As a photographer, one of the things I aim to do in every session is make my subjects feel comfortable and see themselves as beautiful. Confidence is not something that comes as naturally to everyone – especially in this image-driven social media world. I’ve literally seen young women tear up looking at their photos, smiling, and say, “I never have liked any pictures of myself before.” While I’m glad they enjoy the photos *I* took of them, it saddens me greatly that they don’t like their own appearance so much.
And then an opportunity came… In Senior Style Guide‘s group for photographers, an inspirational teen photographer named Thomas Nguyen posted about his efforts to build confidence and raise awareness about teen issues (like bullying, eating disorders, self-harm and suicide), and he calls it Project Beauty. He told us “If anyone is interested, I can send you more info.” And boy, were we interested. HUNDREDS of photographers wanted in. I was elated to see the response from the pro photog community. Happy to see that I’m not alone in my desire to give confidence to my clientele; to see that we all want to do more than just take pictures.
Thomas sent out the info and I devoured every word in his guide. I’m pleased to say I’ll be photographing my first groups in Project Beauty 2017 in the next couple weeks!
When I posted about this on my own social media, I was overwhelmed by the response from young people who wanted to participate.
I greatly look forward to photographing these young women and men, telling their stories, and helping to raise awareness of the issues they face today.
In the spirit of raising awareness, I’m using this as a way to raise funds for an organization called “To Write Love On Her Arms.” (If you know me, you’ve seen me sporting their amazing t-shirts with positive messages for all.) Visit their website to learn more about their mission and beliefs, including that we are created to love and be loved. <3
To DONATE to our cause, please visit the GoFundMe Page I set up for this project. https://www.gofundme.com/project-beauty-2017baton-rouge
(Note: I will not be keeping any of the funds raised! 100 percent will go to TWLOHA!)
Read about Thomas’ project here on his official Facebook page. :)