Many people look at fire fearfully, withdrawing from its touch, and why not? Its destructive powers are immense and it is often used to depict the darker side of afterlife. For me, though, fire incites a different reaction. It is alluring and enticing, often times even healing. Many times I have felt lost in my path and have found reassurance in the flickers of flame surrounding my body when I dance with it. There is no peace like I have found in the moments where the heat plays against my skin and beautiful patterns arise just seconds before searing pain would set in. I find it hard to explain the place my soul goes when I am engulfed in fire to people besides other burners, but I am always grateful when others can appreciate the art form and more so when they give me the opportunity to flow.
I have had the great fortune of performing with fire for 5 years now. After learning how to eat fire from a very well-known sideshow master during a particularly rough patch in my life, I fell in love with it. I sought out other forms of fire flow, among which poi, breathing/eating, palms, and fans have become my favorite, though I continue to pick up new toys and skills as often as possible. I have had some of my favorite experiences and met the most wonderful people through fire and yet in all this time I have only ever done a fire specific shoot twice! When Marco Ramirez contacted me to shoot he did so with a different concept in mind but after learning about my skills with fire he enthusiastically altered his ideas to focus on this instead. I was beyond thrilled! Fire can be incredibly hard to capture well but with a talented photographer the results are often breathtaking and I was confident that this would be the case with Marco.
We woke up hellishly early to beat the sunrise the day of the shoot and rushed over to the Isleta Amphitheater. In the frigid cold Marco set up his lighting and I set up all the safety precautions – while I’ve only ever had one small fire accident, I never assume the day will go flawless even in a relatively controlled setting. Then it was time to drop the coat, light the wicks, and make some magic. Luckily for my cold tender behind the shoot went incredibly quickly and smoothly. I was beaming with joy at the results on the back of the camera and couldn’t wait to see the final results. I was not let down!
There is something beautiful in opening an email to see gorgeous photos of yourself doing something you are incredibly passionate about. It’s very different than seeing my other modeling pictures because in this set I am not playing a role. This is me, open and baring a very intimate portion of my soul. I am so thankful to have had Marco capture these moments! He masterfully bridged the space between performance photos, which aren’t often very flattering for the performer even though the images are excellent demonstrations of talents, and fashion photography. I am excited to see what comes of the other ideas he and I have already begun to talk about!
Photography by Marco Ramirez Photography