I am embarking upon a fun street photography project with another photography friend of mine from darkroom.
It's called: SIGNS ...
and here's what I've got so far...wandering around #Portland
Short of it. My kidneys are on their way out of town - and they are almost all the way out.
I hover around 30-22% kidney function.
I have many complications and recently....back in October(!)...while LIVE on a webstream,
interviewing the great Benjamin Von Wong....my liver failed (I'm still afraid to go back and watch the video.
Gawd! I don't even remember it!!!) For interest, I've listed the link below:
A few days later I went to the emergency room and from there into the ICU.
I was dehydrated to an extreme degree from throwing up all the night before interviewing Von Wong....BUT HELL FIRE if I was going to miss that interview! When I got to the hospital (my lovely daughter drove me), I knew things were serious but because my liver had failed and, one of the symptoms, is total mental confusion....I did not consciously "know it."
But, ENERGETICALLY, I knew I was dying.
A kind of "undocking" if you will from my physical body. I was preparing to leave the planet.
This is my attempt at capturing the full-round experience of my near death experience.
Hint: It was wonderful.
The first photo represents the first glimmer of my death.
This is very personal work for me. I had a near-death experience and it took me a long while to process it. I have tried my best to capture, what for me was, "visiting the other side," "being dead," "piercing the veil," etc. Bu tthis was an entirely multi-dimensional experience that cannot be well explained with words or 3D earth mind-relates. The light that exists here is simply not beautiful enough to relate to you what I saw. The bottom line is it was a wondrous experience. I am not afraid of death. It was utterly lovely and has now further expanded my heart, my art, and the life left within me, in this body - on this planet. Spend love. Nothing else exists - All else is illusion.
For one instant, I tried to hold onto this world....
I realized, only much later, that I "knew" I was dying.
I didn't consciously know it, but I knew it energetically - if there is such a thing. It felt like I was "undocking" from my physical body. It was a big energetic movement and decision, and inevitable. I felt crazy in my conscious mind though, because I was effused with such joy. I was elated. I did not go through "a tunnel." I immediately experienced myself - and all others/all else - as pure light. AND LOVE.
Nothing else existed. No anger, no jealousy, negativity, misunderstanding, etc.
I knew everything, all at once. I was ONE with every being.
My dad was there. We were so happy to see each other...We didn't "speak," but shared each other. he knew that I was not going to stay very long, and I ONLY wanted to stay. LOVE SOUP.
That was nirvana and that is what I experienced. Looking back and analyzing the experience, I knew my body was below me, but in the experience it mattered NOT AT ALL. I was in another place and it was totally where I wanted to be.
Then I woke up in my body. It was a long while in understanding why I was so sad. So heavy. So NOT back fully in this life again. It took some time to get into the gravity, the physical spanx suit this human body IS.
But I am back and fully present. With great insight and experience.
There is no need to be afraid of death. How fascinating.
Pierced the Viel...
The first glimmer of my own passing.
I realize only on an energetic level that I am leaving this 3D planet; this earth.
My energy body prepares itself, a shift to "undock" and leave behind the body.
In a floating instant I slipped the skin.
I pierced the veil.
I am on the other side.
There is nothing but a beautiful light - and love. Nothing but love.
I realize later piecing this otherworldly experience together that amongst the soft, wonderful understanding of LOVE everywhere, that my dad who passed away about a year and a half ago was also there. There was no tunnel. Just instant all encompassing light with my body below. This, however, did not matter to me because it was total euphoria where "I" was.
I did not want to leave. But I did. I came back.
Do not be afraid to die.
Love & Light is all there is on the other side. This is the dream; the mirage.
This is the unreality.
Pierced the Veil : A Near Death Experience
Photographer: Jady Bates
***I am updating this blog post to say that it is the last day of 2017 and since experiencing the above -- I've begun to experience extraordinary healing. My body is working better in ways that is has not for YEARS. What is that quote?
"I don't believe in miracles.
I rely upon them."
This was so awsum.
I posted photos from an "attempted" body paint shoot (See previous blog post) -and- Simon Tam reached out to me on social media, asking me what the Rock Icon photo shoot was with their Yellow Album mentioned.
I was stunned and excited. I mentioned how much I would love to have the chance to take their photographs. AND...we scheduled the shoot.
Just like that I was living the dream. To take photos of musicians and bands. Awsum.
These guys were so cool too. I had so much fun working with them.
MORE GIGS LIKE THIS< YES PLEASE.
See some of my favorites from the shoot....Gratituuuuude!
This conceptual shoot - I had been planning and "envisioning" in my mind for quite a while before starting to put together.
Because I wanted to try my hand and begin learning body painting on models....body art....
I started to ask myself, "What would make body painting interesting to me? What images would I want to see?"
(That also wasn't so over the top complicated for a first time body painter.) Ha!
And it came to me: Rock icons. Great album covers. Things of this nature.
So I began to list out all the icons and pictures that really interested me to paint and I came up with a short list to begin to practice and learn to compose:
1/Rolling Stone's icon, 2/Radiohead, 3/The Slants Yellow Album, 4/David Bowie's lightning bolt, and 5/Nirvana's happy face icon --- These were much more challenging to learn to draw and paint on a body than I had thought! First it was an issue of materials. What kind of paint/powder/brush/tattoo pens, etc. It took a lot of time and experimenting. The lightning bolt and the Rolling Stone's icon became the most tricky and difficult. The Slants' Yellow Album icon...I just couldn't get the paint to drip just right. The details would make a great difference. BUT...I had the model scheduled, and the studio, and I could have spent years perfecting this craft alone. In the end, I decided to simply go for it and learn from there. And...it came out okay. BUT! I spend so much time concentrating on painting the icons correctly that I couldn't also pay my full and usual attention (in real-time in the studio) to also nuance the lighting and photography. AUGH! Still. A great experience.
I honor the body painting artists out there....it is a vocation and studied talent in and of itself.
The great thing that came out of this small failure....? And the model Raquel (@itsjustraquel ) was beautiful and amazing!
One: a great working relationship with the model. But two...I met Simon Tam (bassist/founder of The Slants) through social media and my posting of this experimental shoot!
The lesson? Experiment. Do your art. Pursue your visions. Even if you quote, unquote "fail..." MAGIC HAPPENS.
It's been awhile and I felt moved to post today.
I've been busy "shooting" all summer. A number of different projects in-studio, environmental portraits, side one-offs, and also, street shooting with friends.
It is this last activity that has sustained me.
Sometimes the concept work in the studio seems more exciting and with awards, can seem outwardly, more rewarding. It is, of course, rewarding..
But the group of friends/photographers I fell into when I first began darkroom sustain me. When we go out shooting we joke around, argue, wander, photograph anything and everything - We have a ball. Even if it's just a lunch hour. And each one is so different and so good in their unique perspective. Everyone has different ideas and no one is shy to say their. I value this very deeply.
I have been terribly ill lately, and almost lost my life. But I didn't. And it's horsing around with great people that make these memories dear and propel me to continue to jump in and try new things with photography.
So in this post....I honor my mates from darkroom..
Each one of these people are extraordinary, loving and wise people. It has been my honor to photograph each of them for this series. Here are two more finalized images and their stories: Kyra and Eric.
....more to come...
Journeys with Grief..
There are not enough -or- the right words to truly explain this photo series.
I can only hope that the images (...ongoing series...more coming...)
speak for themselves.
So much heartache and pain. SO MUCH LOVE.
NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE.
I have just collaborated with an absolutely amazing soul and talent: Beth Nicole Dodge. (IG: @beth.nicole.dodge ) She came to me with her idea of a photo series all about BODY IMAGE.
We wrapped this last Sunday. She is a strong, powerful, and truly beautiful Model & Concept Designer. Read ON.
Photographer & Artist: Jady Bates // IG: @jadybates
Model & Concept Designer: Beth Nicole Dodge // IG: @beth.nicole.dodge
Title: BODY IMAGE: NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE
This series puts on display the thoughts and words women often deal with in society today - when coming to terms with themselves and their body. How do we think of our body? How do we compare it to others? How to we end the negative cycle of comparative thoughts and belittlement? Which words empower us as we view ourselves? Reflections upon this subject is an important, sometimes, lifelong endeavor for women today. Transitioning from a negative body image to a positive one is difficult and often scary, but the journey is well worth one's acceptance. May positivity reign.
Old Hollywood Glamour is a series I have had immeasurable fun shooting, and yet this will take a long while to complete as the glamour outfits and vintage designs are more expensive than other wardrobe detailing. So, in due order, I am taking this series step by step.
You also may have noticed that I do not do series in film as I've evolved my photography...HOWEVER I always have my film camera with me and take shots from it during any series I do.
Here are a few outtakes from the three models I have so far collaborated with on the Old Hollywood series to date!
(Kyra Giddens, Michelle Dimplez Benton, and EL Goodwin modeling here.)
THIS IS AMAZING.
i HAVE READ HER BOOKS OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
I am re-training my brain how to think ABUNDANCE and POSITIVITY. -and literally fall in love with life, myself and the universe--
...read on a tiny bit...
It's working !
Blessings to all of you !!!
Once in awhile, well, BAM!