Confidence is STILL Sexy!
Social media has been reminding me that 5 years ago I collaborated on a project unlike any other in my career. Confidence is Sexy was my first large scale collaboration. At the time I was examining how mainstream media was influencing the idea of what was perceived as confident and what society deemed attractive. I found some reoccurring themes, and recognized that I didn't see myself or my friends represented in those images. I wanted to create imagery that was bold and dramatic, something that would fit into a fashion magazine & influence those who saw it but reflected real people. I shared these thoughts with friends, family, and anyone who would listen. They all said, "Yeah do it", but the series didn't begin until I unknowingly talked to some local make-up artists. Gwen & Bethany, local MUAs were excited about the concept and volunteered their time and space to making Confidence Is Sexy a reality, they were both vital to making this series possible. I put out a call on social media asking if anyone would be interested in participating in the series; while many of the participants were friends or acquittances, I was excited to collaborate with so many new people. The series took two months to create, I met with each person and together we came up with a concept that reflected their idea of confidence. Based off of the concepts developed we came up with 5 different days and locations around Portland to bring our visions to life. The project had 25 models, 3 MUA's, and 5 stylists all representing a different vision of confidence. The end result was more than I could have hoped for.
Less than a month after the project was completed all of my original photos were lost, and all that remained of the series is what had been shared online or was already printed. When I think about Confidence Is Sexy, I have mixed emotions. That project pushed me as an artist in ways that I hadn't anticipated. I tried new things, and came to realize the influence and power that photography has. Losing this project almost killed me as an artist. I'm glad it didn't, because when I look at this salvaged collage I'm reminded of how empowered everyone who worked on it felt and I want to recreate that.
It means a lot to be able to offer a collage that was created before this project was lost. And looking at all the behind the scenes photos makes me want to continue the series with new participants and perspectives of Confidence.