In The Footsteps Of My Mother's FeetThursday, August 24, 2006
Fie, fie upon her! There's language in her eye, her cheek, her lip; Nay, her foot speaks. Her wanton spirits look out At every joint and motive of her body.
William Shakespeare, The History of Troilus and Cressida
No matter how hard I have avoided them, feet have followed me all my life. I tell the people that I photograph that the ugliest part of the body is a foot. As a portrait photographer, for me, the coup de grâce for feet is that they are so far from the face.
About 5 years ago on a trip to Pensacola, Florida, I was offered either a massage or a pedicure at a luxury resort development. I was much too shy to risk the total unveiling of my body for a massage so I decided to accept the pedicure. There I was sitting among 10 beautiful women who were talking about intimacies that made me blush! My pedicurist told me that no matter how old I really was my feet were young and perfect. I have never had any bunions and I have worn 8½s since I can remember. The shoes of Mark's Work Warehouse fit me perfectly. I don't remember my father's feet but I certainly inherited my mother's who were lovely. She said we both had swimmer's feet.
In 1992 I began noticing feet in earnest when I started taking pictures of ballerinas and modern dancers. Evelyn Hart's feet looked like Spain's Torquemada had been at them while trying to determine if her talent for dance came from the devil. Ballet BC dancer Laurie Stallings was embarrased to show her feet and only did so after I pleaded (right). Yet I could watch at a Ballet BC performance and I could tell, from the ankles down, which one was Stallings.
Peggy, the young dancer I photographed for the Straight some years ago, proved that the feet need not be so far from the face (above, left).