Several months ago I removed "photographer" from my Instagram profile, suddenly subconscious and afraid of using that word because, well, who am I to call myself a photographer? I am merely a woman with a camera and I take pictures that people sometimes think are very beautiful. I don't know (yet) how to use off-camera flash, I don't own any reflectors, or have a studio space. I'm self-taught. My mentors are other young photographers and one kind soul way out east who used to be an actor and a fashion photographer in New York City.
But I know that I want to grow. I trust that I am capable of creating even more beauty. I believe that I see things in a way that no one else does. Kevin told me a long time ago that I have vision—and that vision is something you can't teach. And if I am going to speak to you on the importance of honoring your gifts, then I ought to honor my own.
Last fall I threw out there that I wanted to practice more portraits and offered free sessions to any woman who was local and interested. (It's something people often ask me to do but I usually end up referring them elsewhere, unsure of my abilities to do them justice.) Two beautiful humans raised their hands and when I asked them what made them say yes, they both said the same thing, "I need to practice being seen."
I hope that what Kendra, Jen, and I created is the intersection of vision and authenticity, courage and trust, beauty and illumination. And I left both days feeling more assured that I can do this, that maybe I'm meant to do this—to offer safe space for women to step into their own light and to be seen.