It has been a crazy year for women. Historically, though, we know every year is crazy for women. If ever things are going to change, now seems like the moment. WOMAN 2020 is a snapshot of women during this time of upheaval. We are building careers, raising children, living our lives, and trying to impact the world in positive ways, and I believe all women have much to say.
Images tell a story, but words matter just as much. I put together this list of questions to go with the session photographs. They are based on what I would have asked women 50 years ago, or 100, but they are especially relevant now. Visit the blog to read each woman's interview. Click here to read and answer WOMAN 2020 questions.
Where we're shooting. WOMAN 2020 is a photo essay featuring real women of all shapes, sizes and ages at their most powerful. It will be shot in and around my house which is a Victorian full of interesting earthy backgrounds. Because this is a project about women, I want women who can stand in their power as women. What's that mean to stand in your power? It means my goal is to capture you powerfully, confidently, fiercely and naturally. This could be smiling broadly or just looking at the camera with a strong gaze. This project is about working together in a comfortable environment to capture who you are as an individual and how you’re feeling at this moment. And that's something you can't do with a model. It has to come from a real person who is willing to be open to an experience. I hope to exhibit 20 large scale portraits in the Spring of 2020.
I’d love to photograph you in a room that you normally gravitate toward but we’ll shoot it in my house for project continuity. Are you inspired by a particular room in your house? Do you like bright spaces or dark spaces? Do you have a piece of clothing that you love? What are some of your hobbies? Are you creative at work? I’d be great to meet first and discuss these things. This is how we will get to get heart of who you are photographically. I will be shooting in natural light (with one or two support lights) so that means we’ll need to shoot when the light is more soft. Early in the morning or late afternoon are ideal times in terms of lighting but I can make any time work. I’m pretty flexible and can shoot during the week or weekends to accommodate your schedule. To get a feel for what we’re doing, it’s always great to go into that space (in your house) and try different things out. Stand, sit, lean to get a feel for how you feel most like yourself. It’ll be helpful and make you more comfortable when we begin shooting.
What to Wear. Wear something that makes you feel beautiful, strong or empowered. Anything from an evening dress to jeans and a t-shirt, dress, robe, or favorite bra and panty set or nothing at all. This is about you. Bold colors like red, yellow, or blue all photograph well. Colors that compliment your skin are great (the best color is usually the one total strangers comment on). If you want to bring 2-3 options, please do. I'm happy to help you choose. The most important thing is for you to BE YOU. A dress with pockets, jewelry, glasses, scarf or sweater give you something to do while we're shooting. But do make sure it's free of fuzz. The camera picks up everything on dark fabrics. If you’re interested in shooting nude (definitely not a requirement), let me know. We can strategize and come up with a plan that’s comfortable for you. You can also bring something to do if that makes you more comfortable. Paint your nails, drink a cup of tea, read a book, knit, paint, dance. These things are all apart of you and help shake off nerves.
For makeup, choose MATTE products. Products that sparkle accentuate lines. If you're not a makeup person, moisturizer, mascara and chapstick are awesome. If you get your makeup done at a Sephora or with a makeup professional, make sure to tell your stylist it is for a natural light shoot. The camera also picks up every stray hair so make sure to apply pomade or hairspray.
I will be photographing you from head to toe so you will be able to see your toes and fingernails in case you'd like to get a manicure/pedicure beforehand. I prefer to photograph in bare feet. It’s just easier to move around.
Please arrive ready to shoot.
During Your Shoot. I’ll tell you in advance what room we’re going to shoot in a few days before your session. If you have 10 minutes, good to go in that room in your house and practice what feels good to you. Stand against the wall, lean against the counter, sit down, stand up. You will feel ridiculous but it’ll give you a head start shaking off any nerves you may have. At the beginning of our session I’ll start out by giving you some direction about where to start. Speaking of nerves, I know it can be a little nerve-wrecking at first (everyone I’ve shot is) but the best way to lose those nerves is to start moving. Moving makes you more comfortable, so shake it off, lean on things, pull out old dance or yoga moves, smile, don't smile, put your hands in your hair, cross your arms behind your back, and do whatever you're feeling. It will just be you, me, a camera and some music. My goal is to capture the best of YOU and since this is digital, I’ve got plenty of card space.
If you're looking for inspiration, download Google Arts and culture and look through classic painters. My goal is to make you look amazing. Every time you hear the camera click, do something different. Check out my blog post about making the most of your session. It's written for my business clients but it'll give you some ideas.
The Exhibition. I will be exhibiting the best image of each session with the Q&A every woman fills out before the session. I will give you a few digital copy of your favorite three images for your own use before the exhibition in the Spring of 2020. You can also re-share the images I post to social media.