Our task must be to free ourselves...by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beings. - Albert Einstein
There are people in this world that inspire us. They inspire us to widen our hearts, to see the good in the world, believe in ourselves and chase after the life we dream of. They inspire us to embrace the dark corners of ourselves and to use the weight of struggle to manifest love and creation.
Alexandria has become one of those people to me.
When I first met her you could feel her kindness, but there was a mystery to her. One I couldn't quite put my finger on. But as we got to know each other, I realized the otherness she carried was not the guardedness I initially perceived it to be. What was different was that she truly and whole heartedly is the kindness that she radiates. Her humbleness and compassion for others and the world around her is unique and refreshing in a time when so many seek to point out your weakness.
I had the privilege to photograph Alexandria and her daughter, Emma. A daughter that is already so much like her mother in how she sees the world with a vivacious sense of curiosity.
We spent the evening exploring the Ellwood Bluffs not far from their home in Santa Barbara. There were winding paths, discovering new flowers, climbing through tangles of tree branches and soaking up the energy of the sea as the sun darkened behind the clouds. The ocean held us close as the wind danced with our hair and the last bit of light gave way to the night.
Capturing the electric connection between these two and their appetite for nature was so much more than an experience. It left me with a new understanding and joy for life.