Just found my original brief for the Goddess Portraits, (original working title Lady of Liberty :))
To me, liberty means the absolute freedom of self-expression. Especially the freedom of women to express themselves as they see fit. It struck me that much of the turmoil around the world always starts with the subjectification and repression of women and their voices. I've been lucky over the last 25 years to have worked with strong independent women of all backgrounds and professions in what seems to be now, a bit of a bubble. Because it turns out even here in the west, we get story after story of abuse and repression especially of the young. Whether it be at the hands of politicians, charity workers, or gangs. It takes me right back to my childhood where I witnessed the ill-treatment of women and children all around but was too young to do much about it at that time.
It also annoyed me how the perpetrators of these crimes get far too much news time. that's when I decided to focus on what I love and know (women's fashion) and work from there as my anchor point.
The driving force behind this idea is to get images and stories of inspirational women into as many homes as possible. (as opposed to having to visit the Tate). in a positive way. And raising money for a charity that helps women too. This is heavily inspired by my Mother (and others from my neighborhood) who despite the many challenges managed to create a large thriving community where one never existed. and when she died literally thousands came out to her funeral in thanks for her efforts. And the following generations have taken her lead on how to be a good human being and have continued her good work in many ways.
I'd like to do the same one photo at a time with this project, and so here we are.
So first off, I would like to discuss with the client/model what liberty means to them.
We can then work on how to interpret this in the simplest way possible. Whether it is a hat, jewelry, a flower, or even a pet. e.g. (silver-painted orchid from Venezuela?) In some ways, the image is just a catalyst, an introduction to the story of the person in the portrait in words.
I'd love the portraits to be elegant, statuesque with an element of internal emotion showing through.
I am aiming to shoot a new person every /three weeks.
The person appears out of a black background and fog. almost abstract. I would love to create the feeling that the past is grasping from the shadows, and the use of light through a fog machine to provide a feeling of future still forming.
The same black background will be used for all portraits to create uniformity across the series.
This way the client/model is free to be as colourful and expressive as she wants.
The images could then be used on social in the future to encourage other photographers to take part and interpret the theme in their own way.
And I love to submit them to media channels.
Then I could get back on to LinkedIn and previous business contacts with a proposal. If I could gain corporate backing, maybe produce a calendar and hold a charity auction and exhibition, it could become an ongoing yearly thing.
2. "Queens of the neighborhood" was the other option I was going for. Basically shining a light on unsung heroes of the neighborhood. Then encouraging photographers in other neighborhoods to join and do the same. This would take longer and require more research though. Maybe next year's theme.
Anyway, all great things start with one small step or one photo at a time.
I'd love to hear your feedback on this idea as a journalist too. There might be ways it could be better.