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Duality: Self-Exploration Photoshoot for Birthday

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When a creative wants to treat herself, a photoshoot for birthday becomes a perfect gift, especially when it’s meaningful and powerful.

Let me take a break from the ZORPHOTOUR series where I still have a few striking road trip photoshoots left to publish and switch to Jae, a hair and makeup artist. She contacted me with an idea of treating herself to a photoshoot for birthday. It is in a few days so we had her session about a week ago.

She wished to represent the different sides of herself thus far and what she has learned and been through. The concept of duality was in order. I enjoy doing conceptual portraits for private clients, when the purpose is not to just create something beautiful but also meaningful, self-exploring. My earlier Esoteria photoshoot was a powerful example and it is even more commendable when people confide such a photoshoot for birthday.

We agreed that her concept would be best depicted in a studio photography setup. When discussing the locations for a shoot, we ended up settling on a place in Long Island that she knew. When I arrived, though, it turned out that we aren’t supposed to be there or use the room without a permission. So we sneak in… an uneasy feat considering the equipment bags I brought with me (9-ft seamless paper roll, background stand, three monolights, and a number of light modifiers). It was just two of us so we managed to keep it quiet.

I was once soft spoken and “shy”… polite adjectives given by people around me at that time. When I started working in the beauty field in my later teen years, I had to become more of something I wasn’t comfortable with yet. More direct (to clients), more social (for my peers), etc. always more something. Some demands were very beneficial to my growth and others not so much. Including the environments I *chose* to work in. As we get older we continue to become less and less “perfect” as we *choose* to get out into the world to make something of ourselves and to enjoy ourselves. Some people will only know our “good” side and some may only know our “bad” side. And you know what?? That’s OK too. Because very few will know us for us and that includes everything. With me there is no longer a good or bad side when I’m getting to know you… I can only meet you as deeply as I have met myself. You are you. And I am me. We help each other grow through good and bad.

Jae Jones

For the cover photo, I processed a stock image. Here they are, two different faces of a wonderful young lady. Gorgeous (and so proficient and fast!) makeup by herself. Happy birthday, Jae!

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Some raw behind-the-scenes shots for you:

Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov is a creative director and lead photographer of Zorz Studios, Manhattan-based boutique photography studio, offering arousing and daring fashion, commercial, beauty, and wedding photography. Multiple Fearless Photographer™ award winner, named among the top 50 US wedding photographers, top 10 NY wedding photographers, winner of Adobe contests, featured by Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle et al, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week photographer, and a distinguished member of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style‘s Platinum List, he is eager to step out of his and willing clients' comfort zone to pursue original artwork with a lasting impression.

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