REDEFINE | Photography + Films feature by Stacey Ilyse

REDEFINE | Photography + Films feature by Stacey Ilyse

“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it. “

Why are you passionate about films along with photography ?

These are things that can’t be posed or contrived. But they are also things that may be easily forgotten, lost in the shuffle between activities and milestones. There is something precious about being able to see the moving memory of your life – to SEE the stroke on someone’s cheek, or the way the pullback their hair into a ponytail, the way someone loves another person, or the way siblings squabble… to HEAR the sounds of laughter, the voice of someone possibly no longer with you… the stories about how you met, or the words “I LOVE YOU” ..

When did you start making films for your business?

I officially started to offer films about 1 year ago, May 2016

Has it been a hard sell to clients?

Surprisingly, NO! I know that many have struggled but I feel that films were almost an “obvious choice” for many of my clients. It was something unique, new, and really special. EVERYONE who’s seen them (and especially those who have booked) have understood the value in them almost immediately… even husbands (who generally are hesitant to be in photos, or find it tedious to do a session are on board – or fall in love with a film afterwards if they were not beforehand and have booked another!)

How do you blend photography + films seamlessly ?

Most clients can’t tell the difference between when Im shooting photo or video and they become so involved with being with their families that it becomes easy to switch back and forth. I don’t actually include my still photography INTO my videos – (unless they are for a newborn or fresh 48) I do always include documentary, candid still photography as part of my packages for all video clients – they receive those separately in an online gallery and view them with me during our video/photo in-person reveal – which is SO fun for me to do – I love seeing my clients reactions when they see the films and photographs for the first time – most of them cry!!

Tell us about your film editing?

I create the films using Adobe premiere pro and try to keep my actual footage edits very simple and without many filters or presets, etc.. I want them to look and feel timeless and classic.

What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to start filming? (aim for at least 5, but any are welcome)

Im going to do 2-3 technical and/or 2-3 biz related
Stabilizing your camera is KEY. You don’t need any fancy gear to do it – a good neck strap and steady hands are a must
you don’t NEED to follow your subjects every move, sometimes it is best for them to come in and out a frame… it creates interest and it’s less jarring to the viewer
Create personal work too! I found that my personal projects engage my audience just as much – if not more then my client work. People like to get to know who I am, what my life is like – and see that it is just like their lives – makes me more relatable… Also, personal projects fuel your soul and help you grow as an artist!
I dont think there is any “magic button” that someone can press and POOF clients come running – BUT I do think it is important when you are first starting any new business venture to privately offer to do 1-3 projects gratis to clients or friends that you feel would not only help build your portfolio, but also promote the S**T outta you afterwards. I know there is no guarantee about how it might turn out, but know your audience and know WHY and WHO you are picking for a reason.
DO NOT price yourself too low! These films are HARD WORK – and take A LOT of time to create. If you need to, offer an introductory discount off your ideal price point. This gives your clients the info off the bat that eventually you will be charging XYZ for this service.

What were the challenges for you in the beginning?

1. Balance. It was very hard to find balance between booking photography sessions vs film clients… besides the fall rush, I had almost ZERO photo sessions – video took over my calendar… I was beyond grateful, but also completely overwhelmed by it… I also felt I was losing myself to video and needed to find my photographers voice within all these sessions too!

2. I had to re-wire my brain to see things in video vs photography and ALSO at the same time learn and remember to switch back and forth between the 2 during a session and it was hard at first! – Some of my earlier sessions def did not have as strong a photo portfolio as my sessions do now. I practiced a lot on my girls… which helped. It is seamless for me now – I see the moment in video – take the clip and then flip the switch for a photo…

3. Remembering that IT IS OK TO MISS A MOMENT. There will always be another one!

4. Workflow and music selection were (and sometimes still can be) hard. These films take 20+ hours to create – people don’t realize it… but us video folk are devoted and passionate about our craft.

ABOUT THE ARTIST :

“In a world full of Mary’s be a Rhoda” Stacey Ilyse, a documentary photography & videographer focusing on families and real life moments. Stacey is based in Northern NJ where she pursues her 365 passion project – documenting her life with her 2 little girls, crazy doodle and extremely patience husband.

W E B S I T E | F A C E B O O K | I N S T A G R A M 

 

 

REDEFINE series | Lifestyle, Sunday Morning Sessions featuring Vanessa Brack

REDEFINE series | Lifestyle,  Sunday Morning Sessions featuring Vanessa Brack

 

“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it. “

Why are you passionate about photography in general and a tell us a bit about how you got started?

I have loved photography my entire life and started by photographing my Cabbage Patch kids and stuffed animals in front of our family christmas tree, as most serious photographers do. Later I moved on to photographing pets, landscapes, and the occasional sibling. But seriously, these early experiences fed my artistic curiosity and passion. I’m so grateful to my mother for allowing me to find my own ways to entertain myself because this encouraged my natural creativity.

Tell us about the idea behind Sunday Morning sessions?

Even though I’m very driven professionally, I’ve always wanted to be a mother first and I planned my college and career around it. My kids are in their teens now and I’m so grateful that I focused on raising them and enjoyed every freaking second of my kids’ childhoods. Now that they are older, the pictures I have of those years are so incredibly special to me. After getting more serious about photography a few years ago, I realized that I wanted to capture these memories for other families. I wanted to take their memories, all the gritty and emotional parts of it, and create artistic pieces that they could feel. I want my clients to remember what it felt like to love fearlessly and unconditionally. When we think back on our childhoods, what is more loving and authentic then lazy Sunday mornings with our family? A time and place where you could be yourself and know you would be loved? Or if you didn’t have that, then the desire to provide that for your own children? This is what I aim to capture in Sunday Morning Sessions.

What were the challenges for you in the beginning, how does it connect to your journey and wanting to capture Sunday Mornings.

In the beginning I knew I wanted to photograph people and emotions, but I was uninspired by traditional portraits and editing styles. This may sound strange but I didn’t want to photograph smiles all the time, to me it wasn’t genuine. Parenthood and family is made up of all the emotions, and there is a fair amount of grit involved in loving and supporting each other. As I discovered more creative editing I was able to express the darker beauty in the emotion of family. I continued to focus on this idea of loving unconditionally, something that is unique to families and those we consider family, and used my moody style to reflect genuine emotion in an artistic way.

What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to create a category like this for their work? (aim for at least 5, but any are welcome)

1. Focus on your why. What emotion or feeling takes up your thoughts? What are you always looking for or trying to answer? For me it’s the need to receive and give unconditional love. I find this subject fascinating and impossible to describe with words. What is it for you?
2. Find the editing style that reflects the emotion you want to portray. Clean, bright, and happy or edgy and eclectic or dark and moody, there is no wrong way to do it. There is only the way that works for you.
3. Give yourself time to grow. Work on your style and try to constantly improve.
4. Take a break when you need it. Creativity can be exhausting and there is no shame in pausing your own work to relax and soak up inspiration from other sources.
5. Once you have a clear focus on the category or style you want to create, determine your market and let them know about it. Don’t worry about growing too fast, keep it small at first and focus on quality.

What’s in your camera bag?

I keep it simple as I am not a fan of gadgets and tech. I have what I need to get the job done, which is a Canon 6D and a Canon 35 1.4L that I use all the time.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST : 

I love capturing all the messy, happy, moody, and gritty emotions. My favorite thing to photograph is human faces. I have a day job that I love, and a photography business as well. My free time is spent with my love and our three kids. My hobbies are volunteering/activism, the outdoors, reading, and good television. 

W E B S I  T E | I N S T A G R A M | F A C E B O O K 

REDEFINE | the truth in you lifestyle project feature by Emilie Iggiotti

REDEFINE | the truth in you lifestyle project feature by Emilie Iggiotti

 

“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it. “

• Why are you passionate about these type of lifestyle sessions?

I love the idea of spending two hours with one person, and getting to know them on a personal level. I love the intimacy of a photo shoot, the confidentiality of it, the talks, the secrets, the confidences…

• What do you think makes these sessions so unique to your brand/ business?

I always wanted to photograph women, I just did not know about it, and it took me 5 years to finally admit it. I know there are a lot of boudoir, portraits and maternity photographers, but I did not want to be limited to one type of photography. I photograph women the way they want to be photographed.

 How do these sessions compare to other boudoir work ?

I would say it’s a mix of boudoir, portrait and editorial. But most of the time, my clients define the session they want to have. But we usually end up shooting a lot of different images, from the very simple portrait to the very artistic and moody shot.

• What are the tips you would suggest in shooting women in this manner? What is your approach ?

I talk to my clients a lot before the session. I often send mood boards so we know where we are going. I engage a lot with them on the day of the session, it’s like a conversation we have together. I give to my models as much as they give. I am not a person hidden behind my camera, but we are two human beings having a conversation while taking pictures. We laugh, we tell stories, we share a lot.

• What were the challenges for you in the beginning?

My biggest challenge was to explain my vision and my goal. In our society, as women, we are always reminded that we must fit in a box: girlfriend, fiance, bride, mom to be, wife… Women have their picture taken because they need to fit in a box. But what if you want to book a session just because you want to feel pretty or because you want to celebrate your life? Not because you are getting engaged, not because you have a new job, not because you are about to become a mom, but just because you want to do it for you. I am not saying that all these photo shoots are bad, it’s amazing and it’s part of your legacy too. No what I am saying is that we need to dissociate photo shoots from specific roles that we play in life. How about doing a session and just being ourselves, and discovering the truth in you? Whatever that truth is.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST :

Emilie Iggiotti is a lifestyle photographer based in Edmonton, Alberta. Born and raised in France, she started her photography business in 2009, after losing her job as a jurist. In 2011, she moved from France to Canada. She is specializing in women portraiture and has created a unique lifestyle session called “The Truth in You”.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST 

REDEFINE | Project – 100 black dads by Lucy Baber Photography

REDEFINE  | Project – 100 black dads by Lucy Baber Photography
Why are you passionate about this project?

There has been a lot of media attention on police violence, especially against black men and boys over the past few years. Black men are typically portrayed as “violent”, “dangerous”, and “criminals” in the media, which continues to perpetuate racial bias and a culture of fear within our society. These are not the black men I know. The black men I know are loving, nurturing, hard working, and like any other parent, they just want to raise their children in peace. As an artist, I felt a responsibility to fight back against those negative media messages by using my art. By taking photos of dads with their kids, I wanted to change the narrative about black men so that people can start to see them for the amazing men that they really are.

 Tell me about your intro to photography and what connections can it be traced back to your project?

I bought my first camera in 2010, and I’ve been in business as a family photographer since 2012. I considered several different approaches to this particular project, but in the end I knew the most sustainable option would be to focus on what I know best: lifestyle family photography. Especially when working with dads, I find that I’m able to get the most joyful and authentic expressions when I ask them to interact with their kids for family photos.

How important do you feel projects like these are in the photography world?

Social justice issues are extremely important to me. So important, in fact, that I started a private Facebook group for other photographers to collaborate and support each other as we take on social justice photo projects. I believe our current political climate makes these projects even more urgent right now. In this current culture of “fake news” and “alternative facts”, I believe that photography and art are absolutely crucial to anyone who wants to rediscover the Truth. It can be really overwhelming and confusing when there are so many mixed messages put out by the media, but a simple photo can speak volumes. This project has been really centering for me, in my ongoing pursuit of Truth.

What were the challenges for you in the beginning with the project ?

As a white woman wanting to engage in a photo project about black men, I wanted to be very careful not to do or say the wrong thing. I took two years to really flesh out the goals and specifics of the project before I made a public announcement about it, and during that time I also spoke with several trusted friends and mentors in the black community. I spent a lot of time on educating myself on the Black Lives Matter movement as well. I did a lot of reading about social justice issues and I attended local events to learn from leaders in the black community. I paid special attention to criticisms from the black community about the potential for harm from “white allies”. I really wanted to develop a project that would not only emphasize a positive narrative about these men, but would also be welcomed and embraced by the black community. I didn’t want to overstep my boundaries in any way.

Also, on a much smaller scale, scheduling has been another challenge. As a work from home mom and small business owner, it can be difficult to tackle personal projects in a timely manner. This is not a paid project, and even the process of applying for art grants takes time that, frankly, my three year old doesn’t always let me have. Nevertheless, I keep chugging away! I know that in our fast-paced social media culture, projects can lose public interest if they don’t happen quickly. But at the same time, I want to let this project develop at its own pace. It is changing me as much as it giving back to others, and I don’t want to rush that process.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST: 

Lucy Baber is a lifestyle newborn and family photographer in the Philadelphia area. Her work can be followed at the following links:

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST

 

REDEFINE | STREET PHOTOGRAPHY feature by Jennifer Tonetti Spellman

jtstreet (9 of 10)Why are you passionate about street photography

First and foremost, there is nothing fake, easy or predictable about street work. It’s the most frightening yet exhilarating way to capture the world around you. Secondly, I’m saddened that we gloss over people in our every day hurry without even knowing it’s happening. No one stops on the streets to talk or connect anymore. Now more than ever, when you really observe people on the street, the usual scene is head down looking at their phone or headphones in blocking out the sounds around them. With street, it forces me to be present with people and really look for connections.

What were the challenges for you in the beginning?

The biggest challenge to deal with when I set out on my first street run nearly 6 years ago was ‘what will the reaction be if someone catches me shooting them? Are they going to flip out? Grab and break my camera? Punch me in the face?’ I found out, fairly quickly, two things: most people are so consumed with where they are going they have no idea I am even shooting them or secondly, most people think I’m shooting something else because they never think ‘they’ could possibly be the subject.

Another challenge was figuring out what type of street work I really liked to do and what ‘fit’ me. So I experimented. I’m not drawn to street portraits where you speak to the subject and ask to take their picture. I don’t like the ‘up close in your face to get a reaction’ style. I much more prefer the capturing of unique people unaware who are larger than life to me, or juxtapositions, or cool light on buildings or even lines in a building or structure. I also love finding a ‘back drop’ like a colored wall and waiting for the right person to pass by. Anything on the street that pops out at me, be it human or otherwise, and literally makes me stop dead in my tracks, I shoot it.

When did you first realize you were interested in shooting street photography?

Almost 6 years ago I read an article in the paper about a new discovery of a woman’s work named Vivian Maier. I was completely blown away that this street photographer kept her images a secret, telling no one (hard concept to grasp in this age of oversharing). I was captivated by her images. Raw humanity, shocking at times, but as real as it got, and she shot a ton in NY so I really felt like I connected with her work on that level as well. I was heading to London shortly after with a friend and said to her ‘I need to shoot street when we are there, alone, by myself.’ I set out every day for a bit just walking the streets and I was beyond hooked. I had been shooting clients already and had a business but this was different. This was the biggest personal project I have ever taken on, and it’s all for me and only me.

How do you feel street photography is different from all other genres?

First off I am amazed at the age span of street photographers. A while back I took a street workshop and there were men and women there age 60+. It was actually refreshing. Street truly spans the ages. Also, when you shoot street there are zero second chances if you miss something. If you do miss it, rather than kicking yourself, you need to adapt an onward and upward philosophy, something I am usually not good at but I’m getting there. Street is the most challenging form of photography I have ever shot and I love a challenge as I bore very easily.

Has it helped influence your personal life or business side?

I’d say street has influenced both. Before street I didn’t notice juxtapositions as much in my in-home client work so it really sharpened my eye to those serendipitous moments. Personally it has made me slow down, work on my patience and recognize the humanity in us all. It also has given me another voice in photography and is my natural next step as I continue to search for ways to push myself.

What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to shoot in the street (aim for at least 5, but any are welcome)

1. Be patient and don’t expect much. There are days I come back after street shooting and have nothing to show for it. This isn’t like shooting clients, or your children, or a wedding where you pretty much are guaranteed ‘something’ at the end of the day.

2. Be self-critical of your work. Just because you caught someone walking down the street and nailed the focus doesn’t mean it’s a good street photo. There are many elements of good street images: juxtapositions/interesting subjects/layers/lines/structures. Don’t settle.

3. Study the masters. Not for comparison sake but for the vision they had and see how amazing the elements of street can be when they all come together.

4. Avoid using a dSLR. The ultimate goal for me is to look like I have no idea what I am doing with a camera, and go completely unnoticed. I shoot with a small Ricoh GRII (which looks like a toy camera and fits in your pocket) and my Fujifilm x100T with black tape over it so people think it’s just a junky camera. When you bust out a big honking dSLR you look like you are shooting with intent.

5. Don’t shoot wide open. You want the whole scene in focus to truly tell the story of the street. Every detail matters.

6. Manual is not king on the street. It’s darn near impossible to shoot in manual mode in street. I have yet to meet a street photographer that does because it all moves way too fast out there.

7. Let go of perfection. Images can be raw/slightly blurry etc. It’s totally acceptable as long as the content is strong. Street started on film and if you look at the masters of street, some of the greats will have amazing images that may not be technically correct.

8. Ignore the pressure to convert all to B+W. I’m an ‘in vivid color’ kind of girl- most of my street is in color because I am drawn to the colors on the street and they tell the story. As with any genre, there are pissing matches of how you should do certain things, and as with any genre, I ignore all that and shoot and process images with my gut.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST : 

Jennifer Tonetti Spellman is a NY based photographer who photographs street work for herself and in-home photojournalistic sessions for her clients. Jennifer is also the co-founder of Illuminate Classes where she also teaches. When she isn’t shooting or teaching she can be found hanging with the four who make her world spin round: her husband, two girls, and her shelter dog .

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM STREET | IG personal /client

 

REDEFINE | Macro Photography feature by Lyf is Grand photography

macrophotography“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it. “

Why are you passionate about this topic?
I have this overwhelming obsession with details. The more minute or mundane, the more fascinating to me. I have always been one to study bugs and different kinds of fungi, the patterns in the pollen when summer rains disturbs film. I can be found with my nose to the ground, literally, squinting at some tiny thing. And on more than one occasion people have asked me what the heck I am doing laying on the ground in my summer dresses! But I am fascinated by the little details in our daily lives, as well as in the small world beneath our feet. The tiny creatures and worlds we pass by completely unnoticed. The similarities and the stark contrasts to the big world we live in day to day.

When did you first learn this technique? Or, when did you first realize you liked this topic?
Over the course of my life my fascination with science and macro has grown into a bit of a comfort thing. I shoot macro daily as a way to decompress and for me it’s just really therapeutic. My parents bought this camera when I was about 8, a DSCF707 or something and that was it, my fate was sealed, I’ve been hooked ever since.
It wasn’t until just 3 years ago when my husband bought me my first DSLR that I started to really take it seriously enough to learn any kind of technique or anything about gear. I don’t have any formal training, apparently it’s all trial and error over here, emphasis on error!

What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to achieve this technique?

It’s not about the gear, the first thing I’d say to anyone looking to get into macro work would be to just go and get what you can afford, even if it’s just a set of glass diopters, and play around. It’s not about what macro lens you have, whether you have a ring flash, or if you shoot handheld, it’s about the things you see! About how you capture those things for others, it’s about your point of view.

Someone told me mid way through 2015, about 6 months after I got my camera, when doing macro, make sure everything in the frame is there intentionally. It took me several months but eventually the mindfulness that was intended to be taught there sunk in.
It’s not as easy to do that with photos of people, especially with documentary and storytelling photography so it’s not something we always think when we take a shot. But with Macro it’s simpler in it’s way, you can fill the space with only the things you want there without distraction.

Cheat! Bring a spray bottle, bring tweezers, bring a dropper! For the space those things take up in your kit you’ll be grateful to have them.

Think small! Perhaps this seems pretty self explanatory but to someone who doesn’t even have a macro lens it can be hard to imagine just how close you can get. The immaculate and miniscule details in this world can be utterly small. But don’t be afraid to pull back either, just because you can get past a 1:1 ratio on every shot doesn’t mean you need to. Some things need a bit of context.

This last bit won’t surprise you, I tell it to everyone, and it’s good advice in life as well as in any kind of photography.
Get weird, break the rules and don’t be afraid to be confusing.
As an artist I have to constantly remind myself of this, I know the rules and I know what will be more popular maybe but the images that speak to my heart, the ones I am really proud of, are almost always the weirdest of the lot. And not just mine either, some of the people I truly admire make the most abstract images but they just swell with feeling.

What were the challenges for you in the beginning?
Well I don’t have any formal training, I didn’t know what my lenses would do in different lighting conditions and learning that was a long and sometimes painful process. I don’t learn by reading, I learn by doing. So I just kept shooting and I am still figuring it out.
I didn’t have photoshop, I used Gimp for a long time so advice from other photographers was more often than not “get PS”, and I had no “real” gear. I wanted a ring flash, and an expensive macro lens and pixel peeking was a real problem (protip: don’t do that). Lord save me if there was a little ISO grain, and I REALLY struggled with Autofocus. I can’t stand it and I now own only one lens with AF and its my freelensing lens!
Well I turfed a lot of my preconceived notions.
I don’t have a lot of time so that was and is always hard; to compensate I bring my camera everywhere and I can’t just leave with one lens. I have my son with me 120% of the time and he likes to stomp on the things I am inspecting.
The long and the short of it is that I hardly ever do macro “properly” to this day, all hand held, natural light, and vintage manual lenses. But I overcame each challenge as they presented themselves, or I embraced them. Over time I learned that it’s just not all about perfectly crisp focus and following the rules, it’s about creation. That may have been my biggest challenge to date.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST

My name is Jade Lyf, I call myself a Storytelling, Documentary, and Fine Art Photographer and I live on the incredibly beautiful Vancouver Island in BC Canada. I’ve lived all over the PNW, in several central states and Ontario, but PNW has and will always have my heart. I am a devoted wife and mother, I have a 3 year old son. I never graduated HighschoolI am an Introvert and I have social anxiety I go through bouts of -real- self doubt. I don’t give myself enough credit and I compare my work with other peoples even though I KNOW I shouldn’t. When I was 16 the most important person in my life died suddenly and that process shaped me. 
I am brave, I am intelligent, I can build and fix things and I learn quickly. I know what manual labour is like, and I daydream about being a scientist. I am obsessed with details of all varieties. I am willing to change my mind given reason. When I am not out shooting I am home with my family, reading, or watching bad TV.  I am a person, this is how I see.  
  WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM  

REDEFINE | THE BARE ALL Project featuring 10 bare toes Photography

bareallprojectdearphotographer blog

“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it. “

 

Why are you passionate about photographing women?

10BTP: Well, that’s a big question for me… and it goes way back. ..
I read this quote recently and it brought me to tears.

‘I love the person
I’ve become,
because I fought
to become her.’
– kaci diane

… I fought to become HER.

I am PASSIONATE about encouraging women to create space to see themselves as ART through portraiture. Being able to draw out and reflect a beauty that is so much deeper and timeless than makeup and style that we love playing in…. drawing out the SOUL that makes HER irreplaceable.

Becoming a woman, and a strong one, comes with incredible challenge. Or at least it did for me. I struggled as a teen and young adult holding myself against the weight of perfection in academics, volleyball, social life and somewhere along the way, I lost myself. I developed a warped relationship with exercise and food that consumed me.. And as circumstances lead me I was deeply betrayed by someone I called a friend which perpetuated the eating disorder to a state I needed intense medical and psychological help to overcome it…. it took years on the road of recovery that I could write another ; ) book about….I finally made it.. I was finally free from the patterns and self loathing… I was free from even ALL fear around FOOD.. and my BODY and I fought damn hard to get to that place… but I didn’t’ LOVE myself.. I was still quick to fall into comparison, see my flaws magnified and feel ashamed of my past.
Fast forward: I receive my engagement photos from Jennifer Skog, an amazing photographer who I am still ever inspired by, they were the first professional photos of myself that I ever felt beautiful!! The feeling was incredible.. I didn’t know anything like it.. Those images changed the way I saw myself.
Fast forward: Pregnant with my third child, doing a 365 project and taking my first self portraits for the monthly ‘You Today’ prompt. It sparked something, a higher love.. I could love myself because this creation inside of me, Seeing myself and loving it because it was more me in the frame gave me the space to grow in self love.. And then sharing it! And So my photography journey was born .. and ever since I’ve been PASSIONATE about women young and old seeing themselves in a new way and loving it!

 

How did this project come about? Why did you chose this specific name?

10BTP: It started with self portraiture. Like I mentioned, I’ve been taking self portraits for years, but it wasn’t until I took The Wildheart Course with Candice Zurich, that they became a life force for me. Before, they were strictly maternity documentation, or to be in the frame with the kids.. And I always had this fear of putting myself out there.. I almost hid behind my belly or my kids.. like, who cares about me? During those four weeks i gave myself permission to BE the subject.. And more than growing the skills in light lines, and emotion in self portraiture.. I grew in shamelessly loving myself.. Because why the hell not? When my first set came through editing I hit me.. no one has to care, because I could care less if they do.. I’m doing this for me! I was hooked!! It wasn’t that I loved all of them or they were all amazing.. But i was fascinated with learning more.

This deep seeded part of myself that desperately needed to be seen and cultivated started to grow…. I rose up… I found my photographic voice for parts of myself that I could never articulate.. It became a force to be reckoned with and I had to share it.
I knew I had to try.. I created a separate instagram handle, I put out a ‘model’ call, drafted a questionnaire to find out why these women desired a session like this to create an authentic space for them to get vulnerable and feel empowered…. And I just went for it.
It’s called THE BARE ALL Project. The handle @10_BARE_ALL a spin off of my @10baretoes Photography company. Because we can only truly love ourselves when we can honestly BARE ALL.. peel away the layers .. really see HER. as she is in the deeper places and say yes, this is ME on this phase of my journey and I choose to love her , because I fought hard to become her! No regrets.

 

Tell us a bit about your photography journey

10BTP: I started out tinkering with my camera for Project 365 with Design Aglow back in 2013.. then, being the oldest of four sisters, two of them being in high school at the time, I was asked to take their senior portraits and it grew.. Their friends, and friends of friends wanted ME to shoot their senior portraits! WHAT?? These sessions were/are more than a portrait session,.. They’re an adventure, and experience. Traveling to cool places, extensive planning and guidance, showering her with encouraging words and attention and putting myself before her being shameless and silly, laughing at myself as I ‘model’. Receiving love notes from parents saying that I captured their daughter.. Not just a portrait, but really captured HER, that girl they raised.. The one they know so well.. It’s an incredible feeling being able to give a family that gift.

Since 2013, I’ve done a lot of senior portraits, lifestyle family work and lately, I’m doing more engagements and weddings alongside these intimate women’s empowerment session that I call the BARE ALL sessions.

 

What makes these sessions different than your standard Boudoir sessions?

10BTP: Let me begin by saying that I am really into boudoir sessions, I love sexy, and lace, boobs and booty and all the rest of it.. But these are a just a little different.. Or they come from a different place initially anyway.. Wherever the muse takes them is up in the air. They’re less objectifying.. They’re not for HIM, while if there is a him, he will likely love them… but that’s irrelevant because they’re for YOU. They’re about discovering a deeper layer of the girl inside. BAREing ALL to find her.. and deciding to love HER. They’re dynamic.. intimate, emotional, vulnerably sensual…empowering.. Shameless and fun! They’re intense and then lighthearted.. They’re a journey.. Saying YES! I love who I am! My body, my soul, my journey and not taking it all too seriously.

 

What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to photograph more women? or attempting a personal project like this?

-I’d start with yourself, while we all have a different journey.. . Deep down we are pretty similar in the needs we have as women.. Reflect, ask yourself why you want to photograph women.. What do you hope they see or draw from their images? Journal.. Try it on. Go for it.
-I’d encourage you, if you haven’t, to take self portraits and also try have another photographer take your portraits. Being able to relate to being the ‘model’ and client, you can predict the need for prompting, you can play with different posing and be able to mirror it for them during their session.
-dont’ think too much about it… don’t be crushed if it doesn’t all happen at once.. Just keep going.
– put it out there, ask friends or put out a model call have them sign a release on images so you can share them.. And keep sharing until you can shoot more!

 

What were the challenges for you in the beginning?

10BTP: Owning It.

Being able to communicate the project specifically to make an agreement with models and then creating opportunities for her to open up .. people know boudoir, but being able to identify the theme before the shoot then going into it with the pep talk .. it helps.

Being brave. As passionately as I feel about this project and photographing women, I still struggle with riding a line… BARE-ing ALL is sometimes really scary, especially when you’re putting yourself out there.. I tend to second guess and deliberate over what to share .. and wonder if I am going too strong or censoring and I think it’s a healthy line to ride.. But a challenging one.

Finding a location. When it’s intimate finding a location can be challenging, and when there’s not a real obvious place that comes to mind I go minimal.. Try a blank space .. or a small nook with great light.. And make it personal for her.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST 

HEY HEY!!
I’m Brittny Debonis from @10baretoes Photography I am a portrait and wedding photographer in the SF BAY AREA. I’ve been married for 8 years and eventually respond to ‘MOOOOM!’ from my four spunky little kiddos.

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