What is beauty to you? How do you like to see yourself? How do you want others to see you? Do you feel pressured to look a certain way each day?
I asked the members of my model team these and other questions after we participated in a nation-wide movement called Project Beauty. Their answers are thoughtful and inspirational, and once again they made me proud to be associated with such amazing kids.
I photographed each of them without makeup and very little editing was done to the images, other than to make them black and white. While every girl was initially enthusiastic about doing the shoot, I started getting questions and I could sense some trepidation and worry about the shoot. Spoiler alert; the shoot ended up being AMAZING for each and every one of us.
Here, in their own words, are their thoughts about the shoot (click image to page through):
For my part, doing this project far surpassed my expectations. I've known for a long time that these girls are smart, strong, and beautiful, but to see their scrubbed faces without makeup was truly a beautiful thing. They inspire me every day with their enthusiasm to do new things and their willingness to put themselves out there to work toward something that is bigger than any of us.
I hope they each got to see themselves the way I see them all the time, and I hope they continue after graduation to do great things with the same level of confidence.
The mission of Project Beauty is to send a message of empowerment and self-acceptance to a generation that is bombarded daily with pressures to act and look a certain way. I believe that acceptance of your own flaws is the first step toward acceptance toward others, and it's my hope that these girls come away from the experience with a new dedication to that end.
It is always a huge honor to work with these girls and I'm looking forward to hosting this shoot for my future senior clients.
The proceeds of the shoot were donated to DavidsLegacy.org, an organization that is dedicated to ending cyber-bullying. The Ever After model teams and I are proud to support them in their efforts.