Buoyancy, and being able to float, is a trigger-y topic for some folks, me included.

When I was a kid, someone told me that the reason I was always bobbing like a cork whenever we went to the pool wasn't my ability to tread water, or spread my body's surface out effectively.

Nope. It was because I was fat.

Even though I knew better than to take an intended insult like that into my self-identity, I did anyway. Funny how one untrue comment casually slung in a moment of kid-on-kid cruelty could immediately negate all truth and skew reason for decades to come. Gone from the picture was all the swim lessons, the hours upon hours spent body surfing at the beach, summers at the swim club, enough waterfall and creek vacations to grow a pair of gills. What remained was a self-hatred and sense of failure and shame that kept me from doing a thing I absolutely loved, and did well.

Until I got pregnant with my daughter, and actually was full and lusciously curvy, yet, fat indeed, and proudly so. I got a lot of relief from moving my body on a daily basis, and discovered that the pool at the YMCA was a perfect place to exercise and relax. Something about having another human inside of me helped me to push past my self-imposed boundaries, and I got myself into the steer almost daily. To my surprise the experience of floating during this time was more than fun, and more than a physical relief. Buoyancy was an emotional support too, an affirmation of what I was capable of in both body and spirit - staying in the flow, calm and supported. It changed my life.

It is no surprise that water photography plays such a role in my life now. Seeing others experience their own ability to levitate, and the thrill it brings, is a real privilege. There is freedom within the experience, and power.