This weekend was one for the books.
It’s hard to really put into words what went down this weekend for La Femme Forte, but what I can say is that it was better than I could have ever imagined. I was feeling so nervous about many things, but once I took my first photo that morning, everything fell into place perfectly and the day was absolutely amazing.
My vision for this project was to create a space where women felt comfortable in their bodies…where loving their skin was embraced and celebrated. A space where there was to be encouragement and reassurance, wine and laughing, hugs and high-fives…all for being courageous women. The women who joined me for my very first La Femme Forte have left me with a memory I’ll never forget. The feeling of embracing each woman with a tight squeeze after their individual shoots and being told that I helped them feel so comfortable in a situation that could easily be the most painful experience. It is something that truly makes my heart so full. No one enjoys being vulnerable…at least no one I know. It doesn’t come natural for a lot of us to bare all and put ourselves out there in that way, but these incredible women invited me into that vulnerable space and I’ll forever be grateful to them.
I’ll be honest…this past year I’ve really been trying to figure out exactly what I want to do with my photography. I’ve been trying to figure out what my “sweet spot” is…what it is that drives me and lights a fire under my ass in the morning. The thing is, I actually enjoy a lot of different types of photography so I’ve embraced that I’ll probably never have just ONE thing that I’ll stick to. Photography is a part of my life, they aren’t separate things in my eyes…I see the world in still photographs and that will never change. The one thing I did discover after this amazing weekend is that I will ALWAYS want to encourage women to feel beautiful. I will always want to show them that their “flaws” are unique, special, and should be embraced. La Femme Forte has given me a new direction that I am so excited to take on head first. A risk that is worth every inch of my efforts. I’ve never felt so sure about it all until after this amazing weekend…and I’ve got these amazing women to thank.
WANT IN ON THE ACTION?! You betta.
— After posting some sneak peeks of what went down this weekend, we’ve been getting some serious interest from ladies all around the country and that is literally the most exciting thing. I think women needed to see what the hell this whole thing was about before diving in and signing up and that is understandable. Well, NOW YOU KNOW and I want YOU to get in on this project of mine.
— WHAT CITY SHOULD BE NEXT FOR LA FEMME FORTE?! If you have an interest in being one of my La Femme Forte ladies, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org telling me what city you’re in and if you have any lady friends who want to join you! From there I’ll be choosing the city that has the most interest and releasing our next travel dates as soon as possible! Let’s keep this ball rolling all my strong women. (BELOW: more information for those who are interested in being the “host” of your city…which is the role Joanne played for San Francisco! Also, some sweet words from Joanne about this project! Scroll down.)
Huge THANK YOU to:
Shannon – Make up Artist
Monica – Make up Artist
Jonathan – for making the sexiest play-list for all the La Femme Forte girls to groove to!
I can’t even tell you how much I adore this lady right here. One of the strongest women I know…it was so fitting that she was the first one I thought to partner with on this project because not only is she an amazing friend to me, she has an incredible story. She inspires me like no other. A wife, a mother of two adorable daughters, a light to so many friendships, and literally the most bad ass babe there is. The success of this first round of La Femme Forte could not have been possible without Joanne. She was a supporter and pusher of this project since day one and I am forever thankful to her. Love you Joanne.
If you are interested in the role Joanne played for San Francisco and want to bring La Femme Forte to YOUR city, please email me at email@example.com with more info about yourself and how you want to get involved!
Isn’t she a total BABE?! xo
I wanted to share some words that Joanne shared on her instagram yesterday that literally made me tear up…
“…I am still on such a high from yesterday’s experience. Not because of the photography, make up, and skivvies that went into this, but because @tonhyakae dreamed of starting a project that celebrated women empowerment, self love, strength, and courage to embrace the female body no matter what shape or size. When we talked about this collaboration, our mission was to encourage and empower women to feel beautiful, confident, and strong. We wanted to be able to stand up together and tell society to suck it, we women define our own meanings of beauty and we will continue to#daretobare in the most authentic ways possible. Often times when people hear about boudoir photo-shoots you instantly think to paint a picture of “sex” all over it. Women become a provocative sex symbol for men to gawk at. La Femme Forte was launched to redefine that.
When I look at these photos I see a woman and I feel like a woman who’s been built from all her past struggles and pain. I’ve taken what was once a broken, torn, and hopeless soul and put together a strong, confident, and bold woman. I no longer confine myself by the darkness that holds me back, I step boldly into the light embracing all that has happened in my past and using that as fuel to continue to build a life I am proud of…To create a woman I want to be proud of.
Thank you Tonhya for making it comfortable to step boldly in front of your lens and truly pouring your heart and vision into these photographs. Your courage and creativity to bring 5 women together to spend a day stripping down to our vulnerability was incredible. Hearing each person’s story about learning to love themselves and embracing this experience was so inspiring. I can’t wait to see you tackle on the next city!”