Me Naiset + Studio Metsä

Earlier this year I did a collaboration with the Finnish women’s magazine, Me Naiset. We were looking for women who think they’re not photogenic and therefore don’t enjoy being in front of the camera.

We received more than 80 applications. Amazing women one after another, we could’ve picked each and every one of them. However, for this reportage we only had room for five women and together with the journalist Emmi, we made some tough choices. We aimed to choose women of a variety of ages and backgrounds in order to provide as many connection points as possible.

The women we chose vary between 26 and 59. Each of them have created a beautiful life with many people around who love and care for them, activities and hobbies they enjoy. As an outsider looking in, you’d never guess they’d be battling with self-esteem issues.

Me, you, she, we, you, theyMe Naiset ja Studio Metsä Kamerakammo - Piiloutujat

They’re people you see everyday, sitting next to you on the train, sitting across from you in a meeting, standing behind you in the grocery store line – it’s all of us in one way or another.

The heavily photoshopped photographs we see everywhere are constantly creating an unattainable image and illusion which is meant to inspire us but in the end (even without noticing it ourselves) stores itself in our brain as a goal to aspire to. A goal we can never reach.

As such, Studio Metsä has a very strict NO policy to photoshopping. I don’t clean out the skin, I don’t remove wrinkles, I don’t enlarge breasts or minimize the waist, I don’t make the hair puffier or change its color – in other words, I don’t turn the person into something they’re not (nor should be). I want to celebrate the authentic beauty of the person. I want to remind people of what authentic and genuine people look like and how glorious they are. How glorious you are.

Blog posts of the photoshoots

Me Naiset ja Studio Metsä Kamerakammo - Piiloutujat

In the next few weeks I’ll be publishing a separate blog post of each of the women I photographed for this project. I’ll be sharing their stories, photoshoot experiences and photographs.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Before finishing off this post, I’d like to share with you a great talk by a model who is breaking apart the illusion that us girls and women look up to and way too often compare ourselves against. In the end, no one in this world is immune to the pressure to look good. (I’m sure I’ve shared this before, but it’s just so good, you’ve got to see it again)

How do YOU feel when you’re photographed?

If you find yourself in a situation where you feel you’d really like to be photographed even if it’s scary and you fear they’re just not going to turn out well at all — take a risk. Try it out. Jump into the unknown (I’ll be with you!). Contact me for talk, ask all the questions you’d like. I’d love to answer all of them!

But now, it’s sunny out and it’s time to go enjoy it! How about today, you take a moment and look up at the skies, and be grateful for being alive. We don’t do it enough!

Until next time lovelies,
xoxo Erika

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