Welcome to the THRIVE Project that I specifically launched for survivors of abuse. The vision is “don’t just survive, THRIVE!”
I am a portrait photographer specialising in women’s portraiture. I felt the need to do so because I believe women are under-represented in photos. And, we women are always running around doing lots of things and giving and over-giving to people and causes, and I wanted to give them an experience where they can slow down and relax and get pampered acknowledged and appreciated. I began to see that women would come into the studio nervous and stressed and slowly they would drop their tensions and their masks and begin to bloom. They would start enjoying themselves and become more comfortable and confident in their skin. I would then photograph this glowing, confident, joyful woman.
Then it struck me, if a shoot could do that to a normal woman, what wonders would it do to a survivor of DV, whose sense of self-worth is usually quite low.
I also did not like the word ‘survivor’, it sounds like you are just getting by like a bottom feeder. “I just survived through life”, sounds so disempowering. I would rather say ‘Life threw these curve balls at me and I not only survived, I thrived.”
That’s how the THRIVE Project was born.
What I do is, I give anyone who has been through any kind of abuse a free photo shoot. The aim is to have them enrich their sense of self-worth and feel like they are deserving of being cared for and acknowledged. It can be quite a transformative experience. I also give them a free printed photo to hang on their wall, because PTSD is very hard to get rid of. Sometimes it blindsides you and reduces you to this weeping ball on the floor. So on days when a feeling of victimhood pushes them into a quicksand of self-pity, and instead of eating lots of cake or drinking lots of wine, they can look at this photo of a happy, confident, strong woman. My belief is that they might be able to change the story that’s looping through their brain and feel powerful again.
A photo on the wall is a very powerful statement. Because the brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than the written word. So, it’s telling you a story worth a 1000 words, 60,000 times faster. Just by hanging there it is telling you a story in a very subliminal way and if you chose to believe it, it can alter your state.
If you wish to participate in this Project, you can contact me –
Phone – 0204 187 0990
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love to chat with you and get to know you a bit better.