We often don’t know how we look. We often don’t think we’re good enough. And, even if we don’t admit it, we are often trying to fit in with some standard of beauty. I do it all the time.
One of my friend asks me to take pictures of her every time we meet, but then she adds “when I lose some weight.” It’s been a year. We still haven’t taken any. The thing is, she doesn’t need to lose weight to feel beautiful, to feel empowered. There could have been so many photos taken during that year, photos that revealed her true nature—joyful, soulful, curious.
I’ve been working on the project called Dasi where I photograph women from my local community and it has been such a fulfilling experience. There is so much power in femininity in all forms and shapes, in feeling confident and beautiful. I get to see how the process of taking pictures has the ability to trigger that confidence and bring it to the surface.
It is even more exciting to see girls who say “I don’t know what to do” or “I don’t like to be photographed” getting really into the process, enjoying it, and being absolutely themselves on camera. Photography can be such a tool of emotional communication, both taking pictures and posing for them. When you are in front of the camera you become self-aware, and it’s a beautiful chance to be conscious about it and to embrace it. It’s a chance to break down the barriers that prevent you from being you.
In that spirit, we arranged a shoot for Dasi. Our model, Sundari, graciously agreed to pose when I asked her. I have always been in awe of her natural beauty. Her makeup and hair were done by Olena, who also created a gorgeous flower arrangement for the shoot.
Here is Olena's take on make up for this photoshoot:
“Since the idea of this shoot is to capture your unique personality, we don’t want to change your appearance completely or make you unrecognizable. We want to enhance your beauty and bring it out. Unless you are a professional model, photoshoots are rather special and exciting occasions. And preparation is a big part of the whole experience. As a makeup artist, I understand that my tools are limited and there is only this much I can offer. But I always do my best to make people I work with feel special. Because we all are! I love what I do, but I believe that your best makeup will always be your confidence, beautiful eyes, and happy smile.”