About 10 years ago I picked up my very first DSLR a SONY Mirrorless camera, I started taking online courses, reading up on books, and pretty much taught myself how to photograph, I wanted to get into photography not thinking I would be photographing people, I started small with landscapes, and inanimate objects.
It wasn't until back in 2018 I joined a Portrait club on Long Island that I realized portraits was my niche, and I knew I was making a difference in peoples lives by the way I captured their portraits, I felt the power of what a photo can do. I have had models feel more comfortable and confident in front of a camera than I even thought possible, my own wife was very against photos when I first met her, now she does not mind posing for me, and I owe a lot to her, she fully trusts me and supports my decisions, so when I told her I had an idea for a project she quickly said "go for it" and I did.
I have met some wonderful people on Long Island NY who have been awesome at posing for me and allowing me to capture their moments, I have come to know a lot of models, professional and none professional, and I have learned that a lot of people are uncomfortable in their skin, so this lit a bulb in my head, and I know this has been done, BUT I wanted to do it my way, I wanted to make models feel comfortable and confident, so with the help of 4 young powerful ladies I put this together. The rest is their stories.
When I was younger I never really liked my body, it was just how it was. I went to a school where the population was primarily Latino and African American children, so I was the odd one out. Red hair pale skin, it was a lot for them so I was labeled as weird and ridiculed endlessly. In middle school puberty hit me like a truck and I got curves over night! Although all of my little friends were very skinny with no curves so I thought that was the norm and I hated my body. In high school I hid behind Jeans and baggy T Shirts, but I was slowly starting to appreciate my body, I could fill out jeans better then anyone I knew!! When I went to college is when I really started embracing my body, don’t get me wrong, I still despised it but I was more willing to work with it instead of against it. Now here I am, technically an adult out in the world and it has taken so many years but I can say confidently that I love my body!! Sure there are parts of it I want to change, and there are days I think I look like a dump truck, but I wouldn’t change how I am for anything. I adore my pale skin, it’s the butt of many jokes but it is mine, it makes me unique!! My curves are many and absolutely stunning!! I have more booty then I need and it works for me!! This project helped me see my body in a new light, it helped solidify the new confidence I’ve been finding in the past year. I am so grateful for this project because it is a physical representation of all the hard work I’ve done and all the nonsense I’ve been through to FINALLY love my body.
From the time of my birth I was underweight, & that had followed me into teenager years. When I was 17 I was in a huge accident to which I came out alive with scars from surgeries that saved my life. Following that accident I became very insecure showing my scars to many people. As an adult I became used to them yet they still bother me on and off. I learned to cope with the scars and accept them as a blessing. To show women that beauty-comes in all forms. Meeting Eddie, for the first time, he had taken A picture of me as Ariel & had removed one of my scars from the photo. When he did I was shocked in a good way. But I did miss my scar, it is a part of me. Eddie gave me confidence to open up & start modeling. He had patience with me & made modeling comfortable & exciting. He as well became one of my best friends. When this project came about I was proud to show my scars. to show woman they can Embrace their body. Love themselves. As well as hopefully give them the confidence to be proud of their body & life. This project has opened doors I could never have imagined & look forward to doing more modeling of this kind. Being apart of this project is a blessing I will never take for granted. I’m alive, free, & more confident than I could dream of.
Krystal Rose Clark
Growing up I was negatively affected by my vitiligo. Sideways glances, children pointing and snickering, all made me feel like something was wrong with me. My spots felt like a target, one that brought me unwanted attention. That changed as I got older and saw others accepted with this condition. I started to accept myself more.
When the photographer approached me for this project I was initially terrified. However it was one of the most empowering things I’ve done. Show my spots without fear. I hope to be part of more projects in the future that empower all of us.
I used to have more of a "perfect body," to model with when I was younger. Over the years it became more of a struggle to keep it that way. Migraines and seizures. Then body twitches/spasms that would range from uncomfortable and annoying to downright painful. 5 years ago they found a meningioma (a benign tumor) and put the focus on that. Then I started going numb on my skin and I would get horrible pins and needles throughout my body and muscle weakness on my left side. I used to pride myself on how physically strong I was, and now it was gone- simply because my body was breaking down. Very recently I was told that the tumor a red herring. It's not the tumor. It's me. My body...a neurological disorder we have yet to nail down specifically. A theatre performer and in maybe 10 years, I won't be able to walk without a cane, if at all. At times I cry with frustration and fear. I get angry at my lot in life. But I move forward. Passions need to change- and I can either fight it or find another way to be a part of it all. I want people to think of me and not think of the struggles, but of me- and forget that I'm not "normal". This project shows the marks on my body from a child that was difficult for me to carry (that I was told I may not be able to even have). It shows my body as it is, soft and with curves that I can't just work off. With a cane that is no longer a punishment, but a part of me when I need the assistance (which is slowly becoming a regular partner by my side). Eddie's ideas of how to capture this new, growing, part of me made me feel like I was "normal". This is my normal. I felt beautiful when I saw the pictures. It looked delicate (not a word that is usually associated with me). I felt empowered. Just because something is broken- doesn't mean it's not beautiful. Sometimes you just have to make it part of your new design. This project helped me see that more clearly. Thank You Eddie.
I am Eddie, and these were our stories