When I posted on my Facebook photography page it was the night I presented my project to my class. It was a long day and I was extremely tired. I really wanted to post my project before I actually fell asleep. It had to of been about 12:30/1 Am. I knew there was a good chance of spelling errors and more but I said I'd fix it later when I wake up. (I am awful with grammar anyway) When I woke up I had about a hundred shares and never got around to fixing it because I was just watching the numbers rise and people messaging me about my photos. I am happy that people loved my work and that some even was telling me about my spelling mistakes.
I want to state that I did not have a selection of models, It was a low budget project, and yes I wish I could change some things because nothing is ever perfect. Overall I am happy with my project and with the grade I received. A 95.
The assignment was to create a 9 photo series that was similar yet different. Some classmates did product ads, shadows, story telling, etc all super creative and well done. I have always liked 'Dark Photography' and felt like this would be the perfect time. I had 14 weeks to create this assignment and it sounds like a lot of time but let me tell you it was stressful. Having to get props, dresses, models, locations and figure the timing out! CRAZY. Plus other assignments on top of that. I had models cancel and reschedule which happens and I was never mad it was just nerve wracking because my teacher was skeptical about me pulling this off and I wanted to prove him wrong. ( and I did)
I had my friends/classmates volunteer to help me by modeling for me in this series. I wish I did have a selection of models to choose from. Ive seen comments saying I was white-washing etc which was never the case! I can completely see where people are coming from, and I hope they read the comments some and seen that that was not what was not the case.
I wish I went more in-depth with my album description and explain myself more because some people don't understand it.
I did say 'Negative comments will be deleted' not because I am scared of other peoples opinion. I am open to constructive criticism. But 'Trash' etc is not that. If you tell me I don't like this. Please go on an tell me why, what would you change etc. I am completely okay with that.
My Police Brutality photo was one of the most controversial photos out of the bunch. I respect cops, and everything they do to help us. BUT I DO NOT RESPECT THE ONES THAT ABUSE THEIR POWER. Yes I know NOT ALL COPS ARE BAD. But in every group there are bad seeds. I am trying to raise awareness that THIS HAPPENS. Maybe not to you but to someone. Someone lost someone they love and they will never get them back. I have had cops message me telling me they loved ALL my photos and said that yes police brutality happens and its so sad. I have had spouses to cops message me, comment to me telling me how they are upset because I am grouping every cop. But yet grouping me with someone with no respect for the police, when it is the exact opposite. This exists. Stop being blind. People were so mad they called me names, hoped I need a cop one day and they don't help me. Im sorry but that is not a way to express yourself.
I wanted to raise awareness for these topics and I am aware that we have plenty of other problems in this world. I could not do all trillion. I am also aware this does not just happen to men. But photographing men was not my intention. If I photographed all men people would still comment this happens to women too. Yes I could have mixed the genders but I personally don't believe it would have flowed smoothly. I did not want to do that. My class may have felt the same way.
I believe I did raise awareness and I did not do this to get attention. It worked out this way. This series is not for children. When they are older, more mature and can understand what serious matters like my photos portray then they should be allowed to see these photos. Someone should explain what each photo means, that this can happen to them, they need to be careful. Life is not perfect.
All the negative comments, and messages do not bother me. The positive messages are what makes me feel good. The ones that thanked me because they do not feel alone anymore. Someone sees this is happening, someone cares. I have inspired people to do what they love if that was to take more photos, paint, etc. I have one message that hit me the most. The one women told me the Domestic Violence photo hit home for her (which did for many) but she was about to go back to her abuser until she seen my photo. When I read that message I felt a ton of emotions. Sad that she had to go through awful abuse, anger at the abuser, and I also felt good because I helped someone.. a complete stranger. Who knows.. I may have saved her life. I will never, never forget that. I want to help so many people in this world. That is my goal with my photography and my future career as an Art Therapist.
I cried reading so many messages, people telling me their stories. SO SO SO many people been hurt.. I told them how strong they were because they are! I hope they know this. There are so many survivors. It is truly this happens to people. Where is the love..
Like I said I did not see this becoming as big as it did. I have had thousand people message me, email me, even some called me! It was crazy reading emails from the Huffington Post, DailyMail and more! Being interviewed on live TV! If you told me this a few years ago that this would happen.. I'd tell you your lying. I am so happy that I had the chance to touch people's hearts. Even though these are not the "Beautiful" photos everyone loves to see. I have always seen the beauty in darkness. You just need to look. Abandoned buildings etc are just beautiful.
Thank you everyone for the love and support! My friends and classmates who helped me by either modeling for me, assisting my photoshoots, and letting me barrow their dresses! Thank you for sharing!