Ker-Fox Photography is teaming up in partnership with the OBGYN Associates Midwives of St. Francis and BirthSource for a photo project aimed at reclaiming and redefining the beauty of the female body.
WHY another project like this, with others already in the works?
Let me start off by saying this is not an original idea and in no way am I even attempting to take credit for this concept. I’ve been inspired by fellow photographers doing amazing things both nationally and in their own communities. I simply want to facilitate an event for women locally in our own community to have the chance to experience this empowering opportunity. What I see happening is a beautiful thing, and I want to be a part of it. I want to do my part.
Some amazing projects that have brought me inspiration as a mother and a photographer that are worth checking out are:
• Birth Without Fear’s hashtag campaign #TakeBackPostpartum
• 4th Trimester Bodies
• Jade Beall’s A Beautiful Body Project (INCLUDES NUDITY)
There is a movement going on, I’m witnessing it daily in the media. Stereotypes of what women’s bodies are supposed to look like are being shattered thanks to national media sources picking up the stories. Whether it be Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, The TODAY Show, etc. Every day I see stories of women coming forward to show how proud they are of their bodies. Just recently a story of a mother proudly defending her choice to wear a two piece bathing suit, showing her stretched tummy. Everyday women aren’t the only victims of body shaming, even celebrities get ridiculed and judged harshly if they are deemed less than perfect… PINK and Kelly Clarkson immediately come to mind recently. There is also an anti-photoshop movement amongst us clients and celebrities. Keira Knightly and Jamie Lee Curtis refuse to let publications photoshop them, pushing to help normalize what is REAL! National advertising campaigns are joining suit. I love seeing the Dove Campaign For Real Beauty videos HERE, HERE, and HERE. They are encouraging women to rethink how they view themselves. It’s all about self love. And if we as a society can change the definition of beautiful, our relationships with our spouses, the future environment of self worth for our daughters and sons, will be a much healthier and happier place for us all.
As a photographer, a woman, and a mother living in a postpartum body… I am acutely aware of clients’ desires to be photoshopped. “My arms are fat… I have a double chin when I smile… My thighs are huge… Can you make my tummy smaller (even though you just gave birth 5 days ago!), etc. Can you photoshop that?!” I wish these women could see themselves how I see them, how I’m sure their children see them. I promise you, no one is sizing you up like you do, I promise you your child isn’t thinking, “My mommy needs to go run 5 miles because her belly is squishy”, your child is thinking… “I love laying my head on my mommy’s tummy and watching cartoons, her belly is so soft and comfy.”
Aside from being passionate about this movement to normalize and redefine true beauty, I find myself personally invested, again as a Mother and a Photographer. I came out of my first pregnancy obnoxiously unscathed from the rigors of growing and birthing a child. I would still rock a bikini, boasting my no-stretch mark anthem. I actually liked my body better, I FINALLY had hips! I quickly went not only back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but actually went 5 pounds below. I remember thinking, “Dang, I’ve got some epic genes.” Fast forward 3 years… my body now tells a totally different story: stretch marks, umbilical hernia, diastasis recti (abdominal separation) which can truly only be fixed permanently with a tummy tuck, because of this I will always look like I’m 4 months pregnant, due to my abdominal separation I also now have to go to physical therapy for back issues stemming from a weak core. My boobs.! Oh good grief, my boobs… They are no longer in the Northern Hemisphere. Lastly, even though I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight, my body has irrevocably been changed. Forever. I will not lie and say it has been easy, or even that I truly LOVE this new body. But dang it, every day I am working on it. And every day I make sure my daughter and son know that my body, and what it has done is BEAUTIFUL. I grew and birthed a human. Twice. Let that sink in.
So, not only am I wanting to do this photo series for other women, I am wanting to do this for me. For my children. For my husband, so I can believe him when he tells me I’m beautiful.
I’ll be stepping in front of the camera myself. I’m nervous, but I’m ready. Won’t you join me?
When & Where:
There will be two days of shooting that you can sign up for. The session will last approximately 30-45 minutes.
Day 1: Saturday May 2, 2015
Day 2: Sunday May 3, 2015
1300 6th Ave
Columbus, GA 31907
Who can participate?:
You do not have to be a mother to participate (and if you are a mother, that includes mother’s of adoption). Women, all of us, have lines, scars, and stripes on our bodies that cause us insecurities. But they also tell our stories, and show our strength. Cancer? Childbirth? Car Accident? Hysterectomy? Currently pregnant? Anyway that your body has been modified that causes you insecurities is a reason to sign up and participate in this project. Mothers please feel free to have your children join you for a few frames. MOST IMPORTANTLY: You don’t have to currently see these issues in a negative light. If you want to shout from a mountain top how much you love your body as is, BRING IT! You are perfect for this series.
I will only be taking on a maximum of 16 participants. 8 availabilities each of the two days of shooting.
Proceeds and Donations:
Along with creating awareness and being part of a movement to normalize women’s bodies, we would love for local charities to benefit from this project. Since Mother’s Day is coming up, the money raised will be divided equally between Sound Choices Pregnancy Clinic and Clements Arts for families wishing to adopt. The session fee as well as any additional photos/prints or donations will all go directly to these organizations.
What to wear:
Photo will be taken in my private studio, on a cream colored backdrop. I ask that you wear bra and panties that closely match your skin tone. Simple cotton underwear, no lace or embellishments. You are free to go topless or nude even, I will photograph you however you are comfortable, but images I choose to publish publicly will not show nudity. If children are the be included: a simple diaper cover for babies, plain white undies and tanks for older kiddos.
In order to participate you have to agree to and sign a release understanding that your images will be used online, whether it be my website, social media, or in public art galleries. These images will be part of a solo photographic exhibit later this year to be housed temporarily in a local gallery.
Meet and Greet:
Should you decide to participate, we will be having a meet and greet at Midtown Coffee, sponsored by the OBGYN Associates Midwives of St. Francis . This is an opportunity to get to know you, break the ice, and for you to share a bit more of your stories with me. (Date to be decided)
These images initially will be completed and posted on my blog here in time to celebrate Mother’s Day. Since motherhood is what has inspired me and given me reason to seek to love my new body.
Future Gallery Exhibition:
I will be having a solo photography exhibit later in the year that will feature imagery focused on “Motherhood”. It will include my birth photography images, some of my documentary sessions on motherhood, as well as selected images from this photo series. Should I choose your image, it will be accompanied with your words to be hung at the gallery. We will welcome you and honor you at the opening night gala.
Please do not hesitate at all to contact me if you have any questions or apprehensions. There is a contact button at the top of my website.