you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
Evolution of a Woman
(learning to love myself)
Sometimes I have to re-learn this love
as I develop into a different person.
Right now, I am so in love with my body.
Does that sound vain?
Is it a strange concept?
I have been, in years past –
but I am not at the moment.
is what I have been deemed recently.
is a description that I once balked at,
but am now claiming.
I have stopped looking at myself through glasses
tainted with memories of size 8’s,
stopped wondering what happened
to my true reflection in the mirror,
stopped asking, who is this person staring back at me?
liberating it feels to put on clothes that fit,
not clothes that scream at you
that ask why you are
stretching them to their limits,
just because your mind’s eye tells you
they should grace your body?
and think WOW, you are beautiful!
I know that’s the divinity in me, saluting itself.
I constantly drive my fingers through my locs,
even when they are frizzy/fuzzy and un-manicured.
I think WOW, I love my hair, now that I am not
burning it into submission.
Anointing my body with sweet,
sweet oils gives me pleasure –
I love the way my skin feels,
the way my body curves.
I can stay all day,
reveling in the sensations I experience.
So now that I was really feeling myself, I wanted to take some pictures. Not just any pictures, I wanted nudes that were tastefully done and real. I wanted to see myself in all of my glory & power.
Enter Saddi Khali. Somehow, I came across his pictures on FaceBook and then I visited his website. I was in awe of the depth of work I saw. This brother has a gift of making the mundane look special. His philosophy is to help our people heal from the negative imagery of ourselves that we are fed on a daily basis via mainstream media. Saddi focuses on details that I would ordinarily overlook. He shoots everything; men, women, couples, children, families, trees, skylines, subway signs, snow storms on Eastern Parkway … and with every frame I experienced the moment. I purchased a black & white photograph titled "1st Instrument" which moved me in a way that I have difficulty describing – just know that as I sit in my bed typing this, it is hanging on the wall directly in front of me, and it brings to mind fond thoughts of a loved one.
I had been looking for a photographer and now I found him. The next leg of my trek began when I submitted my deposit for the shoot. We corresponded prior to the appointed day so that Saddi could get a feel for me, who I am and why I wanted to do a session with him. I wondered about where we would meet and the whole process – did his subjects usually get “did” in preparation because I don’t do make-up, don’t even color my fingernails. He explained how he shot using natural light so as long as I had a window, we would be good. He also mentioned that whatever my normal regimen was would be fine; he was capturing me, as I am. That was all cool until he actually came to my house – then shit got real. Was I really going to strip for this stranger? And allow him to take pictures of me?
Well, Saddi writes that he specializes in dealing with his clients’ nervousness and I can attest to this. The brother is just so freaking cool that he puts you at ease. Hooked up the laptop & started the banging playlist. When he says that he operates under the perspective that you were made in the image of the CREATOR & the CREATOR doesn’t make mistakes, so you have to be beautiful – he’s not joking. That belief oozes from him. His excitement at bringing out your individual beauty is contagious. Nakedness is more than a physical state. I had to open myself to a new state of mind, one that was less inhibited and more able to face unkowns. After a while, I was comfortable and just had fun. As I’m a person who likes structure, I wanted clear directions with regards to posing, etc. while he preferred that I just do my thing – we worked it out in the end.
Needless to say, I am extremely pleased with my photographs, which were downloaded to my computer before he left my home. No extra stuff, no re-touching … just my raw self. What is most astounding for me is that Saddi gets real up close & personal. In. My. Face. I didn’t realize I had issues with certain things until I saw how he exposed them – like the lines on my forehead, my uneven skin tone or the fleshiness under my chin. But you know what? This is who I am - I’m soft and round and I love it!