The Great Blue World by Nirav Patel and Meredith Adelaide

Nirav Patel is a San Francisco based portrait and editorial photographer.

We aim to create a sensitive visual collection that touches on the aspects of grief and loss. The title is borrowed from the poem "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski.

This project, so far, has allowed both Nirav and I to practice holding space for those with stories to share. We've found more clarity in our own lives because of it, and are very, very honored to be given trust to visually interpret these extremely personal experiences.

We sit with these stories for some time before we get together to shoot. We write the stories out, we highlight what we each connect with, and when finally together we sit and talk through ways to represent certain aspects -- whether by wardrobe, emotion, location, props, use of light... We're not doing literal translations, so during the shoots we allow our instincts to take over. We get into the head-space of each story while working together which at this point is quite seamless. We've definitely cried quite a few times and it's awesome. For the book, we will pair each image with words from our participants.

Together, through every aspect of this project, Nirav and I would like to offer a little solace to those who grieve; to share how very human it all is; to accept where we are within each facet of our individual developments; to quietly nod to each of you that we've been there, too; and to give ourselves a love that will remind us when, inevitably, we must experience it again, and again, and again.

All photos by Nirav Patel