Women who are keeping it all together in 2020 part 1
2020 has humbled and changed us.. .
We've pivoted, quarantined, re-established new priorities, and more.
I'm a visual storyteller and there was definitely lots of stories embedded in this crazy year. In particular, I wondered about how everyday women, already juggling so many things, were able to cope and still make it all work.
The “I am strong” campaign was born.
I offered 8 women an opportunity to be photographed in any way they wanted. To qualify, they had to answer a detailed questionnaire about their 2020 experiences.
As it turns out, it wasn't hard at all to find stories worth telling and women who wanted to be heard.
Re-invention and Re-working
On the questionnaire I asked why the women felt compelled to answer my somewhat personal questions and be a bit vulnerable.
A single mom of two kids (13 and 5)--now at home e-learning--she was laid off in July from her IT job. She saw friends lose close relatives to COVID-19.
But Latia believes and that women have the ability to find strength out of places they did not know existed.
“My super-power as a woman is resilience. As women we are thrown a lot of curve balls and we are our own worst enemy. So whatever the speed of the ball thrown my way, when I strike out it will --because it will happen eventually--I step back up to the plate and get ready for my next pitch!”
Loss isn't always bad and sometimes allows something new and better in it’s place..
Prior to Covid she had begun working on her own Tea Brand. A few weeks before the job loss, she launched “Spoonful of Sugar". The brand currently has 14 Teas with more to launch seasonally.
She says she’d always been a big tea drinker, believing in it’s healthy attributes. Her goal is “not only to gain the fan base of the everyday tea drinker, but to also convert those who are not” with her unique blends.
The photo session took place in a city after a makeover with one of our pros. For her session day, she arrived dressed in a beautiful coral colored dress. Latia commented “i’m a jeans-and-tshirt girl.I forgot how heels felt. I enjoyed my make-up artist she was personable and thorough. I loved every part of the photo shoot.”
Ashley C is a business woman, mom, and also in the midst of planning her own upcoming wedding.
Her view of personal challenges in 2020 was about the quick decisions that had to be made on the front of doing business differently.
“I am the regional president of a counselor education association (11 states). We had a conference planned in Omaha and I had to make a decision whether or not to cancel and what to provide members. As the conference planner it has been difficult ensuring all the different pieces fit together and meet all criteria”
Ashley says that one of her passions is to “reduce mom guilt stigma” and this project in particular intrigued her because it fit with her idea of showing how great women really are.
She enjoyed our photo shoot, and knew exactly what she wanted. She chose to go with a very professional look in line with her personal brand. She was the only woman in the project who wanted to be photographed in the studio where the first half of her session happened. Then we moved to an outdoor cafe for more looks.
Making others their priority
Cynthis P is a married mother of 3 little girls under the age of 5.
Fortunately, in her therapy career, she was able to move to tele-health for her clients. Dealing with her clients’ new stresses along with her own, was made easier with lots of support from her parents and spouse.
But being a mom is hard at times. Being a working mom during the pandemic, I wanted other moms working or staying at home know that we are worthy of time for ourselves to be strong and feel beautiful. The pandemic has slowed us down and as we find the new norms in our life, I hope that women can feel that they are special and that they are amazing."
“It was like I put my face mask on and got ready for battle... As a therapist, I needed to make sure I had time for family, time for work, and time for me. I remember being so tired initially and so I realized that in order for me to provide the best care I needed to give myself some self care.”
Her photo session took place in a downtown setting and she dressed in a floral long dress for the occasion.
When asked about how she felt being photographed; “I could be me... and those pictures captured that.
I could let go of all the to-do tasks at home and at work for that hour...and just focus on celebrating my life journey as a working mom, mother and wife.”
Like most of the women I worked with, Annetyte O wears many hats! These include mom, coach, teacher, and night-shift tech in a trauma 1 pediatric ER. She herself has had to overcome Covid-19.
Her mantra is "If you want something done right, do it yourself." and has put it into action! She’s painted her entire house herself, learned how to install light fixtures, and recently re-learned math, “so that I can teach my four kids”.
Of course she must also be her best as a wife, friend, and caretaker of other people's sick children while smiling.
Annette believes a person does not have to be perfect, but in order to make an impact, must be present.” You must show those who need you and that you care about, that you are a presence in their lives, a witness to the good and bad...I definitely falter...have meltdowns, but then I put on my "big girl" panties and move on.”
Annette’s photo session took place in a unique setting! Her next door neighbor is an artist and her yard is a work of art in itself and made an interesting backdrop to her photo session. While it wasn’t quite a getaway for Annette, she said “The shoot was way more relaxed than I was anticipating. I appreciated the direction and feedback so that we could get the best shot and the type of photo I was looking for. It was amazing and fun to be pampered with hair and makeup. I had not had my makeup done since my wedding!
These ladies represent half of my project. Be sure to read about part II coming soon!