On “I See Through You”


It wasn’t raining that day, but I was equipped with a water sprayer to make it look like it had been. The wind was biting, and both our hands were cold. Hers from holding the umbrella and mine from holding the camera. The light reflected off the umbrella more than I had anticipated, and the plastic of it was more wrinkled than I thought it would be, which only increased the reflection.

It was difficult to find her face and make a good balance between the reflection, the wrinkles, the raindrops, and the metal spokes. Not to mention, I also had to remember the background. I didn’t know what I wanted in the beginning, so we headed to the local shrine, with its fences and pillars of deep orange and black. We were both happy with the location because it was close by. I couldn’t take too long with this photo-shoot, even though I wanted to, because I had an appointment that day. I only had a little more than an hour with her, and most of that time consisted of catching up on the model’s trip to India and me painting the scar on her face. Shooting time was probably about 20 minutes, even though it felt longer because of the chill.

photo-14I wished I could have spent more time with her, my lovely friend; I don’t like rushing off. But she understood.


This wasn’t my first attempt with this picture, I had tried it before with myself as the model. I thought that because I had experienced the emotion of the piece I could properly convey it. But my face wasn’t the right for this idea and it was too difficult to get the angle right on my own. I’m extremely glad that my friend helped me with the idea.

But what is the meaning? One of my watchers summed up it up for me (Thank you for your kind words!):

Very beautiful, powerful picture. I actually had it open in my browser for a while, because I kept on looking at it without knowing what to say. But it does deserve something to be said. I love the concept behind the transparent umbrella. Might protect her, but not completely, because we can still see that she is broken. The fact that the umbrella hides her eyes, and the flow of the image, concentrated on the”heart”. The whole feel of this picture is strongly thought provoking. This needs to be shared and seen. Congratulations

After I got back home and looked at the pictures, I was worried. It felt like the idea wouldn’t work this time either because the picture deviated  from my regulat conceptual work and a familiar disappointment with myself returned to settle on me.
I looked at the pictures for about three days, twisting, turning, cropping, and angling them. Finally there was one I liked, but it wasn’t going to be the picture I have today. I was going to settle for it being a beauty piece rather than fine art, it didn’t just seem to fit. But then I tried again. I worked on it for hours and finally it became the image I had initially wanted.

Thank goodness.

I’m not afraid to say that I have had quite a few failed photo-shoots. It’s painful when an idea that I’ve loved doesn’t come to life. I don’t understand why it happens, and waves of doubt and self consciousness become my companion. I feel incomplete, and when I go to sleep that night I am restless. It continues in that way until I fill the void with another image.

I’m extremely glad that it wasn’t the case with this one. I loved this idea too much.

Thank you Megumi for modeling! Without you, this picture wouldn’t have been made.


Reylia Slaby


Facebook: Reylia Slaby Photography


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