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Tender: a series on vulnerability.

This project explores capturing the feeling of being completely vulnerable and open to one’s physical insecurities in a neutral setting. All individuals in this series are volunteers. Most have never been comfortable in front of a camera. Many have experienced eating disorders, body dysmorphia, sexual trauma, and substance abuse. This project is a glimpse into what it is to be human in front of a camera, facing our oldest fears head-on.

To further prepare for this on-going series, I chose to partake in a course on trauma-informed photography, in order to utilize the most appropriate language during photo sessions and focus on reducing the probability of re-traumatization. Before each photo session, I took the time to sit down and speak with each individual about their relationship with their body: how they felt about them, their biggest insecurities, what they felt comfortable with that day. Unlike past works of mine, this series was completely un-posed, and followed a much more candid technique. A written piece by each volunteer was accompanied alongside each set of photos. To preserve the honesty of the series, all images have remained un-retouched. 

Through ‘Tender,’ I hope to display the complexities of identity and remove pre-conceived notions that one subconsciously has when viewing such a diverse group of subjects. Each person’s story is unique. Although my subjects come from different backgrounds, all have one thing in common: the goal to become more comfortable within their own skin, along with encouraging others to begin a discourse surrounding body image.

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