Well, hello there!!! Eeek….this is exactly what I have been so anxiously waiting to share! The new website is up and running! Please feel free to look at all the fun information, some of the newly added sections and new plans for the future! This was truly a labor of love and my web designer was so patient with me.

I am even more excited that my first blog post on my new and improved site is about Project Beauty. You may have seen my post on instagram that featured the talented Crimson Cavalettes of Tompkins High School. They were fantastic and participated on the same day as we did most of my spokesmodel team.

Today I am going to share with you my senior spokesmodels PROJECT BEAUTY images. A little history about Project Beauty.

My friend and fellow senior photographer, Thomas Nguyen created Project Beauty to help young ladies recognize their beauty goes beyond the surface.   Senior photographers across America have noticed an obvious trend whereby teens are constantly comparing themselves and never feeling “worthy” or “enough”.    Most of this trend is sustained because of social media.  Each image has a filter and portraying what they want to be like.   Creating awareness and confidence without hiding behind the makeup is one way to feel empowered.  When Thomas mentioned he wanted to teach teen girls that social media creates a scene of filtered perfection and we can  go beyond that and break the rules of what society says is "pretty", other photographers were happy to join his project.  Yes, your senior has captured the heart of photographers across the country!  We want to make a difference and help empower youth to see beyond the surface.  Some people may ask, but you are a photographer that provides hair and makeup and your pictures are like a magazine!? Yes, I am!  I, too, believe in putting your best face forward and striving each day to look your best and naturally in senior photographs you want to feel pretty and have a fun day of pampering.   Project Beauty is a different perspective and takes on the element the beauty of seeing yourself and awesome without the glam.  It is a movement to show that you aren't afraid to hide behind a filter or makeup to show your true self.  You can be confident and celebrate who you are!    

Having the opportunity to photograph each of these beauties was rather emotional. Originally I thought I would be sharing their images quickly. However, reading their responses to some questions proved to be enlightening as a parent and also as someone that was once their age. Some of their responses had me in tears. I experienced bullying and had self esteem issues; however, nothing I went through could ever compare to the experiences the youth have now with social media. As I post the images below you will read some of the comments that were given to me. You will also see some of them holding chalkboards with words they chose to describe how they felt about the experience. Some may have names to comments and some may not. The point is, these ladies represent your daughter and even your sons. They all stepped outside of themselves and allowed me to capture them filter free. They all have stories and they are all beautiful. Each one is already making a difference in the lives of others. I know one that they have certainly made a difference in…and that is mine. This is Project Beauty.

Each young lady photographed was also asked to consider contributing to    The Elisa Project’s goal is to educate youth about eating disorders. The ladies raised over $1200 for this incredible effort.

Project Beauty has boosted my confidence about a million percent haha! Surrounding myself with people who love and support me always helps me feel better when I’m having a rough day. Now I’m in a relationship with an amazing guy who always hypes me up and listens to my insecurities and helps me work through them. I don’t want others to think this is something you need, it’s not, but it’s important to have people around you who think highly of you. Whether it’s a family member, a friend, or boyfriend it doesn’t matter. Deciding that I honestly don’t care what people who don’t love and care about me think of me really helped me love myself. It doesn’t matter what they think if they don’t even have my best interest in mind.-Karsen
Beauty is not defined by one’s hair or eye color or body size. It is not defined by the latest fashion rage or the current beauty trend. Beauty is having strength, courage, and drive. I refuse to be defined by celiac disease or anxiety. I will have to deal with the cards life has dealt me for the rest of my life but I refuse to let them define who I am. I will not give in and I will persevere. Regardless of what the mirror or what society tells me…. I am strong and I am relentless….and because of that, I am beautiful.
— Reagan