From Yoga Girl to Golden Girl: Photographs of Rachel Brathen, by Anais Benoudiz.
For more photographs from the Enlightenment series, click here.
For the behind-the-scenes writeup, with photos, here.
“If it doesn’t make you happy, why hold on?
Let it go. Let it all go.
One day not far from now you will look back and wonder why you clung to so much for so long.
If it’s not serving you—don’t carry it with you. Don’t let it weigh you down. Let it go and do it now.
Lightness of being will set you free.”
A letter from the artist:
My name is Anais Benoudiz and I am a Venezuelan photographer living in Miami.
I was honored to photograph Rachel Brathen with two different styles; the first was with a dark background with her body painted gold. This series is called “From yoga girl to golden girl.” The second was with a white background and colored pigments—this series is called “Enlightenment.”
For “From Yoga Girl to Golden Girl,” I wanted to portray my feelings and emotions as coming out of darkness into clarity, with a new skin. After everything I have been through in the past years, I have developed thicker skin.
Rachel’s gold skin represents my new stronger and brighter side. I kept the background black because it represents the dark past and the bad memories of a nasty marriage that will not fade away easily—but with my thicker skin, the memories are not painful anymore.
I am still in an ongoing process of emotional improvement.
The “Enlightenment” series is more colorful and the total opposite of the first one; this one represents my current emotional state.
Today, I am very happy and grateful for all the people I have met in this amazing journey; I feel more complete and blessed than ever. Yoga has saved my soul and I am back to my normal, happy self.
I hope you all enjoy this little peace of nirvana from my world! I could not have done this without the help of my best friend Daniela Mantini, who is a graphic designer and contributed on the cover for the series. Thank you!
Photographer: Anais Benoudiz
Model: Rachel Brathen
Cover: Daniela Mantini
Makeup artist: Carmen Wade
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Ed: Bryonie Wise