Grateful for IWD2016

It is International Women’s Day and it seemed appropriate to bask in the glow of all the women in my life that I am grateful for.  From my family (mother and daughters, aunts and cousins) to the many amazing women that have inspired and given me friendship.  Also to the women photographers out there in the world whose work will always be a light to me.  I also feel so thankful for the women that I have met along the way and around the world as I have worked, both behind and in front of the camera, it really has been so awesome.  I made a promise to myself when I had been working for a while internationally, that when I took a photo of someone, I wanted it to honor something in them, their struggle, their joy, their story, and I never wanted to compromise anything about them in the taking of the photo.  In other words I wanted complicity, I wanted them to feel like they were in it with me on some level, we were doing this together.  So whether photographing a woman in the midst of her challenges, or in the buoyancy of her empowerment, or the arc of her hope, the photos would hold a deep truth for myself, the woman and anyone that viewed it.  I thank them all for allowing me to hold that moment with them, I will never forget you.  I also want to honor all the women photojournalists that have paid with their lives, you are never forgotten.

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Friday March 8th is international women’s day, and we at Cameras4Change could not let it go without giving a huge shout out to the amazing women that we have worked with over the past couple of years.  As Female Genital Cutting (FGM or FGC) has been in the forefront of the news this past week, I want to personally thank all of the women whom I have met and “e”met that are working on this issue.  For the ladies in Ibissil and Kajiado who donate their time and energy and passion to saving girls from early child marriage and fgm, their bravery and strength is incredible.  Mrs Loki, Judy and Co, you have blazed a trail and many young girls have you to thank!  I also want to thank my running partner Sol Garcia of Project X Impact for her dedication and support in this arena, along with the team at The Maasai Girls Education Fund who help to sponsor girls after they have been rescued or left situations of early child marriage and FGM.  Also a big round of applause to Julia Lalla-Maharajh and her incredible team at The Orchid Project in the UK for their tenacity and conviction to making the world notice!  Bravo Julia!  Lastly I want to thank the countless girls in Kenya and anywhere else in the world that have had the courage and strength to stand up and say no themselves.  No one is going to stop you!  Keep on!!!

White Rabbits - Part 1 in a story of FGM/C and Child Marriage
These women Rock, they actually go out in the middle of the night to save young girls from marriage and cutting.  Do not mess with them!
2012-11-28 15.17.42Sol Garcia with one of the first girls we met in Kenya who is indeed a brave young woman and through sponsoring is receiving an education.
I recently met this young woman who again had an undeniable story of courage, unfortunately there are so many like her, but I am not deterred, one by one we can all make change!