SOUL COMPANIONS

January 29, 2021

The term "soul companion" often conjures up visions of human beings, in harmony speaking a language all of their own. A recent experience behind the lens found me extending this concept out beyond the margins of its typical application. The shoot had me recalling that a place has a soul all its very own and in recognizing and honoring that truth, we can achieve a similar harmony... where process truthfully replies to its echoes.



Addison Mizner defined the architecture of South Florida. Establishing his signature Spanish and Mediterranean style in the 1920s, he went on to design more than 50 Palm Beach villas and Florida mansions for the nation's "leading social families", as well as the famed Everglades Club.  A romantic and freewheeling visionary,  his designs often took on the air of movie sets from Hollywood's golden era.


"A prose portrait suggests the atmosphere of the sitter's identity, not just their physical appearance."
Duane Michals
 


Many of Mizner's timeless dwellings live on here, where I now make my home. There is a sacred quality to their light and energy, an irrefutable soul, a timelessness which staggers. I recently had the chance to photograph under one of his roofs, and stepping into that glorious energy had me hearing that halt loud and clear, and its (re)direction to speak back accordingly. So, I stepped out of my routine. I reposed and got intentional with my equipment and the capture's approach. How might I craft the setting's soul companion?

 

 

PLACE + PROCESS
 

What is a soul?  Loosely defined it is, "the immaterial presence or actuating cause of an individual life". Few are created equal. And yet these lives have ways of finding an "other". In getting quiet, pausing with place and reading its essence, there comes an opportunity to stretch this definition out beyond its borders in the pictures we make. Through tuning the creative process to its very key, we can honor the soul of a place, and... discover its companion?

 

The companion images in this post were created in Palm Beach using only natural light and the Lensbaby Velvet 56 and Sol 45 lenses.

 



 

 

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