Whether you’re a young girl or a wise woman, you will discover that "Just Me" is not simply a photo book or a collective journal. It is a long overdue change-agent that has placed all its bets on the idea that when we think and talk differently about beauty, everything changes.
The "Just Me" Project is a loud declaration: It is time to change the stories we tell to ourselves and to one another.
It's practically impossible to conform to society's unrealistic beauty standards.
We shouldn't believe anyone's life is as perfect as their social media.
And we should not give power to the lies of our inner critic.
We simply need to believe one profound truth: We are enough.
"Just Me" represents the everyday woman — the mom who has sacrificed everything for her kids, the daughter who still believes she isn’t enough, and the grandmother who holds a wise secret few of us have come to understand: Beauty isn’t mere flesh and bones. It is heart and soul, no matter how tattered, or how weary, or how broken, or how strong, or how confident, or how whole.
In 2017, 104 women showed up in my studio, looking into my camera lens to boldly share their vulnerabilities and their insecurities, their deepest secrets and their greatest triumphs. They thought they knew what the lens would reveal, but what they saw instead changed their self-perception forever.
Instead of weakness and flaws, they saw raw strength and undeniable beauty.
They are sharing their stories in the hopes that you, too, will not emerge unchanged or unchallenged.
In simple words, I am a photographer. I'm also a confidence-builder, an encourager (that's what comes up a LOT when I ask others how they would describe me), and I create a safe space for women to push past their comfort zones. I'm also on a mission to create an empowering community where we can build each other up.
The Just Me Project started because I was fed up with believing the lie that I wasn't enough. I wasn't thin enough, my nose wasn't small enough. I wasn't successful enough or motivated enough or talented enough.
I knew that ifI was struggling-- a white, cis, small, able-bodied person--then other women were, as well. And oh my goodness, that is certainly true.
I have photographed and interviewed over 125 women in the Just Me style. Every woman shows up without makeup, no hair styling, and I do not retouch their finished portraits. I first tested this out on myself with some selfies (pictured above). I had no idea how healing and transformative this experience would be.
Even if you cannot experience the photo session, reading these women's stories is transformational in itself (that's where the photo book comes in). This project is changing the conversations husbands have with their wives, moms have with their daughters, friends have with one another. But most importantly, it's changing the conversations we (as women) are having with ourselves.
At the Just Me gallery event in 2018, the common feedback from attendees was that 4 hours just was not enough. It was powerful. These stories are overwhelming, and can bring up a LOT of emotions. People wanted to be able to share these portraits and stories with others who could not make it. They wanted to be able to take a step away to process their emotions. They wanted to be able to use the stories as fuel for tough conversations. Finding a long-term home for this many portraits proved to be challenging, and so a portable gallery to hold onto or gift was the next best thing.
This Kickstarter raises awareness about the Just Me Project, and allows for a book with the stories and portraits to be created. It will be an 11x11 book with over 120 pages and including 104 black and white portraits.
The soft cover book will be like a beautiful magazine, with matte cover pages. This is set to be printed through Graphi Studios.
The hard cover book's printing company has not yet been finalized. Quotes have come back with high cost-per-book because we are self printing an unknown number. If you have a connection or resource, we would be so grateful for your help in this area. We will keep all of our backers updated on this process!
Book cover design
Book layout design and book printing
Custom artwork design, online gallery hosting, and printing/shipping when applicable
Book launch party
Sponsorships: I want to gift the Just Me experience to womxn who are not yet represented in the Just Me collective
Reimbursement for funds already paid: to a copywriter, the 2018 gallery event, and marketing/advertising
104 women are inviting you into their stories, and here's what you'll find:
-Confessions that are so aligned with your own story, you will feel déjà-vu.
-Your beauty marked on another woman's skin.
-Strength to step into your own power, and be a cheerleader for those you love to do the same.
-Ownership -- of your stretch marks, your scars, and every curve.
The majority of the womxn featured in this book live in Washington state. They range in age from 19 up through their 60s. Each womxn volunteered to be photographed on a first come, first served basis. Although there is a significant range of skin color, age, backgrounds, body shapes, and stories, there are womxn underrepresented in this collective. I would love to gift scholarships to these womxn so they can be included in the next volume, if there is enough support for and interest in this Kickstarter!
(The spelling of womxn is meant to show inclusion of trans, nonbinary, womxn of color, womxn with disabilities and all other marginalized genders)
Risks and challenges
With a publishing project like this, the biggest risk is usually delay in designing, printing, and shipping. I don't foresee any major risks at this time. All of the photography work has been completed, the editor and designer are lined up with a timeline of finishing and creating a mock up by the end of 2019. If we raise the funds, the book will be published. I have found printers that can make low copy numbers (but the more books I order at one time, the better price!). We have not decided officially the printer for the hard-cover book. We want it to be high quality, but the cost-per-book quotes have been high. We will order samples from different companies once the book is designed, and go from there.
If you live outside of the US, please add the extra shipping costs as indicated on each individual reward level where applicable. You may also be required to pay duty upon receipt.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!