I am a photographer based in Dublin. I've been working in commercial photography for 27 years.
Many of the images I create for advertising require that the depiction of femininity conforms to a commercialised standard which often involves photoshop manipulation in one way or another.
As a way to get back to grass roots and to enhance my skills in composition and lighting I decide to embark on a personal project to counter the ever increasing popular but deeply distorted mythology around the perfect visual depiction of femininity.
In November 2011 I started working with life models to make a series of naked portraits that would not be retouched in anyway and would celebrate the beauty of skin. As I made these images I hung one or two at home and in my studio in Portobello. Over the next few months family members, friends, and colleagues saw the images and some of those women began to asked if they could be photographed and included in the work.
The project moved from being a personal exercise to a collaboration between women who felt that they could make a very positive and empowering statement about their own body image in a very creative and confident way, celebrating their uniqueness in a way that they had never done before. Each woman also wrote about their experiences or about their thoughts on nakedness and vulnerability. Some women expressed Bare or nakedness and vulnerability without taking their clothes off.
I completed the photography a few months ago and have collected the images together for a book. The text written by the women will be included in the book which will be printed and launched on October 9 2014 at the RHA in Dublin. We will print 500 books and the profits from each sale will go to Dress For Success. This is an international organisation with a branch in Ireland which helps women to get back into the work place. This help comes by way of skills training, CV preparation and an outfit suitable for interviews and ultimately landing a job.
Sonya Lennon works with DFS and came to my studio for a sitting also. This was featured recently in the Irish Times in an article by Deirdre McQuillan. So far Dress For Success has helped over 800 women in Ireland to get back to work and with the money raised from the sales of the book, I hope to help their important work to continue.
The book has been designed by Aiden Grennell and will feature all of the images and text. It will be a large, soft cover book, surrounded by a slightly transparent 'skin' and I believe it will be a very beautiful publication which people will be very happy to own.
Please help in any way you can to make this book possible and to also help Dress For Success to fund its activities into the future.