Womanwise 14

I meet some interesting people doing Womanwise for the Guardian. Along with the possibilities of the photography, it’s one of the real perks of the job. These are women with fascinating stories, real character and unique experiences, but even among them, there are special people and among those is Mystie Thongs, who can best be summed up as awesome.

Mystie has a medical condition that pretty much charts the course of her life with a sobering clarity. She already has the answers to the questions that we sometimes ask ourselves in idle moments, the “what if I knew what would happen with the rest of my life question.”
Ever since I first met her online as one of my first regular tweeps, folks I correspond with regularly using the 140 character service, it was clear that this was someone who lived carpe diem with a remarkable rigor.

Meeting her in person was kind of humbling and unremittingly cool, but that didn’t stop me from trying to push past her point of comfort. At first, Mystie planned to keep me confined to her “public room,” the space where she holds her in-person meetings (much of her work is done online), but I kept pushing.

I never got the opportunity to photograph her in her true workspace, the private world where she plots music promotion domination, but we managed to compromise with a look at her private thinking space, an inspiring patio that overlooks a lush mango tree. We did some photos in the meeting space, but the glow and greenery of her thinkspace proved to be the big win of the session, with both photos, cover and interior, coming from that location.

Mystie and her mom were very kind in their appreciation of my efforts, but really, these photos rise or fall based on the involvement and participation of my subjects and with this session; things just soared.

Related: The Womanwise Virtual Gallery
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