Cincinnati photographer Thomas Nguyen recently started a movement meant to empower young women, to portray them as they are, beautifully free of makeup and unrestrained from the social media pressures of perceived perfection. Thomas's project opened avenues of communication with his young models. They freely discussed not only what beauty is to them, but also had discussions about the pressures of becoming a woman in our social media society.
Thomas saw the enormity of Project Beauty when photographers from across the country began asking for information on how to launch their own Project Beauty programs. I am one of those very interested photographers. Thomas has taken the time to lay out a set of loose guidelines to aid other photographers in their Project Beauty journeys. I hope you will follow along on mine.
Most participating photographers focus on high-school aged girls. As senior photographers, those are the girls they have as clients. Our Project Beauty includes girls entering the seventh grade through girls entering their senior year of college. We've all felt unsure of ourselves at some point and my hope is, by casting our net a bit wider, our girls will see what empowerment looks like at all ages.
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MoniKeri Imaging Project Beauty 2017, while a fundraising event, was absolutely free to all participants. Our Project Beauty shoot took place in a warehouse space in downtown Marietta. Each of the thirty-six girls had a fifteen minute professional photo shoot and received 5 digital black and white images. Those images are meant to be a first step toward the girls' development of self confidence and personal pride. All Project Beauty participants were honored guests at the MoniKeri Imaging Project Beauty Gallery Show on July 21, 2017.
Tickets purchased to the Gallery Show benefitted The Bauer Fund, a non-profit established by local resident and Marietta College Professor Bill Bauer. Mr Bauer established the Bauer Fund in memory of his son Grant who took his own life at 25. The Bauer Fund distributes "Grants" during Grant's birthday week in September and they're to be used for promotion, prevention and/or research in the areas of suicide awareness and prevention, mental health issues, and or program development for people with intellectual disabilities.
Our total donation to The Bauer Fund from our Project Beauty 2017 was $1200.
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Scheduled spots are now available for our 2018 Project Beauty shoot occurring June 29 & June 30. Young women in grades seven through college senior are invited to participate. Click the link below to secure your time spot!!