Category Archives: soulshine

project soulshine :: tara

i see beauty in every woman. the corniest marketing slogan ever, right? thing is though that it’s the complete god’s honest truth. help me come up with something less cliché if you don’t like that one. i’m open.

women are taught to hide our lights under all of the other things we do. it’s just another paradox of being a woman in this society. if we admire ourselves, if we like the way we look? well, then, we are vain or narcissistic or self-centered. have you ever looked at a photograph of yourself and liked it? actually thought: ‘wow, that’s me? i have a great smile.’ or ‘i forgot what awesome cheekbones i have’. but quickly tucked that thought away behind shame for the feeling? messed up, right.

we’ve talked about this before. if i could make a portrait of every woman, doing what they do, being who they are, to show them what i see—give them a beautiful portrait to help remind them that they are beautiful when they forget—and we all forget—i would.

the concept isn’t new. this movement to embrace your beauty—the idea that barbie-doll perfection has harmed our society and our collective souls—that women need to feel good about what’s beautiful about themselves. it helps to stop watching television (or at least, advertising). it helps to be your own healthy (not the healthy of a twenty year old woman). it helps to wear clothes that fit your body (not clothes designed for your teenage daughter). and you know what? it helps to see a pretty picture of yourself.

just ask tara.

you are beautiful

please excuse me if we’re having a conversation and i’m not looking you in the eye. i’m almost certainly admiring the way your hair is falling on your shoulder or how gorgeous the line of your cheekbone is. you see, i’m a photographer. (see how easy that rolls off my tongue?) i think people (women in particular – sorry guys) are beautiful, and i’m always scouting the perfect portrait.

you might remember that last may i featured a month-long series of portraits of mothers here on the blog. it was a fascinating experiment for me. what i learned was much more than a lesson in on-location shooting. i learned about the connection that occurs between photographer and subject, and started really understanding the difference between snapshot and portrait, and i began exploring, in earnest, the difference between making a portrait and capturing a moment. and for the entire year since then i’ve been bursting with the desire to make portraits of women – to show them the beautiful that i see in them. but how, exactly to reach these women, to get them on the other side of my lens? if you’re not feeling beautiful why in the heck would you hire a photographer? and therein lies the rub. here’s the thing, though: if you’re not feeling beautiful, that’s exactly why you need someone who sees it to show it to you. so, hi. i’m here to tell you that i will find your most beautiful feature and make it shine. i will photograph you doing what you do: mothering, gardening, baking, practicing yoga, sitting behind your big corporate desk, or doing nothing at all.

and if you’re feeling good about yourself right now, all the better. we’ll take that and bottle it, because—hallelujah—you’re doing something right.

it’s the launch of a month-long feature on the blog and a new product for soulshine-coming in may. and to kick it off i’m giving away two portrait sessions! if you’d like to win one of the sessions please send me an email or leave a comment. just tell me why you’d like your portrait taken and include a few details about yourself. please see the fine print below. all sessions will be shot and featured on the blog during the month of may.

fine print: participants must either be willing to come to katonah, ny to have their portrait taken or live within 20 miles of the 10536 zip code. also, participants must be willing to have their photo shared on the blog and in my portfolio. session includes my time shooting and editing but does not include prints. print pricing is available upon request. winners will be chosen using the random number generator.

edited to add: please feel free to enter even if you were one of last year’s wonderful models. everyone changes over a year’s time.