Three years ago I was searching for inspiration in my work when an insightful admissions counselor at a local art school said to me, “you know what your passion is, you’re just not honoring it”. It was as if a bucket of cold water had just been poured over my head. As we stared together at my portfolio, which was filled with images of women, everything became clear to me. I am inspired by the strength and inner beauty of the women who I am privileged to know. And this is what I want to incorporate into all of my work as a documentary photographer and filmmaker.
Not long after that day I began a self-funded photography project that would become known as She Inspires 365. For one entire year I photographed and interviewed a different woman every day. I now have a body of work that consists of 365 portraits of “every day” women with inspiring stories.
S. Renee Mitchell is a singer, spoken-word poet, actress, playwright, inspirational public speaker and award-winning former newspaper journalist, twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. In October 2008, Renee left her high-profile position at The Oregonian to reinvent herself as a creative healing griot, who nurtures hope, empowerment and motivation in the lives of women and young girls.
This project has been featured in local and national magazines and honored with a project grant from The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) to cover the costs of a photography exhibit opening May 3rd at p:ear gallery in Portland, Oregon. The next step is publishing a book and for that I need your generous contributions and support. The funds we generate together will make the following things possible:
1. I will be able to hire a designer to format an inspiring photo book which will include almost 365 portraits and stories from women around the United States
2. I will be able to hire a talented editor to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s
3. I will be able to print 1,500 high quality copies of a limited edition photo book
Creating She Inspires 365 and watching it grow has been a life changing experience for me and I know the book will be much more than a book -- it will be an enduring legacy for women to cherish and give to each other as a gift that says "you inspire me". Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support.
"I decided to pursue a career in construction because buildings have an impact on everyone, everyday. Working for a construction company with a high commitment to sustainability, I have opportunities to be on cutting edge projects where new levels of green are identified, sought after and achieved."
- Caitlin Powell, Project Engineer for Skanska
“When I was 18 I was in a bad car accident and broke my neck. My mom and I weren’t super close at the time but the moment I called she was on a plane and by my bed before I woke up. The doctors that were working with me were giving me bleak options but she refused to accept them. They wouldn’t allow us to get a second opinion but she advocated for me and found a doctor that had ideas for my care that were much more appealing.
I will always be grateful to my mother for all of the inspiration she provides me: how to be a wonderful mother, a successful business owner, and a person that never stops pursuing personal excellence.”
- Briana Borten, Founder of The Dragon Tree
- (35 days)