+++ Disclaimer +++ The following story was shot by photographer Paul James Hay, It contains nudity with the intent to entertain and showcase artistic talent and not with the intention to offend. All models shot naked were of legal age and gave consent to be shot this way. This story is intended for mature audiences only, Viewer discretion is strongly advised. Viewers under the age of 18 are advised to continue only with the consent of a parent or legal guardian. If you do not wish to see images of the male or female body in its natural form please refrain from viewing this story. +++ Disclaimer +++
As my own youth has come to an end, I have a different appreciation for the sacredness of youth and that, as the wise man said, ‘’Only when it has faded do you understand the value of it.’’
So I wanted to document. And as I compiled photographs did I begin to realize the value of the history that I was recording. And that’s why it became sacred.
I’m photographing this for the people involved. My aim is that in time the subject that is looking at that photo is able to say ‘’My God, that’s an amazing photo’’ or ‘’What an amazing experience that was, look how young and beautiful.’’
We all lose that eventually, not in your heart and not in your mind, but the visual side.
Creating this body of work has been about celebrating life and the frivolity of your 20s and the sense of discovery.
It is not about vanity, but a recording of a period of time and spirit.
The onset of puberty through to manhood or womanhood is a sacred period of time in ones life.
Sacred Youth is expressing the spirit of becoming mature and becoming who you are.
When I’m shooting and when I’m working there’s an absolute room for serendipity, it’s always going to take a life of its own.
I tried very hard in this project to sit with each of the subjects and ask them a series of questions in order to make sure the photo came from an organic place in their mind and that the answers and stories they gave me would create an arena for something new.
What has excited me most, is that it has unified most of the people I have shot over the last years.
A lot of people made friends, a lot of people have opened up to me and given me so much trust.
That in itself, has been such an honour.
We, CORE Artist Management, turned five this year and we didn’t really have time to celebrate.
This project is a great way to commemorate all the people that have been a part of CORE; staff, friends of the family, people along the way, the models we represent and to show them in a human way.
Photography is the way I communicate, it’s my way of celebrating what all this is and who we all are and who we are together.
And a really beautiful way of saying thank you.
Paul James Hay – September 2018
Paul James Hay 2018