Get Up, Stand Up

I am about to embark on a road trip through New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah with one of my dearest friends, Samantha.  Samantha and I have always loved the outdoors and she has motivated me in too many ways to count. She is a Montessori school teacher with a passion for children and the outdoors.  She is a master fly fisherwoman and a great rafter and kayaker. Pretty much one of the most amazing women I know.  I called her up because I am working on a new series, Woman, which started while I was on a solo cross-country road trip.

I was traveling to Texas from California and decided I wanted to snow camp. Long story short, after posting some images of the freezing 6-10 degree weather, I got calls and texts stating that I should not be out there alone implying that I would be safer with a human of the opposite sex. It really ticked me off. I had some gowns in my car from a wedding I had gone to and decided to put it on and pose in this dress to show femininity and independence.

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Fast-forward a month or two. I was asked to be at the Texas State University Women’s Business fair to talk about entrepreneurship. I printed my photos from Woman and put them on display at the fair.  I got numerous comments on the project, but one in particular really stood out to me. A young woman asked me to explain it to her. In doing so, she started to cry. She went on to tell me that she had been assaulted and that she was sorry she was crying. I have her a huge hug and told her never to be sorry for that.  She told me that this project gives her hope and the strength to stand up and not be afraid or ashamed anymore. She had me crying after that.  It really moved me and made me realize that this was so much more than being brave (or stupid) enough to go snow camping alone.  This was for all women. Hard working women, adventurous women, and women whose confidence has been shattered.

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So I called Samantha up and asked if she wanted to be my muse for a few weeks so I can photograph her in gowns doing the things she does best, fly fish and raft in the backcountry.  We set out on our journey to northern New Mexico tomorrow. We have dehydrated meals for our camping excursions and I am stocked with evening gowns. This is gonna be fun! I can’t wait to share these images with you all!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my words and gaze at my photographs, I couldn’t do it with out you.

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I am putting together a short video of the trip when I get back, showing what it took to get these shots.

PS: When I get back, the young woman who I met at Texas State wants to pose in a gown for me, how brave and admirable. ❤


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