Dear Photographer | Feature by Naomi Ovando

Dear Photographer |  Feature by Naomi Ovando

Dear Younger Me,

The one in the midst of postpartum depression and anxiety, the one filled with so much fear and feelings of failure and weakness. You are so much stronger than you think and everything is going to be okay. It’s going to be more than okay, it’s going to be extraordinary. God is always faithful and always by your side.

Somewhere along the way, while a caring day in and day out for your beautiful babies, you forgot to take care of yourself and you let a part of yourself start to die. Take care of yourself beautiful mama. Listen to the whisperings of your heart. No one else can love your family the way you can and no one else sees the world the way you do. Creativity is a part of you and when you spend time creating, it brings you so much joy. It feeds and nourishes your soul.

Go ahead and buy yourself that DSLR you’ve been wanting. The minute you look through the viewfinder, something will come to life inside of you. You’re going to notice so much beauty all around you and you’re going to see how God is saying “I love you” over and over again through the beautiful sunsets, magnificent trees, delicate flowers, amazing skies, and especially through the blessing of your family. Taking photos, capturing beautiful moments and your children’s fleeting childhood will be like a salve to your soul and will fill your heart with gratitude and healing.

It’s going to take you a while to realize that you must continually nourish your creative soul and that it makes you a better and happier woman, but you’ll learn how important it is eventually. In 2017, you’re going to commit to taking better care of yourself and making time for your art.

You’re going to keep yourself accountable by starting a 365 project and by sharing what speaks to your heart. You’re going to be scared as all get out since you feel like you still have so much to learn, but you have been feeling the nudges to share your art, your heart, and your story.

Even though you still have much to learn about the technical side of photography and you may break many rules, you’re going to be brave. You’re going to shoot with your heart. Always stay true to your heart for it is what will bring you the most joy and fulfillment. Enjoy the journey and the learning process and don’t compare yourself to others for everyone is at a different point in their journey. You’re going to learn so much from so many that inspire you on this photography journey. You’re going to find an encouraging, supportive and inspiring community that is going to help bring out the best in you and help you grow as an artist. Most importantly, remember that you have your own story to tell and no one else can tell it the way you can. God made you to shine His light, so shine on beautiful one!

 

 

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ABOUT THE ARTIST : 

Naomi lives with her husband and three children in sunny Southern California.  She is a homeschooling mama and loves spending her days with her muses.  Going on outdoor adventures with her family and capturing storytelling images is one of her favorite things to do.  She can often be found in the nearby mountains or at the beach with camera in tow.  Her goal is to continue growing as an artist and to keep seeking out and capturing the beauty in the ordinary.

I N S T A G R A M 

Dear Nikon, #Womencan

Yes, We know! 

This is not just a Nikon issue. Across the board, with many of the other big photography companies, women are not being represented. Yes, we know. Basically, in most professional fields, women don’t have a position that warrants their voice to be heard.

This matters, we matter.

Nikon is currently celebrating 100 years of innovation, and you can be certain that women helped pave the way to that celebration. It can seem unfair to those not really understanding the issue that we would single out one company, but It has really been a catalyst to pay attention to this industry as a whole and demand more.

But why the post? 

Nikon Asia recently released a team of men, pictured below. To test their incredible new series of cameras, the Nikon D850. They were unable, however, to find one capable and talented woman to add to their roster. But why should we care when here in the USA they are surpassing by percentage of women inclusivity, between all of the other companies with 29%. We see that,  and it is still valid to want things to be more even at 50-50, because why not. Or perhaps, let women have the majority. Would that be so crazy?  and blow peoples minds. Perhaps.

Nikon MEA, if you happen to stumble upon this, let me share some amazing talent in your region MIDDLE EAST | ASIA 

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image via nikon-asia.com 

 

More stats :

Sony – http://imagingambassadors.sony.net/ambassadors/
50 Men
8 Women
14% Women, 86% Men

Canon – http://learn.usa.canon.com/dlc/contributors/explorers.spr
32 Men
8 Women
20% Women, 80% Men

Nikon – http://www.nikonusa.com/…/nikon-ambassadors/index.page
17 Men
7 Women
29% Women, 71% Men

Olympus – http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/visionaries
10 Men
2 Women
20% Women, 80% Men

Hopefully, these numbers will change across the board.

We asked women of our Official Dear Photographer group to share their thoughts, and the gear they use to create their art.  Below are some of their images! Enjoy.

 

 

Danielle Hatcher | Nikon D750  “I shoot families, newborns, and children with my Nikon because #womencan. ” Ndaniellehatcher

Christina Davenport | The industry of landscape photography is much more male-saturated than the portraiture industry.  #womencan & #womendo

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Eboni Rivera | Nikon D750  ” As a woman photographer, this cuts to the bone. To feel like a brand that you’ve supported throughout the years with your heard earned money doesn’t reciprocate the support- well that’s disheartening. “NeboniRivera

Jessica DeMers | Nikon D750 #womencan020nikon

Kristy Burell | Nikon D800 “Nikon I am a mama, wife, and a photographer. I can raise babies and run a successful business. #screwnikon #WOMANCAN 09nikonLori Pickens  | Nikon D5  #womencan nloripickens

Monika Colichio |Nikon D750  “Did I mention i switched from Canon? I kick ass with my persistence and passion. You will tell me I can’t I will prove you wrong!

n

Erin Peck |Nikon  D800 + D750 “all the way. I’ve supported Nikons for years, the least you could do is support women back. #WOMENCAN “0

Jenni Hecht |Nikon D3 “I don’t think they are as involved in the industry as they should be. To them photography is making cameras to make money. They don’t care about us. They care about their product and themselves. They grossly underestimated how this would effect (sp)our community and women in general.” n3.jpg

Brooke Mora | Nikon D3000 “embarrassed by my crop sensor” 07 nikonMeg Dowd | Nikon D600 #womencan 18nikon

Erika Vianey Avila Hernandez | Nikon D750  “#womencan, Literally.”21728802_10159367155765230_2994410864953445063_oKatie Simon | Nikon D90 “Yeah, I still shoot with my D90, almost ten years later…I love her…” nikon888Yaffa Koff | Nikon D750 #womencan 21728681_1483950948338394_2184879549184043451_oNicole Speer | I’m a woman who bought my Nikon D700, D800, and D810 ALL ON MY OWN! Crazy. I know!!!!! #screwnikon #womencannNicole speer

Lindsey Porter | Nikon D610  #womencan NlindseyPorter

Lynzi Berg |Nikon D750  ” And we multi task. Self-portrait of the birth of my fourth son. #womencan do freaking anything .”
nlindzibergMagda Cichoka | D5100

“Sometimes I think that men are scared of our strength. We can go through the deepest and hardest sh*t with a smile on a face and a child on a shoulder. Taking photos on a way..”023nikon

Anna Deacon | D750 ” Shame on you Nikon.”nikon3

Mandi Johnson | Nikon D610 ” I manage to be a stay-at-home working mom of 3 littles – 5, 3.5, & 2,  a wife to a hubby who travels for work, a double business owner. 1 of which is my photography business where I manage to squeeze in photo sessions in between the cracks of running a busy household. And because I know how to use this camera, I manage to capture newborns, families, children, park adventures, free-lensing at sunset at much much more all while being mom, wife, & business owner! #womencanNmandijohnsonJess Buttermore | Nikon D750 #womencan 024nikon

Alica Keiser | Nikon D750  “picked and not one women, shame on you Nikon Lets show Nikon just how bad ass women are! #womenCAN nAliciaKeiser

Leah Moore | Niko D750  “Sunrise with a warrior of five open heart surgeries.”nLeah Moore

Thais Mapstone | D750 -D810  “I’m so heartbroken over so many things, and then Nikon had to top it off and shit on my pie with their D850 misogyny. #WOMENCAN, Nikon.”

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Margaret Albaugh | Nikon D750 021nikonTraci El | Nikon D300 #WomenCan ” we capture all the love” 034nikonJess Buttermore | Nikon D750  #womencan 08nikon

Christina Marie | Nikon D750 #womencan 008nikon

Lindsay Saunders | Nikon D750  “Discouraged, overlooked and tired of not being taken seriously. ” NlindseySaunders

Stormy Solis | Nikon 4s- 750 #womencan nStormysolis

Alicia Moss |Nikon  D750  #womencan 04nikonHeather Koepp | D750 #womencan nikon

Desra Ramey | Nikon D7000 #womencan 11nikon

Jasmine Pickens |Nikon D800 “Who rules the world ?! ….. women.”NJasminPickens

Joy Faith | Nikon D750 “empower our daughters to be bold, take risks, chase dreams, and have a voice.”02nikon

Justyna Nina |Nikon  D610 “Wouldn’t the world be a different place, if there wasn’t women to grow life, raise your children, teach you compassion and strength, grow your garden, hold your hand, and help you chase your dreams.”  #womencan 1nikon

Lauren Grayson | D750 21740932_2017661915135036_4965491088155973931_o.jpgJulie Godbolt |Nikon D750     #WomenCan “Shot by a woman (me) of another amazing woman photographer as a part of The Traveling Dress Collective project  ALSO the dress was handmade by another kickass woman photographer!”Njulieg

Eve Rashid | Nikon D750 “Last I checked I was fully capable… disappointing Nikon…  #womencan women shoot real emotions, connections, and memories, details of life… not just gorgeous landscapes but whatever “neve rashid

Alpana Aras | Nikon D700 Double exposure, still rocking the old beast and ready for an upgrade!n.jpg

Twyla Jones |Nikon D750 “We are better than this!”

01111.jpgDana Whitley | Nikon D7200 “Good thing I have some knowledge of what all those switches and buttons do…. #WOMENCAN” 21nikonClare Elizabeth |Nikon D600 ” As for me, I’ll raise my daughter to believe she breathes fire.” 01 nikonPetra Tomicova |Nikon D800 “Photos from recent family session “20nikon

Liz Degroff |Nikon D750- D7100   ” A handful of self-portraits I took with either  because I can be a mom, a wife, a homemaker, AND a badass photographer.” NlizdegroffSarah Kelley | Nikon D7100 #womencan nSarahKellyAlicia Thwaites | Nikon D610 #womencan 004nikonOlga Levien |Nikon D750  #womencan 06nikon

Karen Dyck |Nikon D750 #ofcoursewecan 00.jpg

Caroline Over | Nikon D750 “Here’s to strong women. May we know them, we may be them, may we raise them.”n4

Becky Maini| Nikon D750 #womencan ” I ‘ve used Nikon since the year I graduated as a dental surgeon 12 years ago. Currently, on my 3rd, a D750 as I launch my photography from a hobby to a business alongside saving teeth, raising twin toddlers and all the other stuff working mothers do. Hell yeah #womencan.”n025nikonKatie Rickard | Nikon D800E 7

Mindy Tingson | Nikon D5100 “Shortly after I started to take my photography more seriously, a friend posted a status on his Facebook begging “housewives of America” to “put the camera down”. And at first I took it personally. Then I realized it was just an invitation to not only show him but also show my daughters that #WOMENCAN take a beautiful, rad photo and cook a mean casserole at the same time if she wanted to. nMindyTingson

Elizabeth Blank | D700 I made this photograph while holding my breath in 8 feet of water as I metered through foggy goggles and changed my settings manually. #womencan D700 (through non-Nikon underwater housing).

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Kristen Ryan |Nikon D810 ” #womencan capture the world around us” n.jpgKaren Osdieck | Nikon D750  #womencan nkaren osdieckAnita Perminova | Nikon D750  “I have always shot with a Nikon,”  #whatashocknaniteperminova

Niki Durcan | Nikon  D750 #Womencan

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Sarah Wilson | Nikon D4 #womencan d4Alyssa Hollis | Nikon D800 #womencand800

Rachel Mcgowan | Nikon D800 #womencannRchel mcwogan

Melissa Post |Nikon D810 ” I spent 3 years of my life being put down in many ways by men. Not having a single woman is a HUGE put-down, Nikon. ”  #getyourshittogether#womenCAN002nikon

Jennifer Hammer | Nikon D610 #womencan 5

Bridget Palmer | Nikon D90 – D600 “I am a capable shooter with a D90 and a D600. I’m certain I can handle the newest model from those morons at Nikon.”  #screwnikon #WOMENCAN

6

Natalie Thomas | Nikon D610  “My face as that one article circulates. Nikon. Come on. ”
nnataliethomas

Katherine Mcpherson |Nikon D7000 “Nikon, Our girls deserve so much better than this! ”  #womencan
n Jennifer Haley | Nikon D610  “Full Frame with a woman behind the viewfinder. ”

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Kimberley Kroupa | Nikon D610 “Been shooting Nikon since ’98 as a hobbyist.”

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Erin Kay | Nikon D800 ” proud MOMtographer here. It is my responsibility and pleasure, as this capable young lady’s mother, to teach her that #WOMENCAN. But I, and every other mother, need help from the rest of the world too. We need change. Our youth is depending on us for a better future.” nikon999

Leilani Rodgers | Nikon D4 “I have been shooting Nikon exclusively for 10 years.”n.jpg

Alys Davidson | Nikon D810 “a mother of two incredible humans, and full-time photographer and photographic artist, gallery owner, and a trustee, multitasking machine busting my lady parts to live sustainable while doing what I love .. while your over there busy being a son of peach with your shitty attempt to make women seem less than capable. ” #wOMANCAN #screwyounikon07nikonRebecca Waldock  | Nikon D810

“Dear Nikon,

I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.

Sincerely,
Women

And I was in the market for a D5 or an 850.

4 strong, confident young ladies. Shot with a d810.”
#womencan

nikon1Sandy Fales | Nikon 750 #womencan nsansyfales.jpgErin Mufford |Nikon D750  I don’t own lip gloss, I barely require a bra, and my cooking is passable at best. Good thing my worth is not defined by what a woman is “supposed” to be.  #WOMENCAN nerinmufford

Chris Tine | Nikon D750  “And of course I just bought a new Nikon body…..” 19nikon

Dandra Budd | Nikon D810 “Screw that Nikon! by a woman who embraces badass.”01112.jpg

Ashli Moon |Nikon D750 #womencan 12nikon

Amanda Patrick | D750 “Shame on you Nikon”08.jpgBeth Farnsworth | Nikon D600 #womencan nBeth fasworth

Sarah Moroce | Nikon D750  #womencan 038nikon

Cheri Dempkowski | Nikon D750 #womencan 027nikon

Jenn Russell | Nikon D750  “My husband even lets me drive sometimes to places where I can press buttons .” 003nikon

Elise Meader | D750  01

Sarah Gupta |NikonD750  ” A self-portrait of a wife, mother, scientist, artist, business owner, and badass photographer!”

#womencan

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Angie Klaus | Nikon D750 “I tell stories of powerful women. ”  #womencan DSC_0881.jpg

Jen Bilodeau | Nikon D750 “One of the amazing things about women is the way we come together in the face of adversity…..we each bring our voice and our passion, collectively creating a force that is unstoppable. #womencan

21682386_10213807247006129_1272845636_o.jpgLaure Aziz |Nikon  D600 “Oh these? Just some photos I managed to take while also having boobs and a vagina!” 15nikon

Mallory Gorham | Nikon 7200 “my passion is showing this male-centric world
just how much and how well #womencan. because, uh..life. ”

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Lee Harrison Pettigrew | Nikon D7100 #womencan 13nikonAbby Kenan | Nikon D750, Self Portraitn2.jpg

Sarah Whiting | Nikon D750  “My kind, caring, strong, independent little girl. I’m working hard to teach her that women can.

NIKON99999Amy Rushbrook | Nikon D810 I pushed a button on my friend’s Nikon for this personal project like the badass AF woman I am. #womencanNAmyrushbrook

Chloe Ramirez |  Nikon D800            “self-portrait” NChloeRamirez

Jenny Diaz |NikonD750  “I managed to photograph this session all while having a baby attached to me as I do with many of my sessions because #womencan.”n.jpg

Brianna Waltman  | Nikon D750 “I am baffled by this low blow made by Nikon.” nikon0111111

Nicole Caradonna  | Nikon D750 Wait, #womencan grow and sustain human life AND work a camera?! Who knew.nnicolecaradonna

Kris Kelley | Nikon D750 #womencan nkriskelly

Brittany Blake | Nikon D750 “see the world in beautiful ways. And women can hold big cameras in their tiny hands.”

d750Deanna Mccasland | Nikon D700-D750 #womenCan nDeanna Mcastland

Brianna Nichole | I see you Nikon…not cool. I ❤️ the crap out of my d750. It’s my 4th baby after the 3 that call me mom. I’ve been so fortunate to learn from some bad ass women in this industry. I would not be the photographer I am with out their influence. #WOMENCAN

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Sarah Begbie | Nikon D700 #womencan 015nikom

Shaina Sullivan | Nikon D90 “It’s incredible of all the talent out there they didn’t choose a single female for Nikons campaign #screwnikon. I wish I could afford a bad boy camera but I’ve been stuck with what I started off with.” 013nikonJess Worrall | Nikon D750 012nikon

Karen Dell |Nikon D750  ” Of course we can.” 007nikon

Camille Camacho | Nikon D810 “My first ever self-portrait & it took all the guts… all the courage… all the bravery… to not only take this but share it.”nikon01Stacey Ebstyne | Nikon D750 “Just photographed this woman yesterday! I use a Nikon d750 and use all Nikon lenses. I have never posted here before but this made me want to be brave and support all woman photogs! #womencan”011nikonAlana Atkins | Nikon d750 “I’m not sure if there are too many women in this post for Nikon? D750” 010nikon

Amy Shaw | Nikon D750. “I’m a mother, a daughter, a wife and a nurse. I balance many things in my life. I raise children and run a business. I have a unique perspective on the world. I am strong and I am capable. #womencann.jpg

Rebecca Tompkins | Nikon D810  But I am also a survivor. I survived 13 years of domestic abuse. Physical, mental, emotional, and sexual. I survived 2 years of stalking and threats and months without my children when I left. I fought. I stood. I persevered. I piece by piece put myself back together. I put my family back together. Put my life back together. Every time I pick up that camera now, I am managing to heal another piece of something that needs to be loved. Every image that is featured, liked, praised and most importantly is pleasing to my eye I feel pride because I did that. I taught myself one button at a time. I am a woman and I can!
#womencannRebeccatompkin

Amber Getsinger | Nikon D750  “Proudly raising boys to know that #womencan2

Monthly Self Portrait Project#P52radness

Monthly Self Portrait Project#P52radness

Oh what joy it gives me to be blogging this series again, these submissions are from June. and, even though I haven’t been blogging them the project is still going strong, and I promise to catch up because this project is LIFE. I do not exaggerate when I say that.

My thoughts often circle around how vulnerable women can be, how much it takes to type out the words in our head. To put ourselves out there for all to see, for all to judge, and for all to essentially gawk at. The photographs show only one side of us at a time, and most of us want to scream at the fact that we are more than one photo can share.

& I think that essentially what has drawn me to this project. It has honestly liberated other facets of myself. I look forward to writing more on this in the future + inviting the other ladies in the group to share their words with us.

 

words by Adri De La Cruz

 

She comes to presence
in a great wave of grief
that has no bottom.

{water cannot swim}

Feeling the unbearable
weight of womanhood
tearing me open,
revealing my own sorrows.

{a channel of life}

poem by

Mucro Pondera Divinus  Portland, OR

 

KRISTEN KUSLER 

 

CLAIRE SEARLE 

 

KATRINA RUSSO

 

KYLA EWERT 
RENEE WRIGHT
JENNIFER BLAKE 
KIMBERLI  FREDERICKS 
DANIELLE NAVRATIL 
HAYLEY GARNETT 
MELISSA ORTENDAHL 
SHANDA RANDY 
MESHEA SHAFFER 
MELINDA CONATY 
JENNIFER KAPALA
SHERIDA RAE TAYLOR 
BRITTANY DE JESUS 
CHRISTINE WATSON 
GRAZYNA MEDINA 
MELISSA HAUGEN 
FRANCESCA REEDER 
GINA SANTELLANO 

F A C E B O O K  G R O U P 

#p52radness Monthly Epic Share

#p52radness Monthly Epic Share

“The trouble is, you think you have time.”

Jack Kornfiel

I’ll start with that, and share that I totally butchered that quote as I thought it was problem and not trouble. I am not someone who is afraid to admit her mistakes. So there you go. This quote speaks on so many multiple levels currently.

The project continues to fill the hearts of all of us. Being present is hard, getting in the frame is even harder. Take a little time in the week, commit to one hr of trying to take a self portrait, join our group. The encouragement never ends there.

Here’s a super small May collection, because life.

TARA VISCONTI Tara Visconti

ABBY KENNAN@abbykennan

ANGELA DORAN @angela.doran

JESSICA EHLEN @jessica_ehlen

LEAH MOORE@leahmoorephoto

MONICA HART @monicaannhart

COURTNEY WILSON Courtney_Wilson_self_Portrait

DEVON HALL DevonHall

KIMBERLI FREDERICKS KimberliFredericks

LEANNA AZZOLINI 

LeAnnaAzzoliniPhotography-1-21.jpg

 

LAST MONTH

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.

charlotte-portraits-WEB-64edmonton-lifestyle-photographer-emilie-iggiotti-03edmonton-lifestyle-photographer-emilie-iggiotti-08EMI_3958-1-IGEMI_4530-Edit-IGEMI_4797-1-IGEMI_6991-1-webEMI_7037-IGEMI_7180-IGedmonton-lifestyle-photographer-emilie-iggiotti-08.jpgEMI_7848-1-IGEMI_9717-Edit-IGemilie-iggiotti-portfolio-55emilie-iggiotti-portfolio-58eve-portraits-WEB-166

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 | 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.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM 1  &  2  | PINTEREST

 

Monthly EPIC SHARE-| Project 52 favorites #p52radness

Monthly EPIC SHARE-| Project 52 favorites #p52radness

Another month has come and gone.

& the amount of insanely talented photographers joining our project keeps growing. I have no words to describe what it means to see their images and their encouraging words reflected back on to the project. So many of us struggle to find time, and lately inspiration. We are hopeful for spring and the renewed set of eyes that comes with a new season. You’ll be surprised how changing a teensy detail can lead to inspiration. If you are lacking inspiration for self portraits try these :

  • Capture your hands doing anything. Hold your partners hands, hold a favorite artifact, write yourself a letter.
  • Capture movement, place camera on ground and simply move.
  • Capture your favorite seat in your house, plop down and embrace the stillness.

“OUT OF YOUR VULNERABILITIES WILL COME YOUR STRENGTH ” 

-SIGMUND FREUD 

Cannot wait to see what next month brings. If you missed last month >>> Check it out Monthly Epic Share Month One , and join our group here .

in no specific order , a few favorites….

ANGELA DORAN angela_doranDANIELLE NAVRATIL danielle-navratil-1

AMY SHIRE amylucindashire-p52

MESHEA SHAFFERimg_7105

JODI LYNN BUCKLES jodi-lynn-bucklesEMMY LOU VIRGINIA emmy-lou-virginia-photography

 ANNMARIE DENISimg_0592-edit-copy

CHELSEA CRONKRITEimg_5270

 

SOPHIA ACOSTA sophia-costa

JAMIE VINSON jamievinson

GINA SANTELLANO_DSC3035.png

JESSICA KOSMACK jessicakosmack

LINDSEY STIGLEMAN lindsey_stigleman-web

SAMANTHA EVANS samantha_evans

AMANDA KENYON amandakenyon

STEPHANIE CARLTON stephanie_carlton

ASHLEY MARSTONashley-marston

LAUREN GRAYSON lauren-grayson-portrait-artist

LEANNA AZZOLINI leannaazzoliniphotography-1-31KATRINA MASSEY img_5975SHANDA RANDY img_0799bw2

MEREDITH MINOR meredith-minor-week-5-1219

ERICA MONTGOMERY ericamontgomeryweek5

CAROL MERRIMAN carolmerriman

CASIE DENEAwildbyrds

JAYME FORD jayme_ford

JESSICA DUNNSelfPortraitJDunn.jpg

NICKI BERGESON_dsc4342_print

SUSAN BROOKSBYsusanbrooksby