Jody's story on "Storytellers"

This story about "Intimacy and the iPhone" was posted yesterday on the iPhoneography blog iPhoneogenic. Thank you Edi Caves for giving me the opportunity to share Jody Frost's story.
Below is the transcript of it.

Intimacy and the iPhone

Photographs have always been a marker in time for me. I remember taking my first photo when I was five years old sitting on my father’s shoulders in Yosemite. Capturing what’s in front of me and recording my life with a camera is in my DNA. People who are close to me become a life long subject. Looking at these photos take me back to places in my memories of the moment. Using the iPhone to capture markers in time has become more convenient. The iPhone is always in my pocket. It’s unobtrusive. It’s ubiquitous. Because of that I can sometimes become more intimate with my subject. This small device is so accepted in our culture that most pretences fall by the wayside. People tend to be more themselves when the iPhone comes out of my pocket.

This brings me to my very dear friend Jody Frost. We became friends because of our mutual love for art, photography and images captured with the iPhone. Jody is very use to being in front of the camera. Being a beautiful woman she had been photographed all her life. With those experiences comes a certain preset list of expressions, poses, and self-awareness. The more I got to know her, the more I was able to capture authentic photos of her being. Soon an intimacy would come. A time of trusts and total acceptance. A photo capture at that time becomes an authentic moment. We were able to capture these genuine photos before she was diagnosed with cancer. With the onset of her fight we never discussed if I should document her journey. It just happens, because she is a part of my life and I take photographs. It’s just acceptance among friends.

Most of the photos are shot with a DSLR because of the fantastic technical capabilities of the Nikon d3s. This is important to know as how I roll. I love a good crafted piece of art. Be it photographs, painting. Architecture or music, I appreciate the skilled hand of the artist. I love results of a thoughtful and practiced hand. From this comes beauty. This goes for people as well. Jody represents beauty in its purest form. Her beauty goes way deeper than skin deep. It goes down to an understanding of life and appreciation of what is around her. Of course she has her demons and fears. This is what makes her human. What make our photos together so compelling is her trust in herself and in me. Because of that trust there can be an intimacy with the moment and captured with the camera.

While Jody was in the hospital coping with the heinous side effects of chemo and radiation I would shoot a few images from time to time with my iPhone. This was very challenging for me because I am in the trenches with her as well as trying to document her journey. It’s a hard place to straddle, emotionally and technically, but it’s also the most precious of places as for intimacy of the moment. Using the iPhone to capture the marker in time was the perfect tool at that moment.

As for post-production on these types of photos I take, I tend to do minimal processing of the image. That is because these photos I shoot with my eye and heart are the evidence of how I felt at that moment of capture. Sometimes these photos may not be pretty, but there are always truthful to how I see things.

This single photo of Jody was shot during one of her most trying of times with pain. She tries to cope with meditation and relaxation, along with some very powerful pain medications pumped into her body. What moves me the most about this photo is that there is still evidence of an inner strength and magnificence in her soul, even in the midst of so much abuse on her body, there is grace and beauty.