I have been asked
“What is Shine?” “How are you choosing the women to be in the show?
“Why are you doing this?”
This is an exhibition of portraits of 100 women of Long Branch. I receive suggestions daily from fans, friends and families of women in this little city. I follow my heart and use my intuition to choose each participant. I have criteria for choosing the participants. You must live or work in Long Branch, you must be 18 or over. That is the factual part of the criteria, the next part is more difficult and it is specifically about Long Branch’s diversity. It is my intention to represent all the women of Long Branch, no matter where they live, their religion, color, creed or socio economic standing.
I do not feel beholden to choose everyone on a committee or every board member or every member of any group. There are only 100 spots not 1000. I am not intentionally leaving people out. I am inviting women, I am making their portraits and counting to 100 one woman at a time. I cannot chase after women who are not sure if they want to participate. I must move on to the next woman. Besides the women who won’t return my phone calls, those that do call back, tell me yes and then leave it up to me to arrange our time and date for our session. One thing I emphasize when I discuss participation is that I need that woman to help make their portrait happen. I am dealing with 99 other women.
Here’s the process of making the portraits:
After the arrangements have been made, the emails, calls and dates are set, then I make the participants portrait. We collaborate and shoot in the location of their choice. I come back to the studio and upload to my backup hard drive then I edit each image, lets not forget that each woman has something they are sure they want me to fix with my Photoshop skills, next I turn them into black & white images and finally I upload the edited images to my website’s private client viewing area. I then contact each women via email with their password and instructions to view and chose two of her images. Included in the email is instructions of what they need to do next to complete their participation which is to write their bio/statement.
What are the Bio or Statements?
I am asking each woman to write a short statement. I understand it is difficult to fit your life into a small package but this cannot be helped. I am producing a brochure and 100 women is many many women. The brochure is already the size of a road map. The statement / bio is only 400 CHARACTERS NOT WORDS, but nonetheless after the countless emails with instructions I still have participants writing me 4 paragraphs. But thats okay, I am giving you an idea of what it takes to make this little piece of local history.
How did I come to the proposed $10,000 dollar budget? This money is to pay for the show. The cost is based on the formula of $100 per woman and that includes proofing time on the website, printing paper, purchasing my canon pro printer, ink for the printer, the items needed to hang the show, my graphic artist’s time which she has discounted and printing the brochure/map mentioned above along with hardware, batteries and software to numerous to mention. To allow the woman to choose their photos for the show, I put every one of the edited images in my private viewing area on my website. I know many of you will be shocked but photographers pay to have images on their websites. I am as of today waiting for women to choose their favorite photos. I think you might agree knowing the facts that $100 per participant is a very reasonable amount. I have not and will not ask for 100 dollars from each subject because I don’t want to charge anyone to be in the show. In the beginning many suggested and I contemplated the idea to charge for each portrait. I decided I didn’t want the fee to be a deterrent from participating. Some woman may not be able to pay $100, so instead I decided to raise the money. After the $10,000 goal is accomplished (we are two thirds of the way there) all proceeds will be donated to 180 Turning Lives Around and The Long Branch Public Library.
Why am I doing this?
I want to bring together a community of amazing women to meet and get to know each other. Many of you do know each other but many of you don’t. Some paths may never cross except for the context of this extraordinary event. I like to think of this exhibition as an opportunity for many to get to know more of Long Branch’s merchants and citizens. This is the power of photography when used for social purposes. Images have power and I want to bring that power to the women of Long Branch. Hence the name Shine.
I hope this clears up some of the questions I am getting as we come to the final 10 spots of the show’s original 100. I myself am not in the show. Even though you might not be one of the100 that doesn’t mean you cannot participate in the networking event that is Shine. Everyone is invited to see the exhibition that will be up for 2 months at the library and to attend the big After Party at Mccloones on November 3. All you need to do to see the show is come to the library and attend the After Party at Mcloone’s Pier house, where we will have food, a cash bar, vendors and entertainment. The $50 tickets for the After Party are available on my website. Attend the event and share in the glow that will be created by those who I have asked to shine. Join us and bring your light, I promise you will feel a part of the 100 when you come to support the event. (even the men who join us can bask in the glow!)