Welcome, Project Team!
Thank you. Thank you for joining this amazing team of photographers in creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience for other women. This work has been deeply inspiring and moving since its beginning in 2014, and I can't wait to see what we all create together in 2016!
The intention of the project is for each participant to come away from the project with a profoundly changed relationship with her body, and for each photographer to have a rewarding and moving experience of gifting this experience to her subject.
It is my hope that This Body of Work will not only be an inspiring project, but will further the movement of women learning to love the bodies they're in. I want to take This Body of Work to the world in ways where message can connect with exponentially more women. The first iteration of the project received attention from the Huffington Post and other international news sources; this year we hope to reach even more people with a message of self-compassion and insight.
Enjoy yourself. Notice what comes up for you along the way. It can be quite a ride!
Please feel free to email me with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
XO, Jen Hecht
How the Project Works
Each photographer will invite at least one woman to be photographed and to participate in a virtual, individualized workshop. (Please note that the project’s definition of the word woman is inclusive of both cis and trans women.) You may choose anyone you like– your grandmother, mother, aunt, a friend, your partner, a client, an acquaintance, a stranger. You might consider a woman in your life who has survived something significant with her physicality and deeply needs to befriend her body again, or you may simply follow your whim. Choose anyone you like as your subject.
There are three stages to the project:
1. Written Work
You begin by sending the Welcome Participants page and The Body Love Workbook link to your participant. The Workbook is available for a nominal purchase price of $9.99; this fee goes to helping run this project and cover costs. However, if your participant cannot afford the Workbook, you may at your own discretion send her the coupon code TBOW2, which will reduce the price to zero. Please ONLY share this code with your confirmed participants. I greatly appreciate your discretion and integrity on this point. Thanks for being awesome.
Next, your participant will take the Workbook and complete it on her own. The Workbook is designed to draw out and express the negative narratives she holds about her body, and then experiment with creating a new body story of love, affection, and gratitude. Please allow ample time for her to complete her written journey prior to her session with you; most participants spend several hours on the writing, spread out over several days or weeks.
You will also send the Questionnaire link to your participant so she can complete it after the Workbook and before her session with you. This is where the participant submits the written words that she would like to share on the website. I will receive it via email when she completes it, and I will forward it to you for your review before your session.
Please ensure that your participant completes both the Workbook and the Questionnaire prior to her portrait session. It seriously impacts the project experience to do things out of order, and may render your submission unusable. And that would make me sad. Don't make me sad!
The participant will then make a ceremonial gesture of her own design, to celebrate and confirm the shift from old story to new. She may take her writing about her old narrative and burn it, or tear it up into pieces, or throw it into the ocean. She might light candles and meditate on the beginning of a new relationship with herself. She might create a piece of art inspired by her gratitude for her body. She might open a bottle of bubbly or take herself out for dinner to celebrate. It’s entirely up to her.
3. Portrait Session
The final act, and the core of your contribution to the project, will be a portrait session with you. This is the heart of the matter: you are giving her the gift of your seeing. Your images are a way for her to see herself in a new way, and to celebrate and affirm a new way of being in her life. You are invited to slow down and really see this woman. Look for the story of this woman’s innate, imperfectly perfect beauty. Look for the her inside of her. Find her, and photograph her. (Also, please see the FAQs for important guidelines about photography.)
- I gently repeat: please review the photography guidelines, even if you've done the project before.
- Please print out the release form and have your participant complete it before your session. After your session, please send me a clear photograph or a scanned copy of the signed release form.
- It is essential to the spirit of the project that no money changes hands for the session, but you are free to sell prints or files afterward.
- After the session, you will send a selection of 3 images per participant for publication on the website.
4. Submitting Work
- All portrait sessions should be complete and photos submitted by April 1, 2016. Extensions will be granted on an individual basis. Please email me directly about extensions.
- Please choose 3 images to submit, and email or Dropbox both web-resolution and high-resolution copies of your images to me at email@example.com.
- The photographs of each woman will be published on www.thisbodyofwork.com, accompanied by her own words about her experience in the project.
- Your name and website will be included on your participant's page and also on the project team page.
- The website gallery will be launched in early May, 2016.
This will be the Body of Work.