My Most Dangerous Mission Yet...

Since moving almost 3 years ago, I have been basically taking a hiatus from my studio photography business.  In case you didn't know, about 17 years ago I started a portrait business out of my home shooting black and white... mostly babies and children... especially my own... 


And I specialized in hand-painting colour onto my images... a true combo of photography and art!!!


Babies and children are so EASY to shoot as it seems like all moms LOVE any and ALL images of their precious children!!!  But if/when I would suggest that Mom get in on the pictures, there was usually a swift and definitive decline of the offer!!!  And I didn't really push because I had learned long ago, most women do NOT like themselves in photographs and complain bitterly about how they look (which REALLY hurls a photographer's ego down the drain as our pictures are our "art"!)

But as a scrapbooker and photographer, I have spent years trying to tell women to get OUT from behind the camera and get IN to some photos... if for no other reason than to document that you in fact DID exist on this earth!!!  And some did listen, but they would still complain about the photos :(

And so I had pretty much decided that I was NOT going to pursue taking photos of women and stick to babies and children (which I do still LOVE to do!!!).  But I was NOT going to "sign up" for getting "kicked down" when women didn't like their photos!!

But then it happened....

During my hiatus, I was taking a TON of photography courses and came across a style of photography that is a contemporary modern version of the "glamour" photography of the 80s!! 

And my heart lept inside of me
 as I realized that my passion 
for helping women truly value themselves... 
all the messages I have presented for years 
at our Scrapbook Your Heart retreats... 
could be partnered with my photography... 
if done right!!!!

And there definitely is a RIGHT way of doing it and I have been studying it and practicing it ever since!!

And it just makes so much sense to me now... every woman wants to be loved and feel valued and feel beautiful!!  As young girls, we pretend we are princesses and dream of finding true love...


And although we grow up and put aside our fairy tale dreams, we are still captivated with stories of princesses (look at how we still gravitate to everything and anything about the Royal Family) and dream of true love (hundreds of classic romantic movies)... and yearn to feel young and beautiful (just look at the billions of dollars spent on beauty aids).

And the more I learned and studied, the more excited I became that I could quite possibly take beautiful photos of women that they actually like themselves in!!!!!!!

But I tell you... 
it is my most DANGEROUS mission yet!!!!

Why?

Because I am battling society's messages that you need to look a certain way, be a certain weight, be a certain height, have a certain body type, dress a certain way and be a certain age,
...in order to be beautiful.

And I'm battling...

...generations of women, unbeknownst to themselves, complaining out loud about themselves and by doing so, are teaching their daughters to also worry about their hair, their weight, their age, and perpetuating the belief that our worth is tied to our exterior traits... 

Why can't we simply see ourselves for who we are... 
the woman that God created us to be... exactly as we are...


...a beautiful 82 year old mother, grandmother, wife, sister, friend, woman of faith, musician.

And I'm definitely battling those inner voices... 
women who feel guilty spending time and money on themselves... who don't feel worthy enough especially for something as "frivolous" as a photo (that they probably won't like anyways) and who don't think it's important to document themselves in pictures much past their wedding day!!!

And most of all, I'm battling my own fears...
I'm scared to death of putting my heart and soul
into photos of women that I think are beautiful
spending hours planning the shoot 
employing every little tip and trick I've learned
then enhancing and adjusting in post
all to make them look beautiful in a photo
...only to have them hate it.

Told you this whole idea was DANGEROUS!!!!!

But I'm not going to quit.  
I've already experienced so many wonderful reactions even from women who say they have never liked a picture of themselves... EVER!!!  
Watch as I share their images and stories here and/or join my new Facebook Page


And because the happy reactions far outweigh the negative, I will continue to make it my  dangerous mission...

To take beautiful photos of every day women.

9 comments:

Michelle said...

totally awesome Allison!!! love your work

Anonymous said...

I think this is a most AWESOME mission....

kdgowdy said...

WOW! I am one of those women who detests being in fornt of the camera,,,especially a point & shoot! I would be honored to have you do my pictures one day! :-)

Unknown said...

Beautiful :)

Susan said...

What a marvellous mission. Women DO need to celebrate who they are and stop putting themselves and each other down. So glad that you are part of this positive change.

mow180 said...

You are very talented and you have a worthy mission.
I long to adopt this philosophy.
I am pleased to serve but I am astonished at the happiness I feel when I put myself first!

Valery Klassen said...

Your photos are beautiful. You are one talented photographer. Good for you for making women feel so very special.

Melanni Partridge said...

Allison, I love our vision for all of us women. You are brave! You are talented and you will succeed!

KellieD said...

Well said. I've never thought about it from the photographer's point of view. Thank you for sharing this & believing in making women truly see their unique beauty!