Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Beauty Collective

I crossed paths with a college friend last summer, at a mutual friend’s wedding; I was officiating, Noelle was photographing.  We got to chat and catch up a bit, and to delight in each other’s successes, that five years after graduation we were chasing our dreams.

A few months later, Noelle contacted an assortment of her friends with the following proposal:  would we be willing to be photographed for a local project called The Beauty Collective?
You can read about the first installment of the Beauty Collective on her blog (and I highly recommend that you do - Athena explains it so beautifully). 
In short – as women, we have all experienced insecurities about our appearance at one time or another, and as a photographer, I come across this in every. single. session I shoot. I am constantly told how unphotogenic someone thinks they are, and every time, I find that it is quite the opposite. 
My goal with the collective is to get a group of women together – no more than 5-7 – and I would like to create portraits that empower them and show them that they ARE beautiful. 
After several months of weather-caused delays, four of us got to hang out at the Q’arma Building in Northeast, and Noelle worked her magic.

There was something terrifying about being photographed with no promise of filter, of touch-up, of Photoshop to save me from the scars on my chin.  I specifically asked that my hands not be photographed, because I’ve never loved them, and of course Noelle got them involved in a third of the photos, because that’s the whole point of the project.

And you know what?

It was amazing.  And I feel beautiful, in a way I have not felt in a long time.  Even without good lipstick and perfect concealer.  Even with my hands showing and my hair askew.

So if you are reading this, I implore you:  let yourself be beautiful, today.


  1. I can't adequately express how full my heart is after reading this post. After hearing you tell about your experience at the Collective session. During. After. Especially after. I hope the beauty you see in that photograph is with you still - and that you are continuously kind to yourself. You are beautiful, darling. So very much so.