Friday last week I packed my bags and camera and along with Robyn, (my incredible Mum) we began the 10 hour drive over to Melbourne, Victoria, to spend two full days photographing 18 amazing women.
In the amazing space of Luminosity Studios in Melbourne's Box Hill, would be where we would meet 18 of the most diverse, fun, energetic, vibrant and inspiring women.
We arrived on the Friday night and after settling in to our room and chowing down on some much needed dinner, I spent the remainder of my time before bed emailing and chatting with many of the women I would be meeting the very next morning. There was much talk of nerves, excitement and conquering fears from the women and a lot of reassurance and encouragement coming from my end.
Saturday morning approached and we excitedly entered the studio. We met with our hair stylists Tyla and Alishia and our makeup artist Claire at 9am and got all setup. The women soon arrived and each entered very nervously. As we slowly introduced everyone and they all became familiar with each other we soon noticed that the studio had turned from a space of quiet nerves to a a buzzing of chatter and laughter. Something very special seems to happen when a group of women come together with the sole aim of supporting one another. Each were there to conquer her own fears and overcome individual hurdles, but with one all-encompassing goal in mind -- raising awareness around the importance of positive body image among women today.
The Sunday was much the same... We arrived at 9am, meeting our hair and makeup guru, Bernice and setting up ready to do it all again. Another amazing group of women and another beautiful day of mental transformations. The most incredible thing was watching the mental transformations take place throughout the day. The personal barriers that these women pushed through to achieve their final image is truly inspiring. Overcoming fears surrounding their perceived flaws, fears of judgement from others and the very act of viewing oneself in nothing but underwear (and being ok with what you see) were just a few things these women faced during this emotional and empowering day of women coming together to support, encourage and comfort each other.
We wrapped up Sundays shoot with a quick slide show of all the images we had shot in Melbourne and a big round of applause and a few high-fives! The ladies spent the next few hours sharing their images and experiences proudly on social media with friends and family. "life changing", "...my face still hurts from all the smiling I did..." and "What a weekend!", were just a few of the things these women were saying after the weekend. I couldn't be more proud of these ladies and am so incredibly humbled that these women all believe in this project as much as I do.
Thank you to all that came along over the weekend to face your fears and take a stand in raising awareness around body image among women. x.
Until the next shoot...
Special thanks to the following people for helping make this shoot possible.
Jason Lau Luminosity Studios
Bernice Mansfield Bernice Makeup Artist | Hair Stylist
Tyla Miller Tyla Miller Hair + Makeup Stylist
Claire Warmenhoven Calire Warmenhoven Makeup Artist
Alishia Hair By Lishh