“Daisy Goes to the Ocean” by Chelsy Mitchell

Everyone knows that the ocean holds secrets in its foaming mouth. It is where you go when you need to shed your skin, where you can piece together the jagged fragments of yourself beneath a mercilessly blue sky. Out there at the edge of the earth, with the ocean unfolding in front of you like miles of blue silk, you could be anyone, a desperado always outrunning a change in luck. You and the ocean, both pushed and pulled by the moodiness of the moon. The ocean is where you can breathe, sunlight spreading like fingers across your bare skin, possibility warm beneath your feet. You don’t know where you’ll end up next, and you like it that way, keeping your movements quick and careful like a cat. No matter what happens, you know you’ll land on your feet. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the horizon, and you can let yourself stretch and swell in the salty air and velvety sunshine, dreaming of the past lives and secret depths hidden beneath that shimmering surface.

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This editorial from Brooklyn-based photographer Chelsy Mitchell has us aching for empty expanses of sun-baked sand, the ocean’s rough caresses reminding us that we can be whoever we want to be. There is something unapologetic and powerfully gritty about these shots, a mysterious crackle of dark energy that keeps us searching for more. Model Nicola Collie is a professional dancer and moves like it, holding her body with a fine-tuned and fearless elegance, as she leaps into midair and throws herself across shadowy sand dunes. Someone once told me that you go to the ocean to find yourself or to lose yourself, and this editorial embodies that quiet vulnerability, showing us a woman on the edge of something, with a wild determination flickering in her eyes.

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