Blog Archives

The Henri Cartier-Bresson Award

My work on the Power of SHe project has been nominated for a HCB Award!

For all the details please stop by http://tdphotography.me/2013/the-henri-cartier-bresson-award/ – it also includes a big THANK YOU to the Avenue Community Center for believing in me and my work as a photographer.

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The Power of SHe on FB

As of yesterday afternoon, my Power of SHe project has made it’s way onto facebook.  This?  This is your official invitation.  🙂

For those of you who’ve been following this blog for some time know all about the Power of SHe, for those who don’t, here’s the press bio for my little art instillation:  The Power of SHe is about how we, as self-identified Women, define ourselves in light of how society and the media seek to define and confine us.

I’ve been working on the Power of SHe for some time now.  It’s been exhibited twice, and continues to grow.  I believe it is a very important body of work, and something we desperately need.  So I hope you’ll join us as the journey continues.  The more the merrier.  Let’s force a shift from art project to movement.  We can make change happen!

http://facebook.com/PowerofSHe

The Power of SHe – Photography Debut

Last night marked the debut of six pieces from my Power of SHe project.  They were premiered at the Mosaic art and fashion show, celebrating the 20th anniversary of Pride in Saskatoon.  It was a sold out event, with spectacular performances, beautiful clothing, and an outstanding array of artistic work.  I was proud to have my work featured at such a fabulous event.  My congratulations to the Saskatoon Diversity Network for putting on this groundbreaking event, and my thanks for all their hard work.

Now, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the six pieces I debuted last night.  As many of you are aware, The Power of SHe is a personal project of mine focusing on how we, as Women, choose to define ourselves vs how society and the media seek to define and confine us.  I hope it forces people to take a closer look at what makes us who we are, and find those things which unite us.  As Women we should be supporting one another in our choices, finding strength within ourselves and helping to empower our sisters.  That is what The Power of SHe is all about.

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All six images can be seen in greater detail (and are available for purchase) at:  http://td365.smugmug.com/Art/The-Power-of-SHe/  For information on how you can become involved in this important project, visit http://photography.tobi-dawne.com/Power_of_SHe.html

 

My thoughts have been focused…

My thoughts, of late, have been focused on the upcoming Mosaics art and fashion show.  Today I finally made my decision on which pieces to debut.  And they will be:

  • Fólkvangr
  • Valkyrie
  • Persephone & Demeter
  • Venus
  • Mass Consumption
  • Packaged4Consumption

So there you have it!  But no, I will not post previews of them here.  LOL  They are DEBUTING at the art show, so if you’d like to witness their debut, you’ll have to go to the show.  😉

However, I will share the self portrait that may also make a showing there.  It, unlike the other six, is not officially a part of my Power of SHe project (which is now posted at my photography website at http://photography.tobi-dawne.com/Power_of_SHe.html).  And you may have seen it before, it’s me.  Yep, a self portrait.  Me at the Pink Prom.

Tobi-Dawne Smith is TD Photography; Saskatoon's Photosmith - at the pink prom

Find out more about the Mosaic art show at these links:

https://www.facebook.com/events/415945375095621/

http://www.saskatoonpride.ca/#!June%2013th/csx5

Advance tickets are only $10, or purchase them at the door for $15.  See you there!

Tonight, my friends…

Tonight, my friends, is a very simple blog post.  I’m far too exhausted to do more.  Actually, I went down for a nap at about six, and fell asleep without taking any melatonin.  Seriously, I don’t nap because I don’t fall asleep without taking it.  And I napped.  Would have stayed out for the night too if I hadn’t needed to get up to put the girl to bed.  LOL

I’ve just been pretty wiped lately.  Lots of things needing my attention in preparation for the Pride art show.  In the end, I’ve decided to keep it simple, and may actually be doing rather small scale printing too.  It turns out I may be able to have one of the square support pillars in the space – which would be an interesting way to break up my work and display multiple smaller pieces.  I generally prefer larger scale work.  Nothing like a photograph at 20×24 or larger to inspire thought and discussion…  but I do like the idea of keeping things clean and being able to display more pieces than I’d have been able to otherwise.  So we’ll see.

Okay, off to bed for me.  I’m just far too exhausted to be on here right now.

Night all!  Be good to one another!

Wanted: “pretty” bathroom in Saskatoon

I’m looking for a pretty bathroom.  And no, it’s not some weird fetishistic behaviour.  It’s for a photo shoot…  one that’s very important to me.  One that I desperately need your help to complete.

There is a particular shot I have in mind for my Power of SHe project…  and a rather vital shot at that, quite important to my vision of the exhibition this project is to become.  I require this pretty, serene space to capture that calm quiet feminine feeling.  It is essential to the project.

So, if you live in Saskatoon and you have a pretty, delicate, lovely, feminine powder room, please consider allowing me use of the space for just a little while.  I’ll do my best to be in and out as quickly as possible, and with as little disruption to your life as possible.  I promise to be respectful, and will treat your space with the utmost care.  Nothing will be damaged or ruined, and I’ll leave everything just as I found it.  I will do my best to honor any requests by the home owner, and will be very thankful and appreciative.

The counter, in particular, is of special importance.  White.  It must be white.  White with delicate pastel accents.  Perhaps pink, lavender, blue, green, or yellow.  Maybe an accent of lace here or there.  Flowers.  Delicate and lovely.  The ultimate girlie powder room.

Here are a couple of reference photos I’ve found online (each photograph is set to link to the original location of the image).  None of the following images are mine, all were found through a simple Bing image search, all are shared simply to help you (my reader) create a mental image of the type of space I am searching for for this project.

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I am desperate to find this perfect, pretty space.  And like I said, the counter space, around the sink is the most important element.  And it’s the over-all feel of the space that really matters….  please, if you have a bathroom that might just work – even if you think there’s only a small possibility that it might be what I’m looking for – please drop me a line.  It could be exactly the space I need.

photographer at tobi-dawne dot com

Raised to be censored.

I logged in today specifically to write more about Women and the fight to challenge societies notions of what and who we are to be.  So it was seemingly appropriate to discover the following when I clicked on WordPress in my toolbar:

wordpress has been censored

Of course, WordPress isn’t protesting on behalf of gender issues, it’s doing so to help prevent the potential screening and censoring of content on the web.  Another important issue that could affect us all.  But in all honesty, these repeating black boxes got me thinking.  Children are essentially raised to be censored.

As a society we don’t raise our children to be radical free thinkers out to change the rules and defy convention.  We raise our children to fit in, to maintain the status quo, to work within the system, to be censored – by us, by society, by themselves.  It’s a sad state of affairs.

Colour within the lines.

Present yourselves as society deems appropriate.

Working on the Power of SHe project has been challenging if for no other reason than I am forcing myself and my models to defy convention.  There are many shots that I have set up in my mind, but finding women brave enough and strong enough to participate with me is hard.  I don’t want airbrushed, magazine ready bodies.  I want real women, PERFECT in their natural, untended, and even derelict form.  Mother’s aprons, scars, celluloid, stretch marks – part of lives well lived.  Time for them to be celebrated not censored.  Love yourself in your decrepitude.  It’s time to teach our daughters a new standard of beauty, one free of censored black boxes and filled with the rosy pink hues of love.

Get involved!  I need you!  Please.

You can drop me a line any time to volunteer for this project – photographer at tobi-dawne dot com

Let’s break free of the black boxes society insists on using to mask and muffle us.  Embrace all it is to be a Woman, and celebrate in your own flesh!

wordpress, censored black boxes

The Power of SHe!

It’s a late night for the Smith household.  We just got home and kid-kid is fast asleep.  We went from a late afternoon photoshoot (my husband serving as an assistant) straight to my parents place and spent the evening/night there while they went out to visit with friends and listen to music.  I’m always happy to help out watching my youngest sister and the older gentlemen who live there, but it was a very late night for the little girl – so it’s nice to have her in bed now.

My photo shoot today was the first in my The Power of SHe project.  It was with a fabulous woman named Sigrid.  She dressed in full Viking kit, complete with sword and shield.  And I was thankful for the mild Winter weather as we were shooting outdoors – down near the ice flows on the river.  I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally have the time to devote to this project.  It’s been in the planning for a couple of months now.

Initially I began working on a project I called Celebrating Motherhood…  but it became clear to me that this was only one aspect of our story – the shared narrative of what it is to be Women.  So Celebrating Motherhood has been swallowed by The Power of SHe.  The motherhood segment will receive it’s on exhibit space – as I believe it deserves it, but it is part of an even greater project celebrating all that we, as women, are.

So today, the first of several planned shoots for this exhibition took place – and it feels damn good to finally be moving forward on it.  I really enjoyed working with Sigrid, and am sooo looking forward to doing the remaining work on the pieces we’ve begun creating today.  I’d have liked to have started the post-shoot work already, but as I mentioned…  kinda busy with family.  😉

I have a few more shots planned out in my head for which I’m seeking the right “models”.  And no, I’m not looking for professional models.  I’m looking for real women, with stories, with lives, with histories…  And even if I don’t have something planned that would be right for YOU, and you are interested in participating, drop me a line.  Perhaps you will inspire the next shot in this project.

Here are a few things I know I’m looking for:

  • a nursing mother engaged in an extended breastfeeding relationship
  • a nursing mother currently nursing two children
  • a woman willing to appear in her skivies in a public place (nothing erotic, I promise)
  • a woman willing to be photographed in a body suit outdoors in Winter
  • any women with interesting hobbies or histories  (Sigrid was one who inspired me with her story, and the image/shoot was built around her)
  • a drag queen (drag queen’s may not be women but their art is in celebration of women)

This project excites me to my very core.  It will bring about questions for some, and answers for others.  It’s about finding unity amongst diversity, what makes us Women?  What defines us?  Where do we draw our strength?  How do we find our power?  It will be an amazing journey!

 

The Power of She!

A friend had this on her FB status:

I am not hot or gorgeous. I don’t have an amazing figure or a flat stomach. I’m far from being considered a model, but I’m ME. I eat food, have curves, love my PJ’s, and will go out without make up on. I’m random and crazy, and I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not. I am who I am, love me or not, It won’t change ME! Ladies put this on your status if your proud of who you are.

I say to hell with that! I am hot, I am gorgeous. My figure is perfect. No, I don’t have a flat stomach, and I’m far from being considered a model. I’m a mom. And I kick ass! 😀

It’s about time we stop criticizing ourselves. Don’t buy into what the media tells you beauty is. Beauty is honesty. Beauty is loving who you are for who you are. THAT is hot. THAT is gorgeous. Love yourself, but don’t do so with apologies.  Be proud of who you are, but don’t undercut that by leading with “I am not hot or gorgeous.”  Doesn’t that defeat the whole freakin’ purpose?

The media may try to dictate to us what is “hot”, what is “gorgeous”.  But don’t let them.  Don’t allow them to define you.

I’m a size fifteen, and I’m 5’0″.  According to the media I’m not worth looking at, but you know what?  They’re so beyond wrong!  So flipping beyond wrong that it amazes me.  I may have a “mother’s apron”, but you know what?  I’M A MOM!!!  That doesn’t take away from my beauty, it only adds to it.

Join me in celebrating all that women are, all that we can be.  All that the public media would edit out.

Women are strong.  Women are smart.  Women are beautiful.  Women are amazing.  Women are diverse.

This project is about celebrating women, for all that we are.

Together, myself and artist Zacery Volpe will seek to find unity through diversity.  Strength in the face of the media’s insistence of inferiority.

Interested?  Drop me a line.  This project is about celebrating women (and that is decidedly NOT limited to cis women) in all our many facets.

You are strong.  You are beautiful.  You are amazing…  and don’t ever forget it!

As I’ve said many times, and will say many times more:  I Believe in the Power of She!

 

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