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I'm so proud to present to everyone, my first artistic series - a project titled and dedicated to feminism, to all the women out there, the struggles we endure, and to Elizabeth Warren:
"Nevertheless, She Persisted"
I mean, obviously, what else can you title images of women in an amazing pink parachute dress????
Here's to rising above it all!
*THE* Pink Parachute Project
It began several months ago ... with a pink parachute.
What started out as a simple photography project has evolved into so much more than I ever could have imagined. I've immersed myself into this because I'm so very passionate about everything that it represents. It's so much bigger than me and my thoughts, it's become about every woman in the world, every female.
What do you think of when you think of a pink parachute? Something big, maybe. And because of the pink color, maybe something feminine. But you don't normally think of an object like a pink parachute being very important or having much of an impact. But a parachute does - it shines in the light, it moves with the wind, it gives us resistance and can pull us in different directions ... but we can control it and make it do as we want!
I didn't think much of what the parachute represented at first. Until I created my first series of images. I realized very quickly after the first test shoot that the symbolism represented something so much bigger than just a pretty part of the dress. The symbolism had so much more meaning and impact beyond just my initial artistic visions. What I was putting out was not just a part of my inner vision, but also a representation of what has become something that represents all women.
My project started out as a the simple idea of photographing a beautiful model and an incredible dress. Along the way I realized my creative outlet had so much more behind it in the process of creation - it was also my healing outlet for something I was struggling with and couldn't figure out how to externalize. I found my voice along the way, and poured out in images what I lacked in words.
After I saw my first few images in camera, it hit me. Have you ever done something so big that you were just in awe of the fact that you did it? Have you ever done something that you just couldn't wait to share it?
I realize this project developed into exactly that - something so big, so meaningful and with such an impact, that it has manifested into the one defining project I couldn't wait to shout out about!
The project evolved from just creating pleasing images, into my personal journey and helped me finding my visual outlet for all the strife that I had been going through.
I found my truths with this project, and I found some healing in being able to get it out. Truly, all of us women are going on a personal journey. We are not alone! We can get through it together. I hope that it helps other women to find their power as well.
*THE* Pink Parachute
Oh the the drama of an incredible dress!!! The simple idea of a beautiful dress morphed into the mantra that is "Nevertheless, She Persisted."
As I searched for dresses that embodied what I had in my mind for the photo shoot, I found the most amazing PINK PARACHUTE.
This pink parachute all of a sudden personified every symbol of the gender inequality that women face on a daily basis.
All I could think of is the symbolism for women, the resistance we face and how the images symbolized that. The use of the parachute has been iconic in many respects. This particular parachute was from 1967 and used by the British military. Not sure why they chose pink, but it sure suited this photo shoot! And, I had no idea about it until well after I had finished my first series of images, but Katy Perry also used a similar parachute in a music video for her song "Rise" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdw1uKiTI5c). I felt like it was further reinforcement that this project truly personified feminism and our struggles.
The creative series has come to symbolize the epitome of the struggles that we as women face. It is the abstract of the intertwined reality of having to struggle, be fierce, face uphill battles, all while being graceful, feminine, owning our beauty, showing our strength, being nurturing yet independent, and putting on a public face despite our internal angst, struggles and other issues. The dress has become the symbol of the resistance we face, rising above it all, going against the wind that tries to pull us back - and yet we conquer it all and move forward.
The creative series has become a reminder that we continue to fight for gender equality, to not be called "bossy" but rather to be called leaders, for us to not be called "bitchy" but to be seen as assertive, for us to not be put down or cat-called, to not be sexually harassed, called whores or any other horrible word that males throw at us in an effort to undermine our worth.
From the artistic standpoint, my statement has become that the parachute and resistance it brings to the subject represents every ounce of abuse and oppression we face as women on a daily basis -- both overtly and covertly. It represents everything we carry on us because of society or culture, and how we rise above it and fight against it and yet *STILL* persist in our endeavors as brave and strong human beings - intact and stronger for all our efforts.
This project is an homage to all the women who are still struggling. Whether it's emotionally or physically. To all the women battling cancer. To all the women battling their demons. To all the young women who are entering this world, both professionally and socially who have to face everything that holds them back. To ALL women - our challenges are not unseen and we all need to work for one another to fight against that resistance we face to make our world as women better.
Every ounce of time spent on this project has become a dedication for every woman who has been battered because through it all they persisted and their beauty and worth will *never* not diminished. It's a reminder to not settle for less than we deserve, to not take the negativity that might be thrown at us. We deserve respect. We deserve equality.
Elizabeth Warren's moment of issue when she was so mistreated by Mitch McConnell hit a nerve and this project became my outlet to express in images what I lacked in words. This project is now OUR battle-cry to the world that women WILL persist. We CAN rise up to challenges and endure despite the resistance thrown at us! I firmly believe that women's persistence will break down barriers, despite the efforts to be silenced, marginalized, or ignored.
The creative series is all about the beauty of us, our elegance, our grace and yet our fierceness to go up against the wind and the resistance and conquer it all no matter what. And as much as the pink parachute has been a metaphor for all the resistance we face that tries to pull us back, this same parachute can also be our symbol of safety. Something that can reassures us and gives us courage! Women, standing together, can become each other's pink parachute.
WHERE WAS ALL THIS DONE???
Two cities : Austin, Texas & Denver, Colorado!
This was a passion project for me, requiring a lot my own funding and all of my heart and soul. I truly thank everyone who volunteered their time and talent to make this project a reality. It was not easy at all: it took months of planning.
Two locations, three backdrops at each location, three *amazing* assistants, and *TWO* models in Denver. Thank you Michael Malvitz, Wes Ryan, Robert Gray for being amazing assistants, Divinity Ray for being an unbelievable HMUA, and Dorotka T. and Madison Flowers for being the unbelievable and professional models for this project!
And an extra special thank you to Lisa Kohlbrenner and Simona Pogonat for helping me find my words in this blog :).
The vision in two cities is complete, in Austin and Denver. We worked two locations in each city BUT this project is DEFINITELY NOT DONE!!!
My goal is to take my passion project, "Nevertheless, She Persisted: The Parachute Project", to 4 - yes FOUR - more cities. I would like to empower even more women and build a book dedicated to women across the U.S.
But to do that, I need support and funding. It's beyond just finding a model. The scope involves assistants, insurance, filming permits (yes, for photography!!) and travel to the locations - and a ton of patience & planning for *each* location!! I'm hoping that others who are as passionate about this as I am are willing to help me raise funds to make my dream a reality.
My end goal is to make a photographic book out of this, with all future book proceeds going to women's causes and empowerment projects. I have a total of $10k to raise to be able to do this in all four cities - that's quite a lot!!
If you would like to donate, you can do so by clicking the Donate button below. Stay tuned for a Go Fund Me, that is still being organized!
So, here's to all the women we know and love!! "Nevertheless, She Persisted"
With all my heart, gratitude and love,