… to keep moving forward. My best friend and I were known to have a few dance parties. We’d kick off our shoes, take up our spots in her kitchen, and enter a world of pure joy and happiness. Womack & Womack’s “Catch and Don’t Look Back” was one of those particular songs that made us hit pause on life and just dance. I hear it every now and again and it brings me back to her house… twirling and twisting with our eyes closed, huge smiles on our faces, arms flailing. Four and a half minutes of bliss.
However, “catch and don’t look back” has become something more to me than just a great song to dance to. I find myself randomly thinking it – almost like it has morphed into a mantra in my head. The song is about letting go of past love. “If you just put your hand in mine,” the song reads, “We’re gonna leave all our troubles behind. We’re gonna walk and don’t look back.” While it is a beautiful idea – this gesture of grand love – I can’t help but perceive the song as a hymn of personal strength and human endurance. We all have things thrown at us in life. Some of these things are beautiful, wonderful. But others are heartbreaking, life-changing and challenging. But no matter what it is being hurled at us, we have no choice but to catch it. What we do with it, after looking down and seeing it laying in the palms of our hands, is up to us. We can choose to drop it and consequently break it. We can choose to ignore it, to stand still and keep staring at this “thing” in our hands. We can try to throw it back and begin an exhausting game of back and forth. Or we can catch it, accept it, endure, and not look back. Life is hard – we all know this – but I choose the latter. I choose to catch, run, and not look back.
That’s what this photoshoot means to me. I had an idea of what I wanted to photograph – the style, the location, the feeling, the model. But I had no means to produce it, I only possessed a faint idea in my head. But when I could have let it pass me by, be fearful of a crummy outcome, or embarrassed of the possibility of a crap idea, I decided to pursue it. The following photos are the idea in my head, come to life. So the next time something is thrown at you (even if it’s only an idea) won’t you catch it and not look back?
A big ol’ thank you is due to Derek Wood, my favorite photo genius, and my dear friend Lauren, who let me dress and shoot her. Photos taken on 35mm, in addition to a few digis. Directed, styled, produced, and photographed by me.
+Follow Joanna on Instagram.