This shoot was a personal passion project of mine that had been on my heart for so long now! I am so thankful to the girls who without hesitation jumped on board and help me spread the message of self acceptance, natural beauty, and kindness both to ourselves and others!
As women, the concept of beauty has become such an all-consuming topic. In particular young women, namely the high school students I am lucky enough to work with on a daily basis, feel immense pressure to be the picture perfect versions of themselves. Today we have an almost inescapable societal portrayal of beauty, from celebrities to the perfect tiny squares of other people’s “instagram lives”. After teaching other photographers how to make seniors and teens feel confident, beautiful, and comfortable during their photography sessions I decided I wanted to do more! I wanted to take a personal interest in showing those same girls that they are PERFECT just the way they are. That they don’t need to compare themselves to others and feel like they are coming up short. That above all, to accept themselves is so much more important that waiting for the acceptance of others- especially based on the way that they look.
As a photographer, I completely love working with hair and makeup artists, getting glam for shoots, and doing whatever makes you feel as confident as possible- but at the same time I always want to make sure that the young women I work with know that at the end of the day, it’s not the makeup that brings them beauty. It’s kindness, joy, confidence, and comfort in who you are inside!
With all of that in mind, I enlisted the help of a few of the most incredible young women I know! My outgoing and incoming Emadi Senior Spokesmodels, dancers who I have had the honor of teaching, friends and daughters of those who have the same views of lifting up and encouraging others, and last but not least industry friends who support the vision of building these young women up and spreading the message of accepting and embracing your natural beauty! In a beautiful all white shiplap venue (The RoseMary Barn), with beautiful florals and greenery (donated by The Pearl Petal), 20 high school students came together to make my vision of a makeup-free photo shoot come to life; in the hopes that other young women will see their natural faces, their embrace of each other and of their own inner and outer beauty, and hopefully be inspired to find more confidence and more self acceptance within themselves. As a former high school teacher and dance director I have watched young women struggle with confidence and self esteem for years. This is my way of hoping to instill that confidence in them, and at the same time to help other photographers realize their impact!
**I am also honored and thrilled to add that this shoot has been featured on one of my favorite publications, Lemonade and Lenses! I love that this message continues to spread and hope that it will encourage and empower others!