Columbia - A Quiet, Unifying Voice - Miss Nevada, Nasya Mancini Shoot Part 1 - Amador County Photographer
When we started planning the Nasya Mancini shoot, we had visions of nature, perhaps Lake Tahoe, maybe even a commercial location. Then Covid-19 shut down, canceled or postponed everything.
Our Miss Nevada shoot was rescheduled for early June. Jenny, Nasya, and I had several weeks to plan and think. We thought maybe to represent the change Covid-19 has inflicted on our lives, Nevada style. An empty saloon? Why not?
Then George Floyd was murdered and our Nation was thrust deeper into to turmoil. Police violence, riots, deeply-rooted racism and ill presidential leadership stacked with the trauma of an out-of-control global pandemic, collapsed American economy and continuously tolling death bell.
Americans are grossly divided. Everything we do is politicized, (even going to the grocery store), and we can be sure to see and hear stories of hate every day. Instead of providing us with a unifying voice and promoting peace in our great country, our president is responding with overwhelming negligence and misconduct.
It is in this climate that we planned and performed the Miss Nevada, Nasya Mancini, photo shoot. I knew I wanted to use the American flag in the shoot. I wanted a powerful symbol that could speak to every American.
Though we are diverse and our experiences vast, I believe the flag can inspire us, as Americans to do better for ourselves and for the future. For me, the flag has been a symbol of dreams, standards, ethics, and unity since I was a child reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in school. I think many Americans have a similar experience even if we are disenfranchised at times.
We chose to have Nasya perform the character Columbia who over the centuries has represented America in terms of liberty, justice, equality, immigration, education, armed forces recruitment, and of course some of the more capitol endeavors of Americans, such as Columbia Pictures. Columbia is as cherished and sometimes commercialized as America herself, but at the heart of Columbia is the goddess Athena, who is pure as only a goddess can be.
Athena, goddess of war who won with cunning, planning and knowledge. She was a true leader who encouraged people to build, craft, make arts, and learn, to become educated and fight the battles with intelligence. America seems on the brink of war with itself and my hope is that our voice of calm patriotism can be heard with a dramatic photograph. I hope we can inspire people to choose better for themselves, their families, their communities and their nation, to vote with their wallet, their heart, and their mind.
NEXT UP: In Part 2 of this blog, we’ll discuss the technical stuff on how we pulled off this and more amazing images. We'll discuss hair and make up, wardrobe, location, and shoot specifics.