We Are Infinite

In so many ways I am torn in two pieces. I am me, and I am her. I am happy and light and inspired and passionate. I am dark and whimsical and thoughtful of the stories in my imagination. Everyone has more than one side that we show, and I separate the two in my mind very easily. I am inspired to create photographs. I create dark works, and yet I am happy. I am obsessed with how to find beauty in darkness, yet I am consumed with finding my passion and light.

I don’t think that the things we do and the people we are have to be wholly connected. Once you give yourself permission to be any number of people while staying true to your core, you become comfortable in your many skins. We are all chameleons, shape-shifters and skin-shedders. We take on new personas as we grow into the world. As we accept ourselves, we become ourselves.

It is easy to get caught up in thinking that there is one person we are supposed to be, yet with all the possibility in the world I think it is narrow-minded to constantly try to fit into one version of yourself. We are infinite. We change into the person we want to be everyday. Each new moment is an opportunity to recognize who you want to be and to be that person.

I was thinking of all these things when I created this image. For me, it is an image of desire. It is an image of the future and the past and the present colliding. I photographed this in Dubai, in an old street with cobblestone and aged concrete. I photographed a young woman, beautiful and carefree. I photographed the ever-changing sky moving past us. And those three elements came together to represent past, present and future. One cannot easily exist without the other in a meaningful way.

We are so many people wrapped into one. The ways that we express those different personas are as varied as the personalities that inhabit our bodies. It is okay to be many in one. It is okay to accept what makes us different. I can say with confidence and pleasure that I am not the same person I used to be. Who I am now is evolving, and who I will be is exciting. We have the power to be whoever we want to be. We have the power to create the art that represents us. We have the power, always.

  • April 10, 2014 - 9:43 am

    Danny Bittencourt - Powerfull!!! I wrote you an email today! <3 Have a lovely week! xxReplyCancel

    • April 10, 2014 - 9:54 am

      brookeshaden - Thanks Danny! I’ll get back to you shortly – I’m in an airport right now en route to San Antonio and will be back this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • April 10, 2014 - 9:51 am

    Amani - Is it weird that every time you post this kinda stuff, I feel like you’re talking directly to me? So much of what you said resonates with me – it’s almost as if these are things I know to be true, but in a way was in denial about them. I think we all struggle, at some point, to accept who we are – especially when what makes us who we are are opposites.
    I’ve always felt like it has to be one or the other, it can’t be both. But this got me thinking.. why not?
    <3 thank you for being so inspiring

    It's funny (and also a little creepy) that this post is titled We Are Infinite. Remember a while back I mentioned something about how whenever you post something it feels like something supernatural is going on cause I'd have been thinking about something similar (I know it sounds ridiculous), BUT I finished working on my presentation for GPP's slidefest the other day, and by the end I put "you are.. infinite" haha yeah sorry I know that's randomReplyCancel

    • April 10, 2014 - 9:55 am

      brookeshaden - Oh I adore you so much Amani!!! I hope that I’ll be able to watch your presentation from afar! I so wish I could be there. I am incredibly proud of you.

      And you know, I think that everyone struggles with trying to be someone so specific that we forget that we can be many different things rolled into one. A single hobby or career or social status does not define us. <3ReplyCancel

  • April 10, 2014 - 10:02 am

    thomas miles - brilliant, this photo is amazing! Very inspiring words! I love that ‘infinite’ feeling too, I always let it inspire my work! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ve also started selling my prints now and really getting into the business aspect of photography! Thank you for making me believe in myself, infinite hope…ReplyCancel

    • April 10, 2014 - 10:03 am

      brookeshaden - That is wonderful Thomas!!!ReplyCancel

  • April 10, 2014 - 10:10 am

    Paul Kepron - Oh wow!! Absolutely love this one Brooke. One of your best in my opinion! It reminds me of when I did Film Studies and the ole Bergman films where they would use a window that “Opened” to the outside world. A beautiful image! ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

    • April 10, 2014 - 10:16 am

      brookeshaden - Thank you Paul! I need to watch some Bergman films. I never paid enough attention in film school. Sigh!ReplyCancel

  • April 10, 2014 - 10:15 am

    jomar padilla - If everyone in this world had the mindset to adapt and evolve, to become a shape shifter and a chameleon our world would be a much better place. There so few truths in this world that when you find you have to hold on to it with all you’ve got doing so opens many possibilities as a person to become whole and transcend all the superficial creations that puts a ball chain on your ankles preventing you from being who you should be. It is a sad truth that everyone must face. Fortune favors the bold. We need more people on this world with this mindset. I totally went off there. Cheers Brooke and happy thursday!ReplyCancel

    • April 10, 2014 - 10:17 am

      brookeshaden - I always, always love hearing your thoughts Jomar. Thank you so much for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • April 10, 2014 - 10:31 am

    Mary Angelini - Another fantastic image Brooke!! I look at it and I can practically feel the rush of slightly damp air, the kind that comes before a storm and can almost smell that scent in the air. Your images evoke these deep sensory responses, which is what I love so much about them. <3ReplyCancel

    • April 13, 2014 - 2:07 pm

      brookeshaden - Mary, that is very meaningful to me. Thank you so much for saying that!ReplyCancel

  • April 10, 2014 - 11:11 am

    Andrea Gore - BROOKE I am in love with this post. For countless years I tried to define myself and lived my life confined in the walls of that description. The most freedom I have ever felt has come from accepting and loving all the random parts of myself and my life. In fact the moment I started allowing myself to grow and just be, my world opened up with amazing opportunities. Thanks for the smile while I read this. Thanks for being Brooke and spreading encouragement and self love <3ReplyCancel

    • April 13, 2014 - 2:08 pm

      brookeshaden - I hear you! We so often feel like we must be one thing when in fact, we are many. And YOU, my dear, are amazing.ReplyCancel

  • April 10, 2014 - 11:15 am

    Caro Ferrari - Hello Brooke! I love your art! its so inspiring to me. I like how you see things and put them into image. I’d like to share with you a photo of a series I made… it’s called La Vie dans une gare, Life in a train station…
    http://caroferrari.tumblr.com/post/76541982228/la-vie-dans-une-gare
    It’s a metaphor of life, our relationships with other people and all the stuff we carry throw our lifes.
    Hope you can understand me, my english is awful haha.
    Thanks for sharing your passion!ReplyCancel

    • April 13, 2014 - 2:08 pm

      brookeshaden - Caro, I absolutely love your series. I think it is meaningful, timeless, and poignant. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • April 10, 2014 - 11:31 am

    Diana - I don’t know that I could possibly add anything else aside from what Jomar & Amani, said earlier. I feel exactly the same as they do. I have played a tug of war with my 2 careers for so long. One overtaking the other by extremely long hours. I have been a makeup artists in the TV/Film world for a really long time. I hate to say, but for 30 years, 21 in the union. I also have been a photographer since 2001. The most wonderful day was when both my makeup and photography collided into a fine art series which no one has seen yet untill I exhibit. And that is if I can ever get that to happen. I only have 15 of my living art series completed. I so relate to your image here, because sometimes I have to be true to all the sides of me, the makeup artist, the photographer and my grounded self, yet not always having the time to do both. I feel like I am peering in at my passion, but don’t always have that time to be completely fulfilled. Thank you, as each time I see your name and your images, it relights my pilot light!ReplyCancel

    • April 13, 2014 - 2:09 pm

      brookeshaden - I think it is great how much you are pushing your art and trying new things. Power to you for knowing what you want and going after it.ReplyCancel

  • April 10, 2014 - 11:42 am

    Margherita Introna - Brooke, this is one of those images that just takes my breath awayโ€ฆ The colours, the mood, the movement, the messageโ€ฆ all speak to me on so many levels <3 I love all the little details, the light, the combination of textures and how it all blends together so beautifully. Symbolic, powerful and beautiful <3

    It is all those different sides of ourselves that make us who we are and make us unique. And what a celebration as artists to be able to express so many of those sides through our art <3ReplyCancel

    • April 13, 2014 - 2:10 pm

      brookeshaden - Aww thank you Margherita! I’m so happy to hear that you like it ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • April 10, 2014 - 12:00 pm

    lovelyn - I’m loving the color of that dress.

    We all have many sides and many tings we are capable of doing and becoming. Staying true to your core keeps all of those things aligned. I’m fascinated by what people are capable of. The problem is that most people don’t seem to realize their own power.ReplyCancel

    • April 13, 2014 - 2:11 pm

      brookeshaden - Ahh the color of the dress excited me so much. It was originally red but I couldn’t help changing it up ๐Ÿ™‚

      Too true, so many don’t realize their power. Who knows, maybe no one sees the extent of it. But I do so hope that more people start trying!ReplyCancel

  • April 10, 2014 - 2:08 pm

    Tom Newforge - I live by a few mantras Brooke. One is that those who do not completely reinvent themselves every 5-10 years lead a very stagnant life. There is too much to experience and so little time not to.
    Have a great weekend:)ReplyCancel

    • April 13, 2014 - 2:13 pm

      brookeshaden - Oh I so completely agree. Reinvention is the key to exploration and happiness.ReplyCancel

  • April 11, 2014 - 1:30 am

    Thea - “As we accept ourselves, we become ourselves”
    Exactly! Thank you so much for your reminders to let go and just be whatever we are or wish to be(come)…
    Love your picture as well!ReplyCancel

    • April 13, 2014 - 2:13 pm

      brookeshaden - Indeed, we can be who we are..a strange thing to remind ourselves of, but so true. <3 <3 <3ReplyCancel

  • April 11, 2014 - 11:26 am

    Alex - Great sentiment Brooke! Resonates tremendously. I have spent a lifetime trying to please others, worrying about what everyone else cares about. Photography has been a journey in self reflection and understanding. You continue to provide great vision and inspiration. Love the photo!ReplyCancel

    • April 13, 2014 - 2:14 pm

      brookeshaden - I love how photography can take us on a journey and that journey can change the course of our lives so much. We can photograph our dreams.ReplyCancel

  • April 13, 2014 - 3:35 am

    karin - Hi Brooke!

    I found your website and blog today and have been reading the blog and watching the videos. I’m amazed by your art and your talent and how inspiring your website is. You are doing a good job promoting passion:)
    Just wanted to let you know and thank you for it!ReplyCancel

    • April 13, 2014 - 5:04 pm

      brookeshaden - Thank you so much for joining in, I’m so grateful to have you here!ReplyCancel

  • April 15, 2014 - 8:11 am

    Jen Sulak - the blue pierces my heart. IN A GREAT WAY. definitely loving the work.ReplyCancel

  • April 15, 2014 - 12:54 pm

    Lu - I adore this image. It gives me a sense of release. I also find your words so true. As the immigrant I happen to be I am literally torn between two counties, two families, two languages. But this shape shifting ability has given me a better understanding of our shared humanity. Mucho Amor! luReplyCancel

  • April 19, 2014 - 8:15 pm

    Rodrigo E. - I just discovered your web and started to see some pictures.
    When I read this post I just thought “what a beautiful words” and its representation would be awsome, then there was that photo showing exactly those beautiful words.
    You gave me a wonderful moment, I hope you do it again, nice work.ReplyCancel

  • April 24, 2014 - 2:02 pm

    Nancy - Brooke you truly are a very intelligent person. The first time I seen one of your works I was already fascinated and ended up wasting minutes gazing at the same photos countless times.
    I admire your creativity and intelligence very much. I find inspiration in your words more than my own. I wish to become a photographer/ artist like you in my career in the future. Your work has definitely given me a little boost to do unthinkable things with my artistic talent.
    Stay creative and unique now.
    keep inspiring those around you.
    XxReplyCancel

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