Revisiting a collaborative portrait project from a few years ago. This was so much fun and an incredible experience. The images were shared at Fort Point Open Studios but I realized I hadn’t shared the full stories, of either the project or the participants, on the blog. Here’s an introduction to the Trueself Project.
Joyful, playful, sensual, emotional . . . . . the TRUESELF experience begins with you.
What is TRUESELF?
Driven by a passion for guiding women celebrate both their inner spirit and outer beauty, Ashley and Alana work to help women see and celebrate their own unique spirit.
This is an experience of sensual embodiment and enjoyment and celebration of YOU. Remember how to feel good in your skin, focus on what makes you come alive in your SELF. Embrace the internal sublime, celebrate who you are right now.
When you begin the True Self Immersion Experience this what will happen . . .
This project began as a collaboration between me, portrait photographer Allana Taranto, and embodiment expert and transformational coach, Ashley Maina. The TrueSelf Project shares stories of women on a journey of self understanding and acceptance. Through sensory visualizations, coaching, and culminating in an embodied portrait session, each of these women journeyed through a process to discover, embody, and behold Truthful and Honest and Beautiful version of herself. The one that lives within her body and heart, not her head.
As an embodiment expert and transformational coach for women, Ashley Maine guides women to their body, their truth and their desires. This is a homecoming and celebration of all parts of themselves.
Her inspiration is drown from personal experience and from her mentors and coaches who have illuminated the path back home for her – showing the power we all have have within and the beauty that unfolds when we fully accept and express all parts of ourselves – as all parts have wisdom and lessons.
The True Self experience begins by connecting, listening deeply, and holding space to be seen. Then, we paint a picture of who you wish to step into on the outside – the embodiment – a marriage of the inner and outer selves, where both sides dance as one.
Often, the shifts we experience as we grow personally, are neither seen nor witnessed. With this work, Ashley helps women reconnect with their power and live a life of full expression. It?s an expression and celebration of all sides of you.
WORDS AND PICTURES: GIVING VOICE TO PORTRAITS
Portraiture is for the patient. With time you build rapport, then gain trust. You sit and watch for fleeting unguarded moments, for fleeting connection in a universal human experience. When this happens, one can clutch a few instants from the vast story of our lives. In many ways, portraits are born both of a specific person and instant, but also of a boundless eternity and shared humanity.
Portraiture is the hunt for the unguarded moment. In carving out space for vulnerability and seeking these unguarded moments, to examine these moments and to admire them is to see and understand parts of myself. Photography is, in it?s mechanics, objectification. And I believe that objectification must be balanced with compassion, respect and responsibility. I must coax dignity, humility and nobility out of each subject. This is an exercise in necessary humanism. Our own personal barriers, self built, want to be impenetrable. We?ve built these defenses and we do our very best to keep them. But when clients can and do drop these defenses, it’s these honest and beautiful unguarded moments that tell their stories.
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