the 2023 secret project
The purpose of the secret project is to showcase as many different types of beauty as possible. When we see ourselves as beautiful, we give others permission to do the same.
When I first started in boudoir, I heard lots of objections. "I can't do a shoot because I need to lose ten pounds. I am a mom. I have stretch marks. I am not feminine enough. I have excess skin."
Inspired to prove everyone wrong, I put out a model call asking for 21 different models, sizes 0-20. I photographed all of them and presented the collection of images at a gallery night in my studio. Every few years, I do it again, in an effort to put all kinds of beauty out there so that everyone can see themselves in my work.
Each of these models has a story and a reason they wanted to participate. They all share the desire to show others the there is beauty in people like them.
People of all shapes and sizes. Breast cancer survivors. Those challenging gender roles, purity culture, and "ideals" about beauty and how that changes with age. Beautiful humans celebrating what it means to be queer, what it means to be ADHD, what it means to be a survivor of cancer, of trauma. What it means to start life over at 55. To love yourself, "flaws" and all.
What is the Secret Project? What did the models have to say about participating?