THE GARDENIA PROJECT
Our unique experiences are the source of our individual beauty. Sharing our
experiences strengthens us. We are stronger for understanding each other.
It has been my experience that being photographed is difficult for many women.
Regardless of profession, economic status or age, I often detect a sense of
emotional nakedness among my clients; that being photographed is a self-
indulgence that is somehow not deserved; that a woman feels she is not worthy
of being captured on film. That somehow, she is not…enough.
I designed The Gardenia Project to focus on the incredible beauty each woman
possesses. To share the truth that each of us has a story that is uniquely ours,
and that our stories – our experiences – are a bond that can offer each of us
strength. Let’s hold each other up through the realization that every story is an
amazing story, and deserves to be told.
If you are interested in being part of this project please feel follow the button below to The Gardenia Project Application. I would love to hear from you.
Nora's story is heart breaking and powerful. She suffered a huge loss as a teen and spiraled into darkness that wouldn't lift. It lead her to rock bottom. More than once. She hid her feelings and pretended she was fine for many years. She learned the hard way how hiding and stuffing sadness down doesn't work for her and what she needed to do to change the course of her life. She learned to live. It was a long hard road.
Kathy is just like you and me. Someone you might see in the line at the grocery store or meet in your networking group. She is married and has two kids and a runs a successful business. That's the stuff we all know about each other. The things that we share with people. What we let people see of us. Then there are the things that we don't share. Kathy decided that she wanted to get brave and share her story about dealing with depression and anxiety. She has dealt with both of those things her whole life.
One of the things that can strike at anytime is disease or illness. It can sneak up when you think everything is just fine. I am guilty of being afraid of this for my daughter for sure. So what happens when your child gets diagnosed with an illness that currently isn't curable? How do you deal with that pain, and then learn to cope with it every single day? That is Maura's story.
When I first heard Elizabeth's story my mouth hung open. Then I immediately teared up and cried as she kept talking. I remembered all the times I didn't stand up for myself. The times I can look back on when I knew I wanted to say something, but just didn't for all the reasons that we don't. And the ways that not speaking up didn't serve me or totally changed me.
Part of my goal for The Gardenia Project is to not only help women feel empowered by sharing their stories, but to shine a light on the realities of our lives that we are often too afraid or embarrassed to talk about publicly. I want to change the dialog. I think that by sharing our stories (however dark they may seem to us) they will loose their power over us. Things that are hidden remain big and scary. Things that are shared remind us of the ways we can connect to each other, that we are not alone.
I am always amazed by people who are so positive even after having really awful experiences. It would be so easy to take something that was so bad, for so long, and really let it turn you into a negative person. Always expecting the worst from life and people. Anna has clearly decided that will never be the case for her.
This morning I am supposed to be finishing up a presentation for my networking group. A group of people that I have known for over a year now. They aren't my closest friends, but a wonderful group of people that I know pretty well. And they all know me. They are kind and open, and I have presented my photography to them in the past several times. I realize I am terrified to present my new project to them. The one that I am so excited to be creating.