WOMAN 2020: Portrait project

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 portrait essay to document the firsthand experience of women during the current movement and what needs to be done as a society to propel the next generation forward.

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.


WOMAN 2020 is a snapshot of this moment in history. My goal as a photographer for this project is to take your words in your Q+A and create a visual to match those words. After photographing over a dozen of these now, the best way to approach these is to find a place you gravitate toward and work together through the session to capture YOU. 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’d love to photograph you in a place in the world where you feel an energetic charge or represents you in some way. Are you inspired by a particular room in your house, studio or outside? Do you like bright spaces or dark spaces? Do you have a piece of clothing you love? What are some of your hobbies? Are you creative at work? I’d be great to meet over coffee and discuss these things. This is how we will get to get heart of how to photographically capture your essence.

If we’re shooting outside, it’s my preference to shoot early in the morning or at dusk. I know this is often a hard for people to make these times but the photographically the results are always worth it.

If we’re shooting inside, I can bring lights and make anytime 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 or outside) 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 grounded, 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 all photograph well. Colors that compliment your skin are great (the best color is usually the one total strangers comment on). Bring 2-3 options so you can change mid-session. If you need help choosing clothes, I’m happy to help. 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. At the beginning of our session I’ll start out by giving you some direction about how to stand. 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 background or yoga moves, smile, don't smile, put your hands in your hair, cross your arms 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 or look up old film stars on Wikipedia. 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 your Q+A at a gallery in early 2020.

Release: Images from your session will be printed and sold at the exhibition and will also be on display via my social media, website and possibly printed in a book. Therefore, I need all participants to fill out a model release. I will bring a copy with me for you to sign.

Files: 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.