The #projectbeauty2017 photoshoot was a transformative day. In case you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, read the previous blog post about #projectbeauty. The teens I photographed that day were so open, so vulnerable, and so amazingly beautiful. It’s funny someone mentioned to me that I did a lot of marketing for this event and my first response was “oh god, did I post too much?”. But then I thought about it and of course I promoted this every chance I got. This wasn’t about business for me, this was something that I could do for a few teens to give them a portrait they’d never otherwise take. And in doing so we’d raise money for an organization that helps teens that are having a hard time. Teens that are dealing with anything from bullying, to substance abuse, to depression can call, text, chat or email another teen for support. An organization that wants to help people. That is important. I’d never push my business that hard without feeling self-conscious but when it’s helping someone else I’ll get in there and fight for it. This project merged my love of working with teens and helping teens. And now I have to do this every year.
The 13 teens I photographed that day got online galleries to view the best 8-15 images from their photoshoot and choose three for download. The images had some basic adjustments, like exposure, and then processed into b&w. That was it! No retouching, no warping, no removing of scars or blemishes. They are all this naturally beautiful! We raised $500 for Lines for Life and I am so excited to send in that donation at the end of this week once all the galleries expire. (They have the option to purchase more images and 100% goes to Lines for Life.)
Once you see their pictures you may have this thought, “They are beautiful but I wouldn’t look that good without makeup on.” I want to challenge you to look at yourself a little deeper next time you wash your face and remove all the makeup. I didn’t think I would have a transformation that day, I was simply there to be a warm heart, open ears and take their portrait. But after the shoot I went home and showered, it was 88 degrees in the studio that day so I was a hot sweaty mess, and then I filmed a few insta story videos talking about the day. I had on no makeup and wet hair wearing my comfy nursing tank pj’s. I’d have never done that before. I’d have simply not done the insta story because I needed to have makeup and hair and a bit of gloss, right? But I felt amazing after spending the day with these amazing teens. We tell ourselves that we need all that extra fluff but really we don’t.
If you are a teen and would love to see your true beauty, shoot me an email at email@example.com and I’ll put you on the list for the next #projectbeauty. I’m planning it for late Feb/early March of 2018. This will be open to any teen aged 13-19. If you are a teen that needs to talk to someone please reach out to the youthline between 4-10pm. Adults are available by phone other hours. And tell any friends that you feel might need this. It can be hard to tell when someone really needs this but it’s better to say something than regret it.