Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary

So this weeks photo challenge is called “Solitary” I when I saw the challenge I knew exactly what photo I would use.

This one is of one of my very dear friends little girl.  When I took this photo I felt that it so captured a part of her essence.  There is a place in her that is solitary… in a quiet, special, no one can take it from her kind of way.

This one is called “A Moment of Solitude,” and was taken after a long summer day of playing with many children and being amongst many adults at the lake.  This quiet  moment was captured by the stairs of the summer camp – she simply put her head upon her hands as she leaned against the railing.  This peaceful moment seemed so beautiful. So serene. So Solitary.    Please “Like” if you like, and as always… thank you so much for reading. xo

Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life

Today I am adding this photo as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge and plan on doing one each week.  Although i am not a professional photographer by any means- I sure love images and love the challenge of capturing the “mood” in the moment.  This one is called “Hanging Under the Umbrella.”   Please “Like” if you like 😉

 

 

The Revelation Project Part VII: Meaghan O’Neill

I first met Meg a few years ago through her sister who was working with me as I was pitching venture capital companies for a bright idea I had about saving the world. I had this amazing business coach who was directing me on how to build a board of advisors, and I wanted Meg to be one of them.  From the start Meg was “game” – and that’s how I’ve tended to look at her.  It would not surprise me if she played varsity sports all four years and was considered MVP or if she was named “most likely to be a team player” in her high school year book.  Hell- I would not surprise me if she graduated valedictorian of her class.  That’s kind of what I mean… I don’t actually know these things about her… it just would not surprise me at all.  She’s just comes off as “Meg” – what you see is what you get and what you get is someone who’s on your team in a huge way- and who comes across as likable and non threatening.  When you learn that she’s got all this amazing experience, know how and respect with absolutely no arrogance you think… how does she DO THAT?  I mean.  My head would be so huge it might literally pop off my body.  Not Meg. Meg is Meg is Meg.  I’m thinking that when women are really taken seriously as a presidential candidate that we might consider Meg.  Yeah, Meg for U.S. President.

Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, my name is Meg; I live in Newport, RI with my husband and son.
I’m a writer and editor, and I work for Parentables http://parentables.howstuffworks.com/ , a parenting website, and TreeHugger http://www.treehugger.com, a blog dedicated to environmental news and culture.

What did you think about the approach of the upcoming photo shoot (before you got there) and what were the results you were expecting?

I had seen the outcome of a few prior shoots, so I was really excited to partake. But I tried not to psyche myself out by pretending it was “no big deal.” Luckily, my computer also melted down on the morning of the shoot, so I had a good distraction from my vanity (read: insecurity).

How did you feel during the shoot and was there anything in particular that made you feel more or less relaxed or open to the process?

Monica and Robyn are really approachable and down-to-earth, so that made me feel like I was on equal terms with them – and their cameras. And there wasn’t a big fuss about hair, make-up, and wardrobe, so there wasn’t this intimidating this is a big deal factor. It felt more like hanging out with friends.

Can you describe in three words the way you felt before we shot?
Giddy, giggly, anxious.

3 words for after

New. Best. Friends.

Three words for when you saw the results
Hey, that’s me!

After you left but before you saw the results – did you have any thoughts about the experience? What were some of the things you thought about on the drive home?

I felt like I had just been out clubbing all night with my good friends. Like we had really lived it up for a while – grabbed the bull by the horns.

When you saw the results can you tell me your first impression?
Me: “I am outrageously laughing in every single picture. I should really take myself more seriously!”

Can you talk about the feedback you received from those who saw your photographs?

Mom: “That doesn’t even look like you! When did you hair get so curly?”

Husband: “These are beautiful.”

What are some words you would use to describe how you were feeling throughout the shoot?

What the hell is my “sultry” look? (I need to work on that.)

Did you learn anything new about yourself from the experience?

I confirmed that I laugh and act goofy when I’m nervous. But I think I also conquered a little bit more of fear about being in the center of attention.

Did you feel empowered? Why? Why not?
Yes. Even if you’re not the kind of person who craves it, it’s pretty cool to know that someone is spending the time and energy to put you in the spotlight, and to know that you can be in control of it and that it’s okay to let yourself shine.

Since the shoot happened almost four weeks ago now can you talk about the lasting impact of the experience?  Has it altered the way you view yourself or your surroundings?

For me this was probably, above all, a confidence building exercise. I don’t think I’m a weak person and I’m not unhappy with where I am in life, but I certainly have obstacles that I want to overcome and plenty of character flaws… Participating in the Revelation Project gave me a chance to reassess where I am and where I want to be and, ultimately, to ask myself not only “Where the hell do you think you’re headed?” but also “How do you want to get there?” That’s powerful stuff.

Do you think this was an important/valuable experience for yourself? Why?

For sure. I’m always up for a challenge, and for me, putting myself in front of a camera for two hours isn’t easy. So facing that fear was part of the experience – but a good part.

Do you think it’s relevant for other women? Why?
Absolutely. Participating in the Revelation Project isn’t just about getting your portrait taken. It’s an opportunity to reflect on who you’ve been, what you’ve become, and where you want to go. And if  you pay attention, you might even capture a glimpse of your own pure awesomeness.

How would you use the photos moving forward? Professionally? Personally? As gifts?

I’ve already used them professionally http://parentables.howstuffworks.com/author/meaghan-oneill , and I might use them personally. I’m not sure if I’m quite to the point of hanging large-scale photos of myself on the wall yet, but we’ll see.

If you could sum up the experience what would you say?
It was fun, exhilarating, and totally worth it. Also, when I first looked at the photos I thought, “Yeah, these are decent.” Then I went to choose a headshot and realized that I couldn’t decide which one I liked best. That’s a really nice feeling.

Can you recommend a great song or album you think other women who have donethis project might like?

I’m sort of in a Chrissie Hynde state of mind right now – she’s cool, confident, passionate, uniquely talented, and she hangs tough in a guys’ world without losing her femininity. Oh, and she’s like, approaching 60 and still totally rocking and gorgeous. That’s who I want to be.

What is the most challenging thing you have faced as a woman?

The hardest thing about being a woman in our generation is that we have so much choice, but at the same time so many expectations. We’ve benefited enormously from the women before us that worked their asses off to break through the glass ceiling. You can be a mom, a daughter, a wife, a boss, an employee. But there’s a lot of pressure — both self- and society-imposed — to do all of these things well all at the same time.

I think sometimes we forget to check in and see if we’re hitting the right balance — and to say no to something if we’re not. A wise woman once told me, “You can have it all; you just can’t have it all at the same time.” This is a woman, who, at different times in her life, has been a professional ballerina, an artist, and a stay-at-home mom, then became an M.D. in her fifties. I try to remember to live by those words. Cutting yourself is a break is some pretty good medicine.

The Revelation Project: What it’s Not

It’s not about

Beauty (though you may find that you are)

Great skin (Dove)

Perfection (as you are,  is preferable)

Being skinny (at least jeans can offer  that illusion)

Fixing you (because there is nothing wrong with you)

Vanity (you probably think this song is about you) (don’t you?) (don’t you?)

Style (magazines will tell you otherwise)

Glamour (mall. shooting.)

Better (as if judging ourselves against anyone else is ever helpful)

New and improved (it may be more valuable to discover what’s already there)

So what is it?

We. Don’t. Know.

We just know it’s making a difference somehow.

Revelation: Friendship

Soooo,  I was always Farrah Fawcett (Kris Munroe) In Charlie’s Angels when we played as kids. If I could not be her, I just wasn’t gonna play. end.of.story.

I always wanted a gun too, but it’s quite fortunate for my Wasband that I never had one, because he’d be, well, shot (insert happy smiley face).

I envied the friendships that those women had, you know – the three of them; Kelly, Kris, and Sabrina risking their very lives for each other.  Yet somehow in real life three of us never really worked out because someone always got creepy and went home crying. It was usually Sabrina (bet it was the hair cut- just sayin’).

Back then I really did not realize how true it is that a good girlfriend really can save your life for real.  I’ve had a few- and you know who you are.  These are the women in my life I’d honestly take a genuine bullet for… really I would.  There is always the occasional one who gets creepy now and again, but for the most part – i would not trade them in for anything or anyone. else. ever.

I hope every woman reading this ridiculous blog has that special friend in their life who’s taken a hit for you, stood up for you when you can’t find the strength, or just plain been there to laugh hysterically with when there just isn’t much else one can do.

The Revelation Project Part IV: Bethany Harvey Stewart

To know her is to adore her. Bethany Harvey Stewart is one of the most unassuming women I have ever met.  I have known Bethany for a few years now and our friendship has deepened over time with the advent of children, Facebook, and now, photography.  I really enjoyed photographing Bethany for so many reasons….most of all because I witnessed that *moment* when she finally just “let go” and gave herself permission to show up in the photographs….and once she did she literally shone like a prism.  She makes me remember that we are in fact spiritual beings- our body is our vessel, and our eyes the windows to our soul.

1) What did you think about the approach of the upcoming photo shoot ( before you got there) and what were the results you were expecting?

When Robyn and Monica first asked me, my first reaction was that it would be fun.  But, after I thought about it some more I was terrified.  I was very nervous, not so much about taking the photos, but about other people seeing them.  I was worried that people might think I was a narcissist for having pictures taken of myself, when in reality my self esteem was at a very low point.  An interesting thing happened on the drive over, though.  I really felt exhilarated by the idea of doing something that scared me.  That hadn’t happened in a while!  As far as what I was expecting,   I know that you both are wonderful photographers, but you can only do so much with a subject!  I have never enjoyed posed photos of myself….aside from my wedding photos and pictures of my pregnant belly. So, I was not confident…in me, not in you!

2) How did you feel during the shoot and was there anything in particular that made you feel more or less relaxed or open to the process? Can you tell me if there was a point in which you finally “surrendered” to the shoot and do you remember when, and what made it happen?

I loved that the pictures were being taken at your home and on regular furniture, not with traditional photography props and and backdrops. That put me at ease somewhat.  You and Robyn have such a good time together, and you both kept me laughing.  I don’t know if I ever really “let go” completely, but you were both good at distracting me and eliciting natural smiles and expressions.

3) Can you describe in three words the way you felt before we shot.

Exhilarated, terrified, unworthy

4) 3 words for after

Exhilarated, optimistic, empowered

5) Three words for when you saw the results

Thrilled, surprised, flattered

6) After you left but before you saw the results – did you have any thoughts about the experience?  What were some of the things you thought about on the drive home?

I was laughing all night about some of the antics you two went through to get me loosened up!  I was really nervous about having the pictures posted on facebook for the world to see.

7) When you saw the results can you tell me your first impression?

I wasn’t sure I was really looking at me!

Can you talk about the feedback you received from those who saw your photographs?

I got so many wonderful comments from friends and family (mostly women).  I think most of them understood the motivation behind the photo shoot. So many of us stop thinking of ourselves as beautiful individuals once we take that leap to motherhood.   Many women told me how brave they thought I was.

9) Did you feel beautiful during the shoot? why? why not?

Ummm, I was still feeling pretty unworthy during the shoot.  When you showed me a couple of the shots on your camera mid way through, I felt a little more confident.

10) Did you feel empowered? why?  Why not?

That feeling didn’t really hit me until after the shoot.  I was so proud that I went through with it. It was so outside of my comfort zone…and I hadn’t been there in quite some time. That felt amazing.

11) Since the shoot happened almost two weeks ago now can you talk about the lasting impact of the experience?  Has it altered the way you view yourself or your surroundings?

Since participating in the revelation project, the truth that has come to light for me is that sometime during the last five years, since I quit my job to be with my two children full time, I ceased to really see myself as an individual.  I always put my needs last, even denied that I might have needs outside of caring for my family.  Now many might say that that is what being a parent is all about.  Being a parent requires always considering the needs of one’s children.  I don’t argue with that.   The question I have come to ask myself is, isn’t there a way to fulfill my own needs without sacrificing the needs of those I love? Wouldn’t taking care of myself and truly being happy and fulfilled,  wouldn’t that in fact be the best gift to (and example to set for) my girls?   Seeing those pictures of me (not of me and my kids, or even of me and my husband but of JUST ME) woke something up inside of me that had been buried far too long.  I am excited to get to know myself again and I insist on making my own happiness a priority.  The reality is, if I am not truly happy, I am not really capable of offering by best self to others either.  We all deserve more.

12) Do you think this was an important/valuable experience for yourself? why?

Yes!  I knew that I had been feeling low, but I didn’t quite realize how badly I had been perceiving myself until looking in hindsight after this experience.  It was an amazing feeling looking at a beautiful, confident woman and realizing I AM HER.  WHOA. Who knew?

13) Do you think it’s relevant for other women?  why?

Yes!  I have been encouraging everyone to try this.  It’s hard to explain, but it’s like stepping outside of yourself and gaining a new and better perspective – on YOU.  I am thinking more than I have in a long time about who I am as an individual and what I need to be happy and fulfilled.  I want to make that woman in the photos proud!

14) How would you use the photos moving forward? Professionally? Personally? as gifts?

Any of the above.  I am so happy to have them for my girls, too.

15) If you could sum up the experience what would you say?

I would say that this experience is an incredible gift you can give to yourself.

The Revelation Project & Narcissism

So far I have co- photographed nine amazing women for the Revelation Project and each one has taught me something different, and in doing so I’ve discovered a family of sisters I never knew I had.

I’ve learned of  a common inheritance that dwells inside each one of us that has to do with constructs of self worth, identity, freedom and beauty that has shocked and intrigued me on many levels.

Here are some of my findings so far:

1) No matter how confident and beautiful she APPEARS to be there is a piece of her that clings to the belief that she is not worthy of attention, adoration, or admiration on almost any level (FASCINATING)!

2) By coincidence, each woman who has been photographed to date has shared the bond of motherhood and each and everyone of them has somehow lost an aspect of themselves along the way whether it be notions of self esteem, self worth, confidence, balance, inspiration, body, or *spirit* (more on that later).

3) Most of the women who view their photographs after the session report the following and lead me to explore the following questions:

  • They see a woman in the photographs that they have not seen in a very long time (What was missing?)
  • They experience a mix of amazement and awe; amazement that they actually view a beautiful empowered woman in the photo, and awe that they had not realized just how far removed from their former self they had become.
  • They experience a sense of empowerment, inspiration, and/or connectedness to the woman in the photograph (almost as if to embrace or re-claim her… had we shut her down? turned her out? denied her? ).
  • They experience the “fear” of mis-interpretation and that the photos might be viewed as “narcissistic” by their family, or peers.
  • They report that their women friends have regarded them “brave” and “courageous” to have participated in the project.
  • Report finding a piece of themselves they did not know had been lost along the way ( What happens to us?)
  • Identify a “transformation” of self  (meaning: the perception and perspective they have of themselves is “altered” and “shifted” in such a way that was not available BEFORE the session).

I loved that in the wiki definition of Narcissism they have replaced the term in Spain to mean “healthy self-love” and that there can actually be a healthy interpretation of falling in love with the image reflected back at you.  There is something to be said after all about loving oneself…  If we can not love ourselves as we are- exactly ( all that we ARE, and all that we ARE NOT) how can we truly love and accept anyone else? As always- I so welcome your comments, questions, or cries of outrage!  xoxoxo

The Revelation Project Part III: Juli Mancini

Juli Mancini is one of the most creative, articulate, and generous people I know. Juli’s beauty is wild and untamed, and the clarity in her eyes coupled with her open and direct communication style just enhances it.  She’s always in touch with where she is at emotionally, and loves connecting with people at the heart level.  Having studied and worked on the West Coast she’s carried that warmth to New England and has spread it’s rays to all who have had the pleasure of meeting her. Mother of two, artist, photographer, writer, entrepreneur, the photographs and interview can tell you the rest.

MR: What did you think about the approach of the upcoming photo shoot (before you got there) and what were the results you were expecting?

juli: I am usually the one behind the lens so the idea of actually having timeless documentation of beautiful photos of myself was refreshing.  I didn’t know exactly what to expect but love productions and female gatherings of any kind so my spirits were lifted before I walked through the door.

MR: How did you feel during the shoot and was there anything in particular that made you feel more or less relaxed or open to the process?

juli: For me personally, being photographed by women, disengages a sensor that might otherwise be present.  This changes the finished product as a result creating a softer, truer and essential depiction.


MR: Can you describe in three words the way you felt before we shot?

juli: Thrilled, hopeful, that indescribable Christmas morning feeling.

MR:  Three words for after ?

juli: Anticipation, empowered, beautiful

MR: Three words for when you saw the results

Juli: Disbelief, elation, lifted

MR: After you left but before you saw the results – did you have any thoughts about the experience?  What were some of the things you thought about on the drive home?

juli: I thought, what a brilliant idea!  If every woman considered this a necessity instead of a luxury, the world would be a different place.

MR: When you saw the results can you tell me your first impression?

juli: Pure love of the photographs but also of the many gifts presented in these photos.  I was reintroduced to myself through a photograph.  I also experienced a profound bond with and respect for Robyn and Monica.


MR: Can you talk about the feedback you received from those who saw your photographs?

juli: The most common remark was that my essence was captured in the photos. Others commented on how beautiful I am and how gifted Robyn and Monica are.

MR: Did you feel beautiful during the shoot? why? why not?

juli: Yes…well I took the opportunity to pull out my Anthropologie clothing and my Pamela Tuohy Jewelry which I save for special occasions.  Monica helped with hair and make-up which has not been a priority in my daily life for some time and all eyes and lenses were on me.  How marvelous!

MR: Did you feel empowered? why?  Why not?

juli: Absolutely…because I felt worthy.


MR: Since the shoot happened almost two weeks ago now can you talk about the lasting impact of the experience?  Has it altered the way you view yourself or your surroundings?

juli: Yes. As a mom going through a separation, it’s easy to put my needs last in a long line of to do lists while feeling worn down.  These photos reminded me that I am already the person that I want to become.  She’s in there and we are now getting reacquainted.  Having a love affair actually!

MR:  Do you think this was an important/valuable experience for yourself? why?

juli: I do…because, like many other women, I have lost my way on this path in life.  I have replaced my needs with those of family and lost myself along the way. I needed a reminder and these images presented just that.  They are a reminder of my exuberance, vitality and passion.  It conveys beautifully.  You can see it in the eyes.

MR: Do you think it’s relevant for other women?  why?

juli: I think if a woman is open to the many gifts inherent in this project, then yes.  A woman who values herself and this process enough will make the investment…that is the woman who will experience lasting change as a result.


MR:  How would you use the photos moving forward? Professionally? Personally? as gifts?

juli: As a visual person, I only need to close my eyes to review them which is where they have made the most impact.  I may use them to promote my business ventures down the road.  When I move into a place which I can call my own, I will brand the walls with the photos, you know, proudly mark my territory.  I will enjoy that!

MR: If you could sum up the experience what would you say?

Juli: This experience was illuminating. The concept is brilliant and Robyn and Monica approach the project with such passion and intent.  For them, it’s not just about turning a job, it’s about pursuit of deeper meaning in self, partner and subject.  That intent makes the project work and work well.  You see it in the photos and I felt it during the shoot.  We all connected with compassion, hope and excitement for what could be and for what gems may be hidden. I will be forever grateful for the Revelation Project and these talented women with the vision to unearth our wildness and essence.

The Revelation Project Part II: Cyra Morgan

It was last summer that my girlfriend Juli asked me to consider photographing a girlfriend of hers who was having a hard time getting a portrait of herself that she felt really captured the essence of who she was.  It was not until this past month however, that I reached out to ask that both of them be photographed as part of the Revelation Project.

Cyra Morgan is an incredibly talented singer songwriter, and the moment I heard her voice and her lyrics, I experienced this deep sense of awe and wonder at her beauty and talent (inside and out).  With an incredibly petite frame and eyes that can melt cast iron I got my first taste (similar to a vampire ) of a song she wrote and performed having been inspired by the book from the  Twilight series.  I was positively captivated.

One Friday morning last month , Juli and Cyra arrived to have their photo session, and the chemistry and mood altered and changed with conversation and encouragement. The space was charged with something indescribable and once again the results of the shoot and the experience were astonishing.

The following is an excerpt from my interview with Cyra and the photographs we were able to capture that morning.

For those of you who read this- I’d like to go down on the record for my prediction that this woman WILL be famous.  She is still largely undiscovered, so if you know someone in the Industry… please feel free to forward her music, and by all means fan her on Facebook.

PS: We’ve still got Robyn’s watermark on the photos to protect them from piracy but we are working on our own logo for the Revelation project and will unveil it soon! (So excited!)

The Revelation Project Interview Questions:

MR:  What did you think about the approach of the upcoming photo shoot ( before you got there) and what were the results you were expecting?

CM: I constantly struggle with photos…. in fact I am so photographically challenged, snapshots of myself usually make me cry.  So I avoid the camera. I’m not an easy person to photograph, as friends have tried, and I desperately needed some head shots and publicity photos so I felt that it had to be done. Honestly I didn’t know what to expect. I’d seen incredible work from Robyn and Monica so I was hopeful.  The results were not at all what I was expecting…. I was astounded. I thought that I would get some usable shots, but they are incredible…. when looking at the proofs I was actually in tears. They  captured “me”, they captured so many facets of my being…. no one has ever been able to do that for me before.

MR: How did you feel during the shoot and was there anything in particular that made you feel more or less relaxed or open to the process?

CM: I felt nervous because of my photo anxiety. It took me a little while to warm up but the inspiring, creative energy in the room and the rapport between Monica and Robyn eventually led me to a place of letting go and trusting….. where I could truly be myself in front of the camera. Jumping on the bed put me in a relaxed place, sort of joggled all of the junk out of me. Time also, the longer the session… the more comfortable I became.

MR: Can you describe in three words the way you felt before we shot?

CM: Nervous, Apprehensive, Excited

MR:  Three words for immediately after the shoot?

CM: Relaxed, Apprehensive, Hopeful

MR:  Three words for when you saw the results?

CM: Astounded, Floored, Beautiful

MR:  After you left but before you saw the results – did you have any thoughts about the experience?  What were some of the things you thought about on the drive home?

CM: I loved the experience…. had so much fun. Felt like a kid again. Was thinking about how I’d like to do that more often…. a magical connection was made, not only with Monica, Robyn and myself, but also between the person that I am and the person that I’ve always wanted to be….. that I am ever grateful for.

MR: When you saw the results can you tell me your first  impression?

CM: Woahhh….. couldn’t believe that those were pictures of me! Then came the tears…..

MR: Can you talk about the feedback you received from those who saw your photographs?

CM: I have been getting amazing feedback….. many have commented on the fact that my essence was captured in the photos….

MR: Did you feel beautiful during the shoot? why? why not?

CM: Not for a while…. because I was afraid of the camera. Afraid of making crazy expressions…. Toward the end, yes.  I was really into their suggestions and creative input.

MR: Did you feel empowered? why?  Why not?

CM: Incredibly empowered. Looking at the photos made me feel like me again. Like the me inside who had sort of gotten lost for a while. I’m now using the pics for a single cover and for my music which is incredibly important to me….  I now have what I need to to take the steps toward realizing my dreams.

(The photo that was made into a single cover)  Here’s the Link to hear this one

MR: Since the shoot happened almost two weeks ago now can you talk about the lasting impact of the experience?  Has it altered the way you view yourself or your surroundings?

CM: It’s very difficult to put into words….. after spending years in my every day role and of how others perceive me, after many emotional ups and downs and doubting whether or not my dreams were ever actually reachable for me, or if I was just kidding myself…. I saw those pics and was in tears…. I was like “Hey I remember you….. this is who you are, and she’s ready to come out now…..” It was such a gift. I definitely got a head shot and publicity shots that are an incredible representation of my music which comes from deep within my soul… I don’t know how they did it.

MR: Do you think this was an important/valuable experience for yourself? why?

CM: More valuable than I could ever express…. It feels like some wall within me cracked wide open and all of this light flooded in. It gave me freedom to be myself.

MR:  Do you think it’s relevant for other women?  why?

CM: More than relevant, I think it is necessary. We are all such beautiful creatures and absolutely need to see ourselves as such.  I think that too often, we just can’t see it in ourselves….. we get caught up in the outer role that we play….. Robyn and Monica have a gift for finding that incredible beauty and drawing it out.

MR: How would you use the photos moving forward? Professionally? Personally? as gifts?

CM: I’m definitely using the photos professionally….. hence the single cover. Personally, I look at them when I need some encouragement….. when fall into the pattern of doubting myself.

MR: If you could sum up the experience what would you say?

CM: For me, it was an awakening….. a transformation.

The Revelation Project: Part I

It’s pretty easy for us women to forget who we are or wanted to be after years of care taking,  raising a family, or just plain years later.

For many of us – it’s not that our husbands or boyfriends don’t make us feel beautiful or worthy of worship but that we don’t quite feel the part ourselves. Then there are those of us who have never really seen the inherent beauty of our selves for who we are and the expressions and attributes that are uniquely ours- making us each individually and uniquely beautiful. We sometimes get lost along the way to the land of low self esteem, resignation, cynicism, and self criticism ( I visit this land way too often).

My neighbor Robyn Ivy is an incredibly accomplished photographer who like many of us on the outside- look like we have it all handled.   Mother of two, recently divorced, smart, talented, lovely, insightful and pee your pants funny had just recently hit that wall we all eventually press our nose against.  The wall of : STUCK, UGLY, UNATTRACTIVE, OVERWHELMED, OUT of SHAPE, and just plain SICK OF ME.  She marched over to my house with an armload of clothing and her camera and said “SHOOT ME”.

Because great minds think alike we embarked on a photo odessy that was aimed directly at getting relief through humor, make- up, and good girlfriend snarkiness and although both of us snickered our way through the various poses and and contrived sprawls-  something entirely different actually ended up happening.

Licking her self inflicted ( aren’t most?) wounds, I documented Robyn as we played with different ideas and looks only to end with astonishing results.

Now- of course we went through the photo’s and edited them and laughed and giggled and snorted, but the process itself was quite remarkable because it provided a catharsis that went far deeper than either of us imagined.   The entire process, as well as the outcome had truly empowered her and gave her back something she felt she had lost somewhere along the way: herself.

In the weeks that followed the results of the shoot had a lasting effect, a kind of “balancing” effect and for some reason gave Robyn permission to hit the “reset” button and take inventory of the things she wanted to accomplish.  Somehow seeing herself in the photos allowed her to step OUT of her head and see herself in a way she desperately did not even know she needed.

Since then, we’ve gone on to get similar if not more powerful results from the subsequent women we have photographed.  I’ll continue to post the results as well as a few interviews over the course of the next few weeks and you can see and hear for yourselves the kind of impact this project has made on each of these women.

After some discussion we decided to call this “process” something that we would continue to develop and we decided on the name The Revelation Project because in the process – something gets found, unveiled, or revealed that was not available BEFORE.  Hard to explain so again…. I’ll let them try to explain through the interviews we’ve collected ( to be posted soon!)

Here are the photos of Robyn taken that day. I’d love to hear your feedback to the project, the photos and the concept.