take my photo. I am a bit silly and bonkers - but in front of a camera it’s nerve wracking when you KNOW the person! For me anyway.
I am totally accepting of my hair loss, but in front of a camera i feel exposed - and with people i know - i find it harder for some reason. I guess body image is something so widely spoken of - and awareness to me bring paranoia about myself at times - then i remember - hey i don’t care - let’s have some fun!
This image is one of my favourites - it totally resonates with me..... i feel like me and i add so much in the mirror - what what is real on the outside is the bald girl. You can see yourself in so many ways, but what is inside is what counts.
So a few shoots down the line and a couple years on......
Joe kindly offered to shoot me in some wig photos for another college project - i dont think he know what he was in for when he said “bring a few wigs” and i walked in with a suitcase full of fun 74 wigs!
It was such a fun day, and Joe was so kind letting me use the images for my site......... he had come up with the idea of shooting the same person - same day - same clothes and makeup, but different hair.......... amazing to see what a difference it makes!
So shoot forward a few months, Joe leaves college with his diploma and that is no surprise as his talent is immense - and across various genre totally impresses me so much! Portrait to landscape to commercial - that is such diversity!
SOOOOOO two days ago *4 year baldiversary” i went back armed with probably a hundred wigs and headwear - we had a few hours of “hair on, hair off” and it was such a laugh! I feel like i probably relaxed more than usual, and was a bit crazy dancing to the music and just generally having fun!
So why all the photos of myself in wigs? GREAT QUESTION!
....... as a bald girl with Alopecia Universalis, I always want to see “real people”| as well as gorgeous models in hair.
I also want to see different colour options - and different ways to wear the hair from box........ and what better a way to share this than to get my pics on here for you guys!
My cousin, Emma, from USA is over with us visiting at the moment, and she came along (dragged along by me?) to have some fun and help me fly through from one wig to the next! I will attach a wee video Emma filmed of Joe Shooting me
A RAPID CHANGE IN APPEARANCE IS TOUGH!
HAIRLOSS IS HARD!
I swore no one would ever see me bald - had someone told me 4 years ago that I would be wearing every shade of wig - showing it off, and having photos taken bald...... NEVER would i have believed it!
It is lovely to me that Joe is my photographer, as he was literally present at the start of my alopecia journey. I was working with Joe in the hospital, and literally alopecia struck from nowhere and although i started there with jet black hair - within a few weeks i was totally bald!
I had a really special time at the photo shoot. It was lovely to just feel so relaxed, at ease and realise that I know I dont look like a supermodel - but i look like me, and that is ok!
I wear hair - it is an accessory, not a necessity to me now.
Some days, I dont want to go out without my wig. Other days, I wear some of my beautiful headwear and then others...... i just bald it in public.
There is no right nor wrong about which wig you wear or whether you even do wear a wig.
There should be no pressure either! The decision to be hair free or to show your natural state is YOUR CHOICE! Not anyone else decision
For me, photos document my journey. I know it is likely hard to believe, but as many photos as I have of myself - they are literally to share with others, and via my site and social media. I have never been a fan of the old “selfie,” although i seem to now be a master poser! I still struggle at times to look at photos of myself for more than a couple of seconds. It is strange.
I am unsure why i wanted to write this, other than to give a thank you to my wonderful talented friend, and photographer - and also to share some of this with you guys - although it was just a couple of days ago, for some reason this shoot stands out to me.
Yes, I have travelled to have professional shoots, but this for some reason seems like to me it is going to be a pivotal moment in my journey. (and potentially the cause of Joe never wanting to shoot me again - or at least not with a camera
🔫📷)...........but it was lovely.
Friends are there to support you.
In times of struggle and need, and when hair loss strikes - it is just such a strange bag of emotions. For me it certainly was.
There are also charities there for support - i shall ilnk some of these below, too.
I remember feeling heartbroken, distraught, lost and empty - devoid of the knowledge of who i was. You may or may not be able to associate with those emotions.
I had just begun in this seconded new post as a nurse, and I was surrounded by people i never knew...... and as my hairloss was so rapid...... i felt so exposed and so vulnerable - like standing naked on a stage is the only way i could describe my emotions.
Shame, hurt, embarrassment..... I felt my soul and being was somehow exposed.
Joe........ and the team i worked with were strangers to me, and they very quickly became friends. I had so much love and support, and i guess Joe shooting my pics is lovely as he was there before the journey started, and this funny stranger turned out to be a lovely friend, with a beautiful and lovely wife - whom i cant speak highly enough of (thanks Diane for coming to my need in my night of terror!)- and Joe is a talented photographer.
Life will throw you all curve balls.THAT IS A FACT!
giggle at the “This wee photo here is a silly photo i took on my phone and was a fun present Joe bought me when i was losing my hair - if you are Scottish, I am sure you will have a “SEE YOU JIMMY,”hat
For me, photographing stages of my hairloss journey was part of my healing. They were not pro photos - they were literally phone selfies....... and now I can not believe i can stand in front of a camera and be my wacky self and just have fun. And feel some form of personal growth following it!
Anyone can take a photo, but not anyone is a photographer!
If you guys are ever looking for someone to help you document your journey, or to commission any photography alopecia related or otherwise - i can, from the bottom of my heart recommend Joe - he is a big gentle giant, with a fun sense of humour and he creates a really chilled and fun environment for whatever shoots you are having.
I am going to link some of Joe’s social media and site links below for you guys:
take a look and definitely follow him on social media - his talent is incredulous!
THANK YOU MR PORTER!
JOE PORTER PHOTOGRAPHY: