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Muse: Dayanna Roman

Upon returning home from my year-long China trip, I wanted to meet with fellow camera and film heads, talk photography, share tips and knowledge, dissect a photographer’s book of prints over coffee and argue about bokeh. That’s when a childhood friend and fellow photographer invited me to check out this meet at Brothers and Brawlers, a craft coffee & snacks joint in a warehouse space that doubles as a motorcycle & men’s clothing shop, and of course to reconnect and catch up. I arrived first, and as usual, found the vantage point of observation. As I Instagrammed my ass off – like any normal and healthy millennial – this silhouette crossed my sights.

This said silhouette was like a character straight out of Grease and she was posing everywhere. The cameras loved her, she was light as a feather, prancing around the place from camera to camera, hopping on everything and striking even the awkward poses (even on the “do not sit” vintage furniture); it was magical, like watching… a unicorn.

We’d spend the following weeks playing back and forth until we finally settled on a day. I could not possibly photograph her as I have before, this was too different, too special to me. So I spent hours on the internet figuring out how to paint a canvas backdrop, scouted the neighborhood for a vintage-looking chair (because in South Florida subdivisions, “old people” throw away all of their nice vintage furniture all the time…), looked for other lighting setups that will compliment exactly what I had in mind.

And then she came, prancing yet again into my driveway on her own unicorn – her light olive green Fiat 500. Skipped right in and got to it. I expected to capture the same sweet, and at times sarcastic character I had met a couple weeks back but she surprised me. With each frame, she transformed into someone else, perhaps her true self. Her movements were slow and delicate, sliding from one pose to the other effortlessly, like a strange dance. It was so easy photographing her. I did not have to put her at ease, she trusted my direction and understood what my work was about. She gave herself to my work.

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