Strong is the New Pretty is a series of photographs showing my two young girls, as well as their friends, just as they are — loud, athletic, fearless, messy, joyous, frustrated. I wanted to celebrate these girls as they are, not how females are expected to be. I wanted to celebrate them, just as they are, and show them that is enough. Being pretty or perfect is not important. Being who they are is.
Initially, this project started as a desire to record my daughters and the memories of their childhood, as well as practice with my camera and different lighting situations, environments, times of day, etc.
After about a year or so, it organically grew into something different. The images changed. I started to see patterns and recognize that the images where the girls were authentically captured were the strongest images. The images that showed the girls as they genuinely are were my favorites. After seeing this, I started to shoot with that in mind.
The project became about capturing my girls and their friends as they truly are and how that is OK. Not only OK, but worthy of celebration. There's a lot of pressure for girls (and women) to look a certain way, act in certain manner, and I wanted to let my daughters know that who they naturally are is enough.