Her black and white photos of my family have been hanging throughout my house for years. It's nearly impossible for me not to get any comments from anyone that comes to my house about the person that took the photos. Robin definitely has the eyes to capture just the right moment and the true essence of her subjects.
The beauty of Robin
Ruth's portraits is the experience of an inner truth revealed through light, shadow,texture, and the depth of feeling she conveys. She stops that second when the soul self is expressed and captivates the looker Into an ethereal moment where a oneness of spirit is recognized and regained.
Robin is the most patient and calming photographer. She never rushes you or seems stressed. I have 4 children, and doing a family session causes me great stress, but not Robin!!!!! She also knows just when to take the picture, and what to tell you to do to relax.
Being photographed by Robin was a unique experience. Her love for art, her ability to see my inner and outer beauty even before I did, helped me to discover another side of myself.
It was windy. I went to touch the water and just be in it. And actually I don't even know when Robin began clicking pictures--it was that natural and transparent. When I saw the proofs I could not believe my eyes! It was me in my pure essence. It was raw, powerful, and legendary. I never thought of myself like that in a picture. It was the me, which is the "inside" of me, there outside in a picture. Never has anyone clicked a picture of me like this.
Robin put me immediately at ease when she started to photograph me. Her calming and peaceful personality and her soft spokenness helped me relax into being who I am..........I felt like a school girl again, playing and laughing in the nature with my best friend.
Working with Robin has been transformative. She created an atmosphere of complete acceptance, trust, and relaxation so that I could unfold before the camera. I have never loved photos of myself as much as the ones Robin has taken. She has a gift for capturing the unique beauty at the heart of every woman. Sitting with her afterward to view my photos was where the transformation of my self-image occurred. She took photos that I actually loved looking at and by extension grew to accept and love myself more. She held my hand through the treacherous terrain of the inner critic and with her guidance my critic calmed and became vulnerable enough to allow me to embrace myself as I am, and to witness myself as more than I thought I was. Robin has a gift for capturing your beauty and the heart and compassion of a friend to support you in seeing it.
Looking at my photographs is like I've met somebody I've never known before and it was a very nice experience. It was the facial expressions that Robin were able to catch, that's just genius I think, and there was nothing put on about it, there was nothing like, smile now, one, two, three, cheese.
These pictures, I can say for the first time, that my critic had no voice.
The thing I worry about the most is "is it ok to make myself the focus of a photograph? What does it say about me that I am wanting to or willing to be literally the only person in the photograph? I want to get to a place where I really believe that I am beautiful and what other people think doesn't change how I feel about myself. I am inspired by wanting to set an example for my daughter. Robin has talked about how her mother's generation, and even in our generation, how rarely women have photographs done of themselves, and all of the reasons for that. I hope to set an example for my daughters of being proud of my body.
I feel that I am coming into this space where I accept myself in all my manifestation forms. They are all one, just one, with different appearances and at the same time, just one.
And now that I have lived with my portraits I feel like I have integrated them and I can see the beautiful side of them. Definitely there's beauty to each one of them. I feel more accepting. I am going to be who I am and show who I am and it doesn't matter if I have these little bulges here or wrinkles there. It's beautiful. It's part of who I am. I do not question my body parts any more.
- Maria Elena
The first time I saw my prints I was like OMG, my body is not as good as I want it to be. I had never seen my body at an angle like that or so far away. I don't see the back of me, the side of myself, so after a few days I was like: these are really beautiful pictures I am glad that I did it.
My body image has actually improved by looking at my photographs. There was a point where anytime I was dressing I would reflect on the photographs on how I look so I would feel beautiful as I was preparing myself. Because I was thinking about the photographs they were a confirmation that "yeah, you are beautiful".
I used to look at other people's standards of beauty, but now I have my own standard and my standard of beauty is me now. It's about an inner energy that radiates outward. When I am dressing in the mirror, the image that comes to me is the image I see in these pictures. Sometimes you know when you look in the mirror and go Ugghh! Now I remind myself I am the same person in the photograph. And so I smile. These photographs have become my new reference point.
Going through this process I could see this relationship of my inner image of myself and my outer reality of myself. I could see that what I saw in the photos didn't match what I saw inside. I worked with those contrasting images just to see where I am with both of them and make friends with them both in a different way, in a new way. I really appreciated that process. So I was happy to be able to have that opportunity and become more aware of my comfort level with what I see relative to what I think is there or what I would like to have there that isn't, and all of that.
My body image has changed in a lot of ways going through this process. I had this tendency of weighing myself every day and worrying about the food I ate. So somewhere, me becoming comfortable with my own body has shifted something inside that I'm not becoming fat. Now however I eat, whatever I do, I'm not feeling fat in my body, and that I feel is really powerful. And because of that I feel very comfortable in my body.
I have made friends with the discrepancy of my inner image and my outer appearance, and I really appreciate how this has been a gift for me.
I think after awhile when I looked at the photos I was a lot less critical. On a spiritual level I definitely feel I moved from focusing on what I look like, what every little part of my body looks like—or my face in every picture—to kind of this overall…more seeing the pictures as what my experience was when I was there, and also as seeing them all more as different aspects of my personality and myself. I moved from this very detail-oriented criticism to this more expansive point of view.
So even when I see the pictures now, I can concentrate on myself and look at myself because everything is so safe around me. And of course it is beauty around me in the pictures, so it is easier for me to see beauty in myself. And I felt that way the day we took the pictures. There is no other way than being natural and being with beauty in nature. So it is easy for me to transport myself to the beautiful setting and feel beautiful by looking at the pictures.
I see the physical me in my portraits but they are reflecting something more beyond that. It's the light that each one of us has. That's what I see in my portraits Robin took. The light that was once to manifest itself but was obscured by my shadows. The light of the soul, the light of the spirit that I have always had and was not capable of bringing out and letting it shine all the way. I am so thankful for Robin doing this. When I came to this realization I cried and I had to write it down.
I think the magnificence of Robin's work is that it is in nature. I just lost everything, I didn't care. It is a kind of universal emollient or bomb that cures everything.
Although I was a little distracted by the cold and my feet hurting on the stones, I felt like I was in a place of beauty to which I was deeply connected. A place of comfort, love, and security. Robin was clearly in her element and made me feel comfortable and secure because what was a foreign place to me was very familiar to her and she held a grounded, centered place for me to move and play and let go of my inhibitions. For Robin to be that in tune with the light and her camera, and me, made me feel I was no longer in a foreign place. The sounds and smells and sights were so stunningly beautiful. I felt on every level that I was being given a gift not only to be there in that moment, but to capture it on film on the cusp of entering the 4th decade of my journey.
My portraits have become very sacred to me, and have attained a level of sanctity. They seem to be taking a form larger than my physical body. When I go into deep meditation there is a presence I feel, of which I see and feel in my pictures. I'm really grateful to Robin because I have no idea how she captured that. It's like magic.