Natalie Huggins has a beautiful warmth about her. I met with her on a rainy day in August to discuss a possible shoot, and we talked about (as with so many of the women in this project) grief and loss. Natalie is grieving the loss of her mother, and working her way through changing family and relationship structures. She talked about feeling as if she's in an in-between place, and trying to accept and evolve to her changing life circumstances. There were many themes that Natalie was exploring, having to do with the physical world and the world of the mind. Being accepting of her own body, passing traditions and self-confidence on to her son, embracing change. When I spoke to her Natalie was so obviously a woman in flux, finding her way to something bigger and better and new, but still incredibly scary. I saw Natalie's life in reverse, with her future self trying to pass back a gift to her current self, even though she's currently trying to navigate a broken structure.
I have always been very uncomfortable with surrealism and illogical landscapes, and so this teetering, broken, unsupported staircase in the middle of infinity seemed the exact right place for Natalie to be having this interaction with herself. We shot these images at my studio in south St. Louis, with Natalie playing the parts of her current, struggling self and her future, more regal and poised self. The item that Natalie is passing back to herself is of special significance, it is a glass orb that contains her mother's ashes.
Natalie works as a vocal coach, and is currently recording her debut solo album at Native Sound recordings. She plays in several local bands, including lead guitar in Joan of Dark and keys/guitar in Summer Magic. Follow her on Facebook and get more information on all her projects at her website.
Model: Natalie Huggins
Costume: Model's own
Hair and Makeup: Natalie Huggins
Here are a few extra images from our session, and below that a short behind-the-scenes video of the shoot.