A few thoughts and a little back story from Efena.
“Marking the three year anniversary of the horrific and catastrophic car accident that rendered me paralysed from the waist down was indubitably a bittersweet experience. On April 21, 2014, a doctor broke my heart in a way I never thought was possible; when he told me I had a complete thoracic spinal cord injury. In layman’s terms, this directly translates to zero possibility of ever walking again.
Cut to April 2017. Months prior, I decided the best way to celebrate how far I had come was through what I call my #NoFear photoshoot. Inspired by the LA-based wheelchair model/makeup artist Steph Aiello, I wanted to send a clear message with the pictures.
The idea behind #NoFear is simple. My aim is to shatter misconceptions of disabilities whilst spreading awareness of spinal cord injuries. To show that being disabled does not necessarily translate to being unable.
Being suddenly confined to a wheelchair is certainly no walk in the park. Side effects of a spinal cord injury include sporadic & crippling nerve pain, bouts of insomnia and working out regularly becomes an excruciating must to facilitate recovery.
Stormy Sloane and Victoria Reynolds were the fantastic team behind my amazing photos. Our natural chemistry and undeniable synergy made my first professional shoot extremely fun and comfortable. Everything was utter perfection. The location, the wardrobe, the shoes and especially the make-up. My eyebrows were totally on fleek!
Without Stormy’s genius guidance, my poses would probably have been kinda lacklustre. She has this ineffable way of making you feel immediately at ease; the shots can’t help but be absolutely beautiful. She creates an atmosphere of comfort and giddyness. Furthermore, the entire process from introductry emails to signing the contract is so streamlined; you just end up focusing on being thoroughly excited the whole time.
Through some divine connection, Rebel and Romance and Efena Smiles (my social media brand) have produced something much larger than us. To me, they defied, nay obliterated my expectations. These photos declare that my disability isn’ t going to hold me back from ‘overcoming paralysis one step at a time’ (which has been my manta for the last couple of years).
All I can really say is a massive thank you to Stormy and Vic for helping me illustrate #NoFear in powerful, perception-altering visual imagery.
The photos really speak for themselves.Love ya StormyXxxxEfena E. OtoboFreelance Writer and BloggerInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/efen
asmiles/Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/efenasm iles