Thirteen years ago, I met Tiana inside Store 27 on the corner of 5th & G in downtown San Diego. There was something about her that I was drawn to. On the days we would have to come into work at 6:00 in the morning she would joke about putting her angry eyebrows on. One day after work we had to kill time so we walked across the street to the movie theater. We went to see Wall-E but ended up taking naps instead. There was a time she let met stay over a few nights when I was in between living situations. From the day I met her, she continued to be a very kind soul, which I didn’t come across often.
I’ll never forget the pure joy on her face & in her eyes the day after she did her first suspension. We were sitting in the break room as she was telling me all about it. I could feel the pain in my body as she described the hooks being put into her skin. But that pain gave her a high, a meaning, & a purpose. Over the years we both moved around within California & outside of it. With social media, we were able to keep in touch. I can’t even count the amount of suspensions she’s done since her first, but after every time, she still has that joy beaming from her eyes, from within. I’ve watched her blossom into a woman with words that seem to flow effortlessly. She finds the beauty in herself, in moments, & in the things around her. She is a force to be reckoned with.
I am grateful to have captured her force last weekend as she was suspended in rope. I want to thank her & Corey for allowing me to capture such an intimate & special moment for the two of them. I hope there are many more times to come.