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Poem: Have I ever loved?

Who am I if not
A creature created in the
Image of love?
But what is an image
If not a facimile?
Non-original
Incapable of being
Authentic
If love is a reaction to receiveing
For we love because
We have first been loved
Then what of the love
That was supposed to pour into me?
What am I pouring out
If I haven’t first received?
In this dimension there has been no
Sheltering arms
Encouraging embrace
No partner or mate
With whom to lay down
Or to build up
What would I know
Of a gentle touch
A tender kiss
A thrusting merge
An expectant birthing
A purposed feeding?
How am I to learn
The deep nature of
Sharing in true
Relationship?
When my existence
At every level
Has been solitary
Relating to myself
Even in
Disagreement
I am right
Though my conclusions
May be wrong
If I don’t even know
What love
Looks like
Feels like
Sounds like
Smells like
Tastes like
How could I possibly
Recognize love
Identify myself
As love
Give what I haven’t
Recieved?
All these years
I thought I was offering
Though I knew I was begging
Trying to avoid my emptiness
Attempting to camouflage
My brokenness
Seeking to heal to
Wholeness
While offering my image
Of wholeness to the broken
But if love is
Absent from my being
How was I ever whole?
How was I ever able
To offer myself?

7/15/19

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Complete in Christ (ACAD: Colossians 2)

For I want you to know how much I am struggling for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me face to face. I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I am saying this so that no one may deceive you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, and I rejoice to see your morale and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

Fullness of Life in Christ

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.

Warnings Against False Teachers

Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”? All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings. These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence.

Colossians 2:1-23 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Colossians%202:1-23&version=NRSV

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Video MR 3.1: Prelude: Womanhood Juxtaposed with The Crown on Netflix

“Who do you think you are? The Queen of England?”

Have you ever wondered who Elizabeth II, the Queen of England thinks she is? This first part of our third Marriage & Relationship study discussion explores the roles of women within a discussion of The Crown on Netflix.

The last two #Zoom discussions were recorded and I’m working to get them posted to this blog. As I review them for editing, I’m convinced this series should have been titled “Bible Conversations with Friends” or something similar. The faceless voice you hear in this video is my long-time friend, Dorina. When Dorina and I met over thirteen years ago in a corporate office in New York City, she didn’t identify herself as a believer and I had just begun my intentional faith walk and Bible learning.

Over the years, I’ve ascended and descended on the waves of life. There were some points when Dorina considered herself an ashiest or agnostic but would still engage in conversations about my faith journey. Four years ago, she began her own intentional faith walk and has been most interested in discussing marriage and divorce, ergo the title of this series. I’m truly glad to be able to share some of our great conversations with you all! Even better, you’re welcome to join us! Email for up-to-date details.

You can watch Part 3.1 of the discussion on Adam & Eve here:

Marriage & Relationship: Modern Concepts vs. Biblical Principles
Part 3: Adam/Adamah + Chavah/Eve | Man + Woman | Human + Spirit
Text: Genesis 1-5, Revelation 22

Video Part 3.1: Prelude: Womanhood Juxtaposed to The Crown on Netflix

  • Intro: Culture of Womanhood
  • Navigating roles of woman, daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother | Queen, Princess, Prime Minister
  • Which role(s) do you abdicate in your life?
  • Which role(s) do you focus on daily or regularly?
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Terry Ann: Woman. Seed. Fertile Ground. Inspiration.

In the summer of 2018, I began working on a portrait and prose book project about womanhood. That summer I returned to my hometowns Gary and Milwaukee and asked friends, family and old connections to pose and share some words about their womanhood experiences.

When I began sketching out the project my mom was not top of mind. As the project morphed into various incarnations, the hope was to pull others in along the way. But the more women I talked to and the closer I got to women who had been close to her, the more Mom began to dominate my thoughts.

I can’t ask my mother what her womanhood meant to her. She died just as I was coming of age. Oddly enough, I hadn’t considered my own womanhood in the context of the project until I visited my mom’s gravesite in Milwaukee. It was there that I realized I hadn’t really known her as a multi-dimensional person. My perspective was only as a daughter looking up. As a result I began questioning and exploring the layers of my own personhood. Perhaps my Mom became my proxy. I chose to focus my questions on how she was before becoming a mother.

During the visit, I asked relatives: What do you remember about my mom?

I wasn’t prepared for the responses. Such a simple question seeking to learn about personality and character, unleashed stories of actual and imagined trauma and violation. Things she would have shared with me during her lifetime if they were true. It’s interesting how I was able to reject the lies for what they were after holding their words up to the relationship I had with my mom. She was an honest and straight-forward woman. She didn’t wallow in past trauma, hide from it or keep it from me. Her story was her story and she told me what she wanted me know. More importantly, she answered my questions truthfully.

The more I analyzed my urge to ask others about who Terry Ann was before she became my mother, the more I realized I have only to look within. Everything I thought I didn’t know about my mother is actually in me because she remains a part of me. She’s the seed and fertile ground I sprung from and her life is forever my inspiration.

My sister had the only words worth sharing. She said, “I remember everything, but I can’t put words to my memories.”

Truly profound.

Perhaps that was my true dilemma as well. I know what I know, but somehow I can’t speak it all.

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Test Shoot: Friend R, “Delete the rest.”

I may go to friend jail for this, but I think it’s worth it. An old friend, R, visited me in New York City to celebrate her 50th birthday. I told her to bring something she wanted to be photographed in and to think of her Woman Word for my I AM WOMAN photo essay project. When she got here she gleefully said she was happy to take pictures for the project because when I was in Milwaukee (where she lives) in July she hadn’t been in a good place to participate.

No worries. No offense or judgment. Keep it moving.

I told her I had a new lens – it’s a Zeiss Batis 85mm portrait lens – I wanted to practice on her during her visit. Being a woman of my word, I did exactly that. She was in NYC for three full days. Her entire trip was essentially chronicled through my lens. Though that wasn’t my intention, I got some amazing shots.

On the second night, during our visit to the Brooklyn Bridge, I knew instantly the close-up images of her with Freedom Tower as her backdrop, where the images to use for I AM WOMAN. I told her right there, in the moment, “These are your money shots!” I also told her she was a natural in front of the camera. The images I was getting were simply amazing. To me, anyway. And perhaps I’m biased on three levels: as friend, photographer and project curator.

My goal was to avoid turning her visit into a counseling session and simply do things she had expressed an interest in. I stayed silent and performed as her personal photojournalist – with a good deal of excitement initially.

While on the Brooklyn Bridge, I asked her what her word was. She said a couple of words that didn’t represent her at all. I then framed the question for her, “I’m not asking for an aspirational word, a word you hope to become. I’m asking for a word that represents how you see yourself. Or what your womanhood means to you.” She said she would think about it and get back to me. I explained that I use the word as a guide for the shoot. A reminder that the shoot was in progress…. She never consciously gave me her word.

I thought about posting her I AM WOMAN image as “I Am [unknown].” However the core of this project is about how Women SEE and IDENTIFY themselves. So I took a step back. I sent her image gallery to her as something of a memory book. Images I knew she liked and wanted as well as images I like (some of which were images she insisted she looked “ugly” in and immediately insisted I delete. I refused on the spot. The images she defamed as ugly were taken at the 9/11 Memorial Fountain at Freedom Tower and across the road in front of the Oculus. The images are somber, unmasked, and intriguing. Frankly, I think they’re beautiful.

But again, this isn’t supposed to be about me!

I AM WOMAN is a project about womanhood. All of it. Everything it means to be a woman. The first phase of this project is focusing on the experiences of Black Women in America. By and large, we embody pain, disappointment, rage, resentment, bitterness and frustration. Yet in the same body and space we are joy, love, loyalty, commitment, faith, grace, forgiveness and eternal hope. For most of her adult life, Friend R has only focused on the dark emotions. The residue of her constant focus is visible. It’s audible. It’s painfully disturbing to witness.

The short of her response to her image gallery was, “Thanks for all your hard work! I see sickness in most of my photos…. I choose the ones I like…. I ask that you delete the rest.”

I was stunned, angry and very much offended. Not only did I see the images as work product, they also represented a great time in the City with an old friend. Over the last few days, I released my frustration over her request and comments. I literally have much bigger issues to deal with. However, at the same time I don’t want to dismiss this episode as inconsequential, because it is not. It actually speaks to the heart of my project. The juxtaposition of one’s womanhood not being anything to celebrate against fully embracing one’s womanhood with all its pain and glory.

Basically, I think her images and her comments add a great deal to the larger conversation of Black Womanhood in America. How we internalize our grief and disappointment. How they solidify and weigh us down in a deep abyss of cyclical suffering. How we can become incapable of seeing pass that one thing (situation, heartbreak, betrayal) that first knocked us down. I do believe she can’t see pass the sickness within her. I also believe that sickness is the result of years of anger, resentment and bitterness that she has consistently refused to let go of. We become what we harbor and feed.

I would love to hear your thoughts, not just on the images but on the story as well.

Equipment: #SonyAlpha7iii, #ZeissBatis85mm

Related posts:

She liked less than 20 images. Some are below.

These are some of the ones she wants deleted.

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Test Shoot: Rhonda, “Delete the rest.”

I may go to friend jail for this, but I think it’s worth it. An old friend, Rhonda, visited last week to celebrate her 50th birthday. I told her to bring something she wants to be photographed in and to think of her Woman word for my I AM WOMAN Project. When she got here she gleefully said she was happy to take pictures for the project, because when I was in Milwaukee (where she lives) in July she wasn’t in a good place to participate.

No worries. No offense or judgment. Keep it moving.

I told her I had a new lens – it’s a Zeiss Batis 85mm portrait lens – I wanted to practice on her during her visit. Being a woman of my word, I did exactly that. She was in NYC for three full days. Her entire trip was essentially chronicled through my lens. Though that wasn’t my intention, I got some amazing shots.

On the second night, during our visit to the Brooklyn Bridge, I knew instantly the close-up images of her with Freedom Tower as her backdrop, where the images to use for I AM WOMAN. I told her right there, in the moment, “These are your money shots!” I also told her she was a natural in front of the camera. The images I was getting were simply amazing. To me, anyway. And perhaps I’m biased on three levels: as friend, photographer and project curator.

My goal was to avoid turning her visit into a counseling session and simply do things she had expressed an interest in. I stayed silent and performed as her personal photojournalist – with a good deal of excitement initially.

While on the Brooklyn Bridge, I asked her what her word was. She said a couple of words that didn’t represent her at all. I then framed the question for her, “I’m not asking for an aspirational word, a word you hope to become. I’m asking for a word that represents how you see yourself. Or what your womanhood means to you.” She said she would think about it and get back to me. I explained that I use the word as a guide for the shoot. A reminder that the shoot was in progress…. She never consciously gave me her word.

I thought about posting her I AM WOMAN image as “I Am [unknown].” However the core of this project is about how Women SEE and IDENTIFY themselves. So I took a step back. I sent her image gallery to her as something of a memory book. Images I knew she liked and wanted as well images I like (some of which were images she insisted she looked “ugly” in and immediately insisted I delete. I refused on the spot. The images she defamed as ugly were taken at the 9/11 Memorial Fountain at Freedom Tower and across the road in front of the Oculus. The images are somber, unmasked, and intriguing. Frankly, I think they’re beautiful.

But again, this isn’t supposed to be about me!

I AM WOMAN is a project about womanhood. All of it. Everything it means to be a woman. The first phase of this project is focusing on the experiences of Black Women in America. By and large, we embody pain, disappointment, rage, resentment, bitterness and frustration. Yet in the same body and space we are joy, love, loyalty, commitment, faith, grace, forgiveness and eternal hope. For most of her adult life, Friend Rhonda has only focused on the dark emotions. The residue of her constant focus is visible. It’s audible. It’s painfully disturbing to witness.

The short of her response to her image gallery was, “Thanks for all your hard work! I see sickness in most of my photos…. I choose the ones I like…. I ask that you delete the rest.”

I was stunned, angry and very much offended. Not only did I see the images as work product, they also represented a great time in the City with an old friend. Over the last few days, I released my frustration over her request and comments. I literally have much bigger issues to deal with. However, at the same time I don’t want to dismiss this episode as inconsequential, because it is not. It actually speaks to heart of my project. The juxtaposition of ones womanhood not being anything to celebrate against fully embracing ones womanhood with all its pain and glory.

Basically, I think her images and her comments add a great deal to the larger conversation of Black Womanhood in America. How we internalize our grief and disappointment. How they solidify and weigh us down in a deep abyss of cyclical suffering. How we can become incapable of seeing pass that one thing (situation, heartbreak, betrayal) that first knocked us down. I do believe she can’t see pass the sickness within her. I also believe that sickness is the result of years of anger, resentment and bitterness that she has consistently refused to let go of. We become what we harbor and feed.

I would love to hear your thoughts, not just on the images but on story as well.

Equipment: #SonyAlpha7iii, #ZeissBatis85mm

She liked less than 20 images. Some are below.

These are some of the ones she wants deleted.

Posted on Leave a comment

Update: I AM WOMAN Essay & Portrait Project

I spent the summer photographing women.

In February, I quit my corporate job with a determination to pursue my creative interests. Specifically, writing and photography. In the late spring I decided I wanted to chronicle this moment we’re living in by putting a camera and a mic in front of everyday women and asking them what their womanhood means to them.

I AM WOMAN is an essay and portrait book project that was born from a desire to give Women a platform to describe themselves. The catalyst for the idea was the state-sanctioned assault by police officers on Chikesia Clemons at a restaurant in Alabama. In the video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3eI5F-AUVw) you can see two male officers yank on her arms, pull her out of her seat, throw her to the ground, sit on her, threaten to break her arm, choke her, expose her breasts, then flip her around by her neck and belt to put her face down on the restaurant floor. A third officer stands over her the whole time. Unfortunately, these videos are not uncommon. However, what stung was seeing male patrons in the background continue eating as if a dehumanizing physical, racial and sexual assault was not taking place in their presence. The only person trying to help Chikesia was her female friend who also filmed the assault. I am hard-pressed to imagine men sitting by so calmly had a white woman been so brutalized in their presence.

The foundation of the project is the desire to combat the idea of women as sexual objects. There has long been an extremely visceral hyper-sexualization of womanhood, girlhood, and the feminine form. For Black Women and Girls, we are sexualized, used, abused and discarded without even the defense of our humanity. We are inundated with images and words that render women as no more than shallow, one-dimensional receptacles for men/boys to deposit their disdainful waste into or to fixate on as a waste depository goal.

The title of the project derives from a combination of Sojourner Truth’s 1851 speech, “Ain’t I A Woman?” and the “I AM A MAN” signs used during the Civil Rights Movement in 1968. It’s unsettling that anyone still needs to declare their personhood in 2018, but here we are.

As a Black Woman, I want to explore and present the experiences of Black Women in America as the first stage of the project. I want to share the every day woman’s perspective of herself in an environment, culture and country that is intent on not acknowledging her except as a dehumanizing stereotype. Basically, I am tired of hearing and seeing what the world thinks of Black Women. I want to know what Black Women think of themselves.

Overall, in the larger Sisterhood of Womanhood, I know the struggle is universal. Across the United States, no matter what demographic groups we fall into, Women are essentially telling the same story. We aren’t seen. We aren’t valued. We are not respected. We have to fight for any measure approaching equality to a standard set by men. We may have different starting points, but for the most part we are all chasing the same goals: love, acceptance, appreciation and respect for our contributions.

I didn’t have any defined expectations for the contributors when I began, but I am surprised and humbled by the messages (read: heart) shared by the Women and Girls who have participated in the portrait sessions and submitted poems and essays so far.

Though the written submissions for Phase 1 is focused on Black Women, the initial portrait sessions were open to all women. From June to September, I offered free portrait sessions open to anyone interested in participating in the I AM WOMAN project. During this time, I photographed fifty-five Women and Girls across the country, including New York City, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Phoenix. The goal of the photo-shoots was for the Women to represent the word they used to describe themselves. “I AM WOMAN. I am _________________.” Quite a few used more than one word. Of the sixty-three words collectively used to describe the participants of the portrait sessions, I’m glad to report “sexy” was not one. The most common words used for self-description were: Strong, Powerful/Power, and Love.

img_1969-e1538082503936.jpg
Word cloud of words used by portrait participants to describe themselves.

Happily, I have more than enough photos for the portrait portion of the I AM WOMAN book project. However, I am still seeking written contributions for Phase 1: Experiences of Black Womanhood in America. If you would like to contribute, please email Shawnda@Spirit-Harvest.com.

img_2001
Gallery of I AM WOMAN images.

img_1391
Gallery of I AM WOMAN images.

img_1390
Gallery of I AM WOMAN images.

img_1389
Gallery of I AM WOMAN images.

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Update: I AM WOMAN Essay & Portrait Project

I spent the summer photographing women.

In February, I quit my corporate job with a determination to pursue my creative interests. Specifically, writing and photography. In the late spring I decided I wanted to chronicle this moment we’re living in by putting a camera and a mic in front of everyday women and asking them what their womanhood means to them.

I AM WOMAN is an essay and portrait book project that was born from a desire to give Women a platform to describe themselves. The catalyst for the idea was the state-sanctioned assault by police officers on Chikesia Clemons at a restaurant in Alabama. In the video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3eI5F-AUVw) you can see two male officers yank on her arms, pull her out of her seat, throw her to the ground, sit on her, threaten to break her arm, choke her, expose her breasts, then flip her around by her neck and belt to put her face down on the restaurant floor. A third officer stands over her the whole time. Unfortunately, these videos are not uncommon. However, what stung was seeing male patrons in the background continue eating as if a dehumanizing physical, racial and sexual assault was not taking place in their presence. The only person trying to help Chikesia was her female friend who also filmed the assault. I am hard-pressed to imagine men sitting by so calmly had a white woman been so brutalized in their presence.

The foundation of the project is the desire to combat the idea of women as sexual objects. There has long been an extremely visceral hyper-sexualization of womanhood, girlhood, and the feminine form. For Black Women and Girls, we are sexualized, used, abused and discarded without even the defense of our humanity. We are inundated with images and words that render women as no more than shallow, one-dimensional receptacles for men/boys to deposit their disdainful waste into or to fixate on as a waste depository goal.

The title of the project derives from a combination of Sojourner Truth’s 1851 speech, “Ain’t I A Woman?” and the “I AM A MAN” signs used during the Civil Rights Movement in 1968. It’s unsettling that anyone still needs to declare their personhood in 2018, but here we are.

As a Black Woman, I want to explore and present the experiences of Black Women in America as the first stage of the project. I want to share the every day woman’s perspective of herself in an environment, culture and country that is intent on not acknowledging her except as a dehumanizing stereotype. Basically, I am tired of hearing and seeing what the world thinks of Black Women. I want to know what Black Women think of themselves.

Overall, in the larger Sisterhood of Womanhood, I know the struggle is universal. Across the United States, no matter what demographic groups we fall into, Women are essentially telling the same story. We aren’t seen. We aren’t valued. We are not respected. We have to fight for any measure approaching equality to a standard set by men. We may have different starting points, but for the most part we are all chasing the same goals: love, acceptance, appreciation and respect for our contributions.

I didn’t have any defined expectations for the contributors when I began, but I am surprised and humbled by the messages (read: heart) shared by the Women and Girls who have participated in the portrait sessions and submitted poems and essays so far.

Though the written submissions for Phase 1 is focused on Black Women, the initial portrait sessions were open to all women. From June to September, I offered free portrait sessions open to anyone interested in participating in the I AM WOMAN project. During this time, I photographed fifty-five Women and Girls across the country, including New York City, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Phoenix. The goal of the photo-shoots was for the Women to represent the word they used to describe themselves. “I AM WOMAN. I am _________________.” Quite a few used more than one word. Of the sixty-three words collectively used to describe the participants of the portrait sessions, I’m glad to report “sexy” was not one. The most common words used for self-description were: Strong, Powerful/Power, and Love.

img_1969-e1538082503936.jpg
Word cloud of words used by portrait participants to describe themselves.

Happily, I have more than enough photos for the portrait portion of the I AM WOMAN book project. However, I am still seeking written contributions for Phase 1: Experiences of Black Womanhood in America. If you would like to contribute, please email Shawnda@Spirit-Harvest.com.

img_2001
Gallery of I AM WOMAN images.

img_1391
Gallery of I AM WOMAN images.

img_1390
Gallery of I AM WOMAN images.

img_1389
Gallery of I AM WOMAN images.

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I AM WOMAN. A photo & essay project.

New Project Announcement!

SH-Images wants to hear from, and photograph, Women for our I AM WOMAN Photo and Essay Project. Our goal is to share a collective story of Womanhood and Sisterhood. This will be a multi-phase project. Phrase 1 is Black Women’s Experience of Womanhood in America.

Even though Phrase 1 is about Black Womanhood in America, we are embracing women of all ethnicities who want to participate in this project. Our goal is to develop multiple sister projects based on the themes that emerge from the our conversations with participants.

As you develop your written submission or prepare for your mini photo shoot with us on one of our scheduled dates (listed below), please use the following questions as a starting point to get you to where you want to be to represent yourself in words and/or images. What does womanhood mean to you? How do you navigate in, or through, different spaces? Are you always fully present in your womanhood or do you hold back in order to move forward? Where or how do you find your joy? How do you nurture your spirit? Do you use your voice to call out, improve or destroy? How would your advice to your younger self differ from your advice to your older self? Would it differ at all?

The fee for the written submissions is $25. The collected fees will help with editing and initial printing expenses.

Women of all ethnicities are welcome to participate in the FREE mini portrait sessions that will be held in Chicago, Milwaukee, New York City, Phoenix and Tucson from June to August 2018. Though the sessions are open to the public, women are encouraged to register for a time slot on Eventbrite. The sessions are 2-3 hours and all photographs will be taken by LaShawnda Jones.

Images captured throughout the project will be shared via blog posts and social media. Signed photo releases are required. Download: PHOTO RELEASE FORM

There will be a small stipend for images and written submissions chosen for print publication. A complimentary e-book copy will be sent to all participants who provide an email address. Participants selected for publication will be notified by September 30*, 2018.

If you or someone you know is interested in being part of the selection/editorial committee, please email Shawnda@Spirit-Harvest.com.

Timeline

Submission Period: June 1 – July 31, 2018submit

Notification of selection: Week of September 30*, 2018 *corrected

#Photography #portraits #project #essays #blackwomen #ethnicwomen #womanhood #IAmWoman #shareyourvoice #perspective #life #experience #submission #opencall #contributors #editors #photoshoot

 

Essay & Portrait Project, Phase 1 Topic:

Experiences of Black Womanhood in America

1. The Written Word

We are currently accepting essays, short stories, poems, prose, reflections, devotionals and prayers for the upcoming coffee table book, I AM WOMAN: Experiences of Black Womanhood in America.

This book will be a collection of the written word in various forms accompanied by portraits of Black Women in their daily lives.

We have a small team and will not be able to respond to every submission individually. However, writers of chosen submissions will be notified by September 30, 2018. If any editing is needed, we will collaborate with the author before publishing.

Payment: We will pay a minimum of $75 for each written submission accepted for publication.

Submission Fee: There is a $25 fee for each submission. And with your submission, you’ll receive a complimentary e-book copy of I AM WOMAN: Experiences of Black Womanhood in America.

Formatting document: Your document should be in Arial 12-point type, double-spaced with at least one-inch margins and no more than ten pages. Unless you’re submitting poetry. Poetry can be single-spaced and in the format desired for presentation (alignment, indentation, spacing, etc.). Also, for those submitting poems, you can submit multiple poems totalling no more than ten pages as a single document for one submission fee. All documents should have your name, email address, and telephone number typed at the top right corner of the first page.

Visit https://SH-Images.com/IAMWOMAN for up-to-date information.

Submission dates: June 15 – August 31, 2018

Notification of selected submissions: By September 30, 2018

All submissions will be received and processed via Submittable. You will have complete a Submittable profile. It’s free, quick and painless.

submit

2. The Portraits

SH-Images will conduct several open call photo shoots throughout June and July. The open call indicates all women are welcome to show up for a mini photo session. However since we anticipate bottle-necks as participation ebbs and flows, we suggest booking a time slot in advance. Time will be scheduled and allotted in 10-15min increments. So Ladies, come ready to do your thing, get that shot and keep it moving!

The overall theme of the project is “I AM WOMAN. I am _________________.” We want you to fill in the blank with how you would describe yourself. We are looking for one word here, however, on your consent form we ask for two to three sentences about what womanhood is to you.

Your “I am _________________.” statement will accompany your photo on social media and in the book should your image be selected for print publication. So think about your word and how you want to represent it in an image. As an example see below.

Women of all ethnicities and faiths are welcome to participate in the free photo shoots. However, keep in mind, the first phase of the project is dedicated to capturing, cataloguing and presenting a collective story of experiencing Black Womanhood in America.

FREE Mini Portrait Session Details

Click a date below to reserve a spot on Eventbrite.

NEW YORK CITY

Saturday, June 23, 2018, 1:00-4:00pm(Studio, 111th & Park Ave / Theme: Relaxed at Home)

Sunday, July 8, 2018 1:00-4:00pm (Battery Park @ Bowling Green / Theme: Liberty & Water)

Sunday, July 22, 2018 1:00-4:00pm(Central Park @ Columbus Circle / Theme: Nature & City Images)

Thursday, July 26, 2018  7:00-9:30pm (59th Street @ Columbus Circle / Theme: Night & Subway Images)

MILWAUKEE

Thursday, July 12, 2018  7:00-9:30pm (Location: Burke Brise Soleil / Theme: Sunset & Twilight)

CHICAGO

Saturday, July 14, 2018  12:00-3:00pm (Location: Cloud Gate (Bean) at Millennium Park / Theme: Old School Glam/A Day in the Park)

TUCSON

Saturday, August 18, 2018  8:00-11:00am (Location: TBD /Theme: Desert Refreshment/Renewal)

PHOENIX

Saturday, August 25, 2018  8:00-11:00am(Location: TBD / Theme: Grace in the Valley)

Please continue checking back for additional details. If you would like to receive updates, please complete the Contact form with a message about being updated on the I AM WOMAN project.

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I AM WOMAN. A photo & essay project.

New Project Announcement!

SH-Images wants to hear from, and photograph, Women for our I AM WOMAN Photo and Essay Project. Our goal is to share a collective story of Womanhood and Sisterhood. This will be a multi-phase project. Phrase 1 is Black Women’s Experience of Womanhood in America.

Even though Phrase 1 is about Black Womanhood in America, we are embracing women of all ethnicities who want to participate in this project. Our goal is to develop multiple sister projects based on the themes that emerge from the our conversations with participants.

As you develop your written submission or prepare for your mini photo shoot with us on one of our scheduled dates (listed below), please use the following questions as a starting point to get you to where you want to be to represent yourself in words and/or images. What does womanhood mean to you? How do you navigate in, or through, different spaces? Are you always fully present in your womanhood or do you hold back in order to move forward? Where or how do you find your joy? How do you nurture your spirit? Do you use your voice to call out, improve or destroy? How would your advice to your younger self differ from your advice to your older self? Would it differ at all?

The fee for the written submissions is $25. The collected fees will help with editing and initial printing expenses.

Women of all ethnicities are welcome to participate in the FREE mini portrait sessions that will be held in Chicago, Milwaukee, New York City, Phoenix and Tucson from June to August 2018. Though the sessions are open to the public, women are encouraged to register for a time slot on Eventbrite. The sessions are 2-3 hours and all photographs will be taken by LaShawnda Jones.

Images captured throughout the project will be shared via blog posts and social media. Signed photo releases are required. Download: PHOTO RELEASE FORM

There will be a small stipend for images and written submissions chosen for print publication. A complimentary e-book copy will be sent to all participants who provide an email address. Participants selected for publication will be notified by September 30*, 2018.

If you or someone you know is interested in being part of the selection/editorial committee, please email Shawnda@Spirit-Harvest.com.

Timeline

Submission Period: June 1 – July 31, 2018submit

Notification of selection: Week of September 30*, 2018 *corrected

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Essay & Portrait Project, Phase 1 Topic:

Experiences of Black Womanhood in America

1. The Written Word

We are currently accepting essays, short stories, poems, prose, reflections, devotionals and prayers for the upcoming coffee table book, I AM WOMAN: Experiences of Black Womanhood in America.

This book will be a collection of the written word in various forms accompanied by portraits of Black Women in their daily lives.

We have a small team and will not be able to respond to every submission individually. However, writers of chosen submissions will be notified by September 30, 2018. If any editing is needed, we will collaborate with the author before publishing.

Payment: We will pay a minimum of $75 for each written submission accepted for publication.

Submission Fee: There is a $25 fee for each submission. And with your submission, you’ll receive a complimentary e-book copy of I AM WOMAN: Experiences of Black Womanhood in America.

Formatting document: Your document should be in Arial 12-point type, double-spaced with at least one-inch margins and no more than ten pages. Unless you’re submitting poetry. Poetry can be single-spaced and in the format desired for presentation (alignment, indentation, spacing, etc.). Also, for those submitting poems, you can submit multiple poems totalling no more than ten pages as a single document for one submission fee. All documents should have your name, email address, and telephone number typed at the top right corner of the first page.

Visit https://SH-Images.com/IAMWOMAN for up-to-date information.

Submission dates: June 15 – August 31, 2018

Notification of selected submissions: By September 30, 2018

All submissions will be received and processed via Submittable. You will have complete a Submittable profile. It’s free, quick and painless.

submit

2. The Portraits

SH-Images will conduct several open call photo shoots throughout June and July. The open call indicates all women are welcome to show up for a mini photo session. However since we anticipate bottle-necks as participation ebbs and flows, we suggest booking a time slot in advance. Time will be scheduled and allotted in 10-15min increments. So Ladies, come ready to do your thing, get that shot and keep it moving!

The overall theme of the project is “I AM WOMAN. I am _________________.” We want you to fill in the blank with how you would describe yourself. We are looking for one word here, however, on your consent form we ask for two to three sentences about what womanhood is to you.

Your “I am _________________.” statement will accompany your photo on social media and in the book should your image be selected for print publication. So think about your word and how you want to represent it in an image. As an example see below.

Women of all ethnicities and faiths are welcome to participate in the free photo shoots. However, keep in mind, the first phase of the project is dedicated to capturing, cataloguing and presenting a collective story of experiencing Black Womanhood in America.

FREE Mini Portrait Session Details

Click a date below to reserve a spot on Eventbrite.

NEW YORK CITY

Saturday, June 23, 2018, 1:00-4:00pm(Studio, 111th & Park Ave / Theme: Relaxed at Home)

Sunday, July 8, 2018 1:00-4:00pm (Battery Park @ Bowling Green / Theme: Liberty & Water)

Sunday, July 22, 2018 1:00-4:00pm(Central Park @ Columbus Circle / Theme: Nature & City Images)

Thursday, July 26, 2018  7:00-9:30pm (59th Street @ Columbus Circle / Theme: Night & Subway Images)

MILWAUKEE

Thursday, July 12, 2018  7:00-9:30pm (Location: Burke Brise Soleil / Theme: Sunset & Twilight)

CHICAGO

Saturday, July 14, 2018  12:00-3:00pm (Location: Cloud Gate (Bean) at Millennium Park / Theme: Old School Glam/A Day in the Park)

TUCSON

Saturday, August 18, 2018  8:00-11:00am (Location: TBD /Theme: Desert Refreshment/Renewal)

PHOENIX

Saturday, August 25, 2018  8:00-11:00am(Location: TBD / Theme: Grace in the Valley)

Please continue checking back for additional details. If you would like to receive updates, please complete the Contact form with a message about being updated on the I AM WOMAN project.