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The Female Gaze Through Generations | Photoshoot

Hi everyone! I hope you're having a great Wednesday! Today I'm sharing with you a meaningful photoshoot that I created and execute recently. This whole summer I've been working on creating my college art portfolio to submit in my upcoming college applications (exciting!) and so, in typical artist fashion, I've been constantly in search of inspiration. Typically I create my art focused around other people - other people's stories, situations, and faces - as typically happens when you're a photographer, and something that I've struggled with while creating this portfolio is making art focused on myself. What art schools seem to be looking for in a good portfolio is self expression, which is something I have no trouble doing, but typically I examine myself through written words. I don't quite know where this need to write out and analyze myself and my feelings comes from, but I think the years of blogging has really shown that need to myself. Therefore, a lot of the art I create involves words, typography and such, and it feels like an oddly difficult challenge to create art that doesn't say something - literally! This project bridges that gap in my eyes. The gap between still images and spoken word that can communicate wordless feelings and stories.

I came up with the concept for this photoshoot while encountering the professional world for the first time this summer. This summer I've had my first real job, a YMCA lifeguard (lol), and while it has taught me a lot about having a job, finances, etc, it has also opened my eyes to a new way of seeing the world... and a new way that the world sees me. I've always been aware of the struggles that women face in the world - who isn't - but not until recently have I experienced that position as a woman in the world. I've been a "girl" for so long and being in a public position where I'm looked at and considered a "woman" (a young woman at that, haha) has caught me off guard. It's an adjustment. Suddenly the way the world looks at you shifts slightly. Not necessarily negatively, you just realize that there's more weight on your shoulders. You're not just a kid who could understandably screw up once in a while. Those "adulting" problems that you've been hearing about for your whole life will soon apply to you. Of course, this is true for anyone, regardless of gender, but this is just my perspective from a female point of view.

I felt a deep need to express how I felt about this shifting female gaze, and of course ended up with a photoshoot concept. With the help of my mom, I rallied together about a dozen women, all family and friends, to help me express this perspective. If you click through the collage, you'll see the lifespan of women expressed through photos and words. Words expressing the injustice, joys, and struggles of our generations. These women all inspire me deeply, and the love that abounds from them is beautiful. Especially the two women in the cover photo, my mom and Nana, who are the two most selfless, strong, and kind women I know. I'm so thankful that they all agreed to help me communicate this message in the best way I know how: through art. I hope you're moved, even a little bit, and enjoy this attempt at self-expression. <3

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