I met Stella, a singer-songwriter, in 2017 after being hired to shoot a cover for one of her singles. Upon meeting Stella, I instantly felt a connection and somehow just knew it wouldn’t be the last time I’d photograph her. A few weeks later we met again to discuss an idea for a project aimed at capturing Stella as an aspiring artist. It was during that conversation at a cafe that I heard of the battles she had been fighting for years with her mental health.
Fast forward three years, and with Stella’s absolute blessing, ‘Little Serenade’ showcases the outcomes of our collaboration to date.
Little did I know when we started our journey together that I would be rocked by my own experience with anxiety and depression. Whilst extremely difficult, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise, helping me empathise with Stella on a deeper level and frame her as a subject. I knew how she felt to have that voice in her head, that little serenade, creep up on her and make her feel worthless. It led to the creation of a mutual bond, understanding and respect between us.
I’m gracious for having met Stella and the trust she has shown in me. Her honesty, openness and willingness for me to share her story through photography has been therapeutic for us both. I truly hope it helps others who may be suffering with their mental health and encourages kindness, as we can never really know the battles that people are fighting.