The Mask I Wear by Edgebrook Photography
Za’chary Westbrook cut his teeth in the fashion world before deciding to go freelance and explore his own creative space. His Phoenix Rising shoot was done on a Canon 70D.
Jenny suggested this concept to me. I would never have thought of the fans, but I loved the idea. What struck me in the shoot was how opposite Jenny was to most models I work with. Women who start out modeling often treat their appearance as a commodity. The more skin they’re expected to show, the more money they expect to get. (As opposed to treating their time and talent as the commodity.) With Jenny, she stripped down almost as soon as she entered the studio. Her appearance wasn’t a commodity to carefully meted out; she wanted to be seen, wanted the sight of her body out there and available. It’s a completely different vibe in a shoot when both model and photographer have a vested interest in the production of the image. It felt like a gift.
This was a two for one, two great concepts in one shoot. I wanted to have fire and strength personified. The fans were fun to work with and allowed us to create beautiful shapes. They were also a challenge, ensuring that there was a powerful focus, but also a peaceful air about dancing with fire. The second set ‘The Mask I Wear’ was both a nod to my growing interest in make up artistry but also a quote I stumbled across which really resonated with me “I’ve always loved masks. Everyone becomes themselves when dressed up safe as someone else.” The phoenix is the mask I wear, but also so much of who I am and who I have become. I’m stronger now, I feel myself evolve more each day, and on those days that my strength seems to fail, I put on my invisible phoenix mask and remember, I did this, I creating something, I will always rise again.