I have started this post in my mind so many times now. This is something I have been dreaming up for years honestly. As soon as I moved our older Project 52 into a facebook group (sadly on hiatus right now), I had noted all of the amazing photographers willing to share their very heart and souls. Some seemed to really embrace that, and there was of course just a bit of backlash because some felt they couldn’t handle all of those stories. It was deep and maybe even a bit murky sometimes, but the one thing that happened with the Project 52 I didn’t foresee, was how therapeutic it was. So many were willing to be candid and honest and supportive; so going forward with this project- I am finding the hardest part is really figuring out how best to manage it. There are so many directions one could go in. Because of the personal nature, I didn’t want to deny anyone the ability to tell their story or join in if they wished to. I wanted to really give everyone an open forum. And I knew not all of these stories would be sunshine and rainbows, which begs the question; Do I post these on my business blog? Does this need a whole new website? Will there really be THAT much interest for others to want to jump in? I have obviously let fear and really just my tendency to over analyze all of these things really marinate too long, and it sadly struck fear in my heart. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of disappointing anyone. But now is the time to step out of those shadows and let the light hit my face. To create a project for us all to shed the notion that we have to be perfect to coexist. That we have to be neat and tidy and in some kind of box to fit in and be validated. All stories matter, because people matter- and all people have stories. It is simple as that. It is time for us to all really know that there are flesh and blood and feelings on the other sides of those computer screens.
So What is Project Transparency?
It is YOU. It is who you are and where you have been. It could be a single experience, or a trial you are enduring or have endured. It could be your silver lining, the birth of your child or children, your decision to nurse or bottle feed. It could be battling an illness, starting a business, buying a home, a move or pretty much all of the above. It could be ANY story you want to share… good or bad. It doesn’t even have to be huge. It could be your day. If you don’t have any one grand experience as of yet, but have something you just want to open up about– this is your opportunity. The only requirement is it has to be REAL. You have to be real. That’s how this thing works. Your story can include images or just be text. I would personally recommend at least one photo or so, and taking new images just FOR your story is a bonus if you want to flex creatively and push yourself. Your story can also JUST be images. There are many ways to tell a story, so ultimately this is how you want it told.
Where will this be featured?
For now this will be on my blog for photographers where I previously hosted my project 52 (http://www.myfourhensphotography.com/photographers.) This will be out there so note that. It is important that you are comfortable with your story being on the internet for all to see. I am aiming for one story bi-weekly if there is enough interest. This will be an ongoing project with no beginning date, and no ending. Note* You do NOT need to be a photographer to participate.
If this does take off, I will absolutely consider creating a Facebook Page AND getting a website established. I want to be sure first that there is enough momentum. I may even create a group if there is help managing it.
Is there a limit to how many times I can submit? How do I get involved?
You can submit more than once, you can update your story later if you want to follow up. That is completely up to you, but that doesn’t mean all submissions will be featured. I will try to spread out the submissions so as many people get a chance to be heard as possible. I also want to note that submissions will be featured mostly at random.
If you have a story and want to submit with images, I recommend creating a drop box or means of file sharing to upload a zip file and share a link.
The format to be submitted is:
-A text document with your story typed up, proof read and ready to be blogged. (I will be copying/pasting.)
-Any images you want to be included that are relevant to your story.
-A very short biography
-A headshot or candid image of you. Whatever you feel best represents you is fine. It doesn’t need to be professional.
I am SO incredibly excited to embark on this journey with you all. Thank you for considering to be a part of this. My goal is to humanize the internet and create a community. I will be sharing as well, so I don’t expect everyone to go this alone.
The best way to submit as of right now is the blog contact form on this website. 🙂 My e-mail isn’t overly reliable right now and I don’t want to miss anything!
I hope to hear from you!