Some call it Riverfront Park, but I still call it the old Navy base and when
Shalanda contacted me with a vision for her birthday photo session the “Old Navy Base” came to mind. I didn’t want to use the modern look of the park, I was more interested in the surroundings of the park. Like the abandon houses that has seen it’s better days or the empty barracks that still echoes with voices of Sailors long gone...It was perfect!
We all arrived about the same time, make up artist Christina Drayton started her art on Shalanda face while I chatted with her support system and assistant Kandee Washington. Shalanda has modeled before so I knew it wasn't going to be a task getting her in posing mode (which made my job a bit easier).
Our first stop was this abandon house, it has that Southern vibe that I was looking for and even tho it's abandon, the beauty of it is still there.
KCP: What is the reason behind your birthday photo shoot?
Shalanda: The reason that I decided to do a photo shoot for my 40th birthday, is simply to celebrate myself. I didn't know if I would live to see 40 and that alone was the main reason for me doing the shoot. Growing up I never had a birthday celebration. I can remember having to share a birthday party with a family member but my name wasn't on the cake and I didn't get gifts and that stuck with me. Today I don't need to have anyone to celebrate Shalanda because I choose to celebrate myself in many ways but this shoot is just one way that I choose to do so.
KCP: Why did you want to use dilapidated structures as the back drop for your session?
Shalanda: I WANTED FOR THE BACK DROP OF MY PHOTOS TO BE ABANDONED AND DILAPIDATED STRUCTURES TO BASICALLY SAY THAT IT REALLY DOES NOT MATTER HOW BROKEN OR MESSED UP YOUR BEGINNING OR PAST MAY HAVE BEEN OR SEEM, WHAT IS NOW OR WHAT LIES AHEAD OF YOU CAN BE MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN YOU COULD EVER DREAM IT TO BE. I'M REMINDED OF TUPAC'S, THE ROSE THAT GREW FROM THE CONCRETE... BECOME THAT ROSE IN YOUR OWN EXISTANCE.LOVE YOURSELF, FLAWS AND ALL BECAUSE YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.
With that being said, I think we all can learn a thing a two from Shalanda's comment "Choose to celebrate yourself", we deserve it.
Shalanda: Thanks Kim Craven for making this possible!
KCP: Thank you Shalanda for allowing me to capture your beauty!