Cover of Heart's Little Queen
Cover of Heart’s Little Queen

I posted this last year June 30, 2014. It is about how I started Dreamspeed Photography. It’s a sentiment I try to keep close to me everyday.

Even though I’ve looked at thousands of photos, listened to thousands of songs and poems, as an artist I can trace my roots back to a few key images that continue to influence me. I believe that once certain photos are tattooed on your brain, it becomes part of you and can’t escape who you are, and most importantly you shouldn’t try. Embrace it.

dreamspeed photography

When I was 11 years old it was 1977. Women barely worked outside the home, and if they did, they were secretaries or cut hair. I was desperate for strong feminine roles models and got them in the form of Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart.

Samantha Bonham and Cindy Goff, "Little Queens"-Dreamspeed Photography Warrenton Virginia
Samantha Bonham and Cindy Goff, “Little Queens”

I saw them for the first on the Midnight Special performing “Love Alive.” My expectations changed forever. I’d never seen women be that powerful and unapologetic. I bought their 2nd album Little Queen the next day and studied the album cover: Two gorgeous women, staring head-on into the camera dressed as gypsys, colorful, adventurous. Not trashy. Tough, yet soft at the same time. And their band of male musicians, blurry behind them around a wagon. Suddenly anything was possible.

This led to my first photo shoot. My girlfriend, Samantha and I went through the odd, never-ending supply of old clothes at her house and came up with our gypsy outfits. My mom took our photos in front of a group of trees that separated our yard from the gravel road in Chilhowie, Virginia. We even waited for a day that was windy so our hair would blow back properly. She posed us with great direction and shot us with one of those Kodaks that had a flashcube on top. I had no idea how this first shoot influenced me.

Ann and Nancy Wilson, Heart, dreamspeed photography

Meeting Ann and Nancy Wilson

Fast forward-My best friend Tracey and I saw Heart in the summer of 2013. We opted for the VIP experience which included having a photo taken with Ann and Nancy. I took the photo of Samantha and I dressed up like Little Queens and gave it to them. I was so overcome, I couldn’t talk. I totally froze up (I have accepted I’m no good around celebrities. I had a similar reaction when I met John Cameron Mitchell in Provincetown). Ann and Nancy seemed to like the photo but were a little confused by it. Tracey and I stood behind them. Snap. And that was it. You can see the frame with my photo in it in the center of the picture between Ann and Nancy on the table.

Gypsy shoot, Christmas 2013 with Leanna and Rowan. Dreamspeed Photography Warrenton Virginia.
Gypsy shoot, Christmas 2013 with Leanna and Rowan. © Dreamspeed Photography/Cindy Goff

I was doing a shoot for my microstock business over Christmas 2013. I like to do a “fun” shoot after we have everything else in camera. So once again, I got to play gypsy dress-up, this time with two great models, Rowan and Leanna.

This enthusiasm for allowing myself to be completely creative, to want to play dress-up again, takes me back to the last place that has not been turned sour by “the way the world works.” It is still pure. When I dip into it, embrace it, it never disappoints. Anything is STILL possible.

Everyone has that place inside them. That moment when you were truly awakened to what you love in this world, to what you really wanted to be. It is still there. Be it.

This sentiment started Dreamspeed Photography. You can be anything you want at the speed of dreams,  just get out of your own way!

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