"Hope Anchors the Soul" - Stephanie Micallef
Model: Stephanie Micallef
A feather, a flower and an anchor. Three symbols related to hope, to the realisation of dreams, to the ideal of self improvement. As a photographer I meet many people with tattoos. Like tribal markings of ancient peoples these always allude to matters of the heart. They are a mark of belonging, or a memorial to a lover, they represent beliefs, dreams, ideals. They are always intrinsically linked to identity. Stephanie like so many has a tattoo. It contains two birds, two flowers and an anchor and the words 'hope anchors the soul'. I asked Stephanie what these words mean. Her response:
"To me, hope is the anchor to keep me working toward my dreams. It keeps me grounded so I don't lose track of where I am, where I want to be and how I'm going to get there. Hope anchors my soul to give me a better future and make me a better person"
The portrait below was among the first of the images I captured of Stephanie at our Sunday afternoon sitting. In all honesty I could have stopped there. My work was done. I've noted elsewhere on this website that my portraits explore the notion of the inner self. But who is this inner self? To me it is in many ways connected to the child we were. It reveals itself in moments of pure non-judgmental awareness. To me the image below is two portraits. There is the portrait of Stephanie's direct gaze and there is a portrait of her clutched hands. In her hands she carries her insecurity. Her eyes are a doorway. If one could travel through that doorway no doubt one would find the child, the dreamer, the flower, the bird and the anchor.
Meow Chayapa - makeup, (facebook.com/meow.chayapa)