In my last post, I spoke about my decision to omit the sexy poses and expressions from my work. This omission has been a part of my work for quite a while now, as I believe there is a lot of pressure out there for girls of all ages to be someone or something that they are not. We see this everywhere from social media, to celebrity gossip magazines, to reality television, to the kids in school. Our girls are feeling the pressure, and they are feeling it at a younger and younger age. It's enough to make a mother throw up her hands in hopelessness. Enough to make a photographer throw down her camera in disgust.
Or maybe not.
I write to you this morning, not in hopelessness and frustration, but filled with overwhelming hope and a strong vision for the future. And I am not alone.
As I've shared, this year brought us back out to Colorado, a return to our beautiful, purple-mountained home. Upon arrival back at our Fountain Valley School, I met the most wonderful woman, a fellow photographer and mom to two little ones, not to mention a fellow alum of my beloved Colgate University! Avery and I clicked immediately (yes, pun intended) and began heading down a road together- literally. Our friendship blossomed over campus walks during free periods, and as we walked campus loop after campus loop, we shared ideas about our businesses, shared questions and concerns about mommyhood, and shared a strong desire to see our photography differently, to use our cameras for a purpose. The more we walked and shared, the more we discovered how in sync we were.
The months passed, and the conversation continued, until one day our school had a visit from this amazingly powerful speaker from Kimball Union Academy. This woman, Brook Raney, came to speak to our faculty about how we need to empower our girls, how we need to set our girls on fire for their future. Avery and I knew. This was the piece we were missing. Brook's talk with our faculty, and the conversations we had with her afterwards, set US on fire! We were ready to move forward.
Did I mention that Brook was also a Colgate University alum? Yes, this story is lousy with amazing Colgate women! ;)
Fast forward to today, and Avery and I are moving forward down that road we started traveling almost a year ago. While each maintaining our solo portrait business, we are partnering to create Valley Girls Photography, a partnership committed to empowering girls of all ages through our photography. We are over the top excited, as we finally see the powerful purpose behind our cameras.
Our first project together will be a workshop this June for tween girls and their moms. Stay tuned for all the details, and look forward to next week when I'll be blogging WITH Avery!
Powerful and purposeful things are coming. We are so excited to share our vision and our plans with you.