03 Feb The Traveling Red Dress
We live in a sensationalized culture. The news is full of horrific and heart-warming stories. Billboards and commercials are designed to illicit emotional reactions, and someone always has a story about someone they know who suffered some tragedy or incredible triumph.
I won’t say that I am desensitized to these stories. Quite the opposite. I feel so sad about the world at times that I feel hopeless to change it. I hear of inspirational stories and long to be a part of it. I know I’m not alone in these feelings. I think its a basic human need to help others – to make this world a better place for everyone. The question is always, “how?”
I’ve been following Jenny the Blogess for years. I’ve silently observed her struggles with anxiety and depression. I’ve laughed aloud at her irreverent sense of humor, and recently, I became inspired by her. Jenny had a red dress. A beautiful, fancy red dress and no where to where it. Rather than keep it hidden away, she decided to put it on and go to the park – just to feel fabulous. I think in our everyday lives we forget the importance of doing something completely ridiculous just to feel fabulous. She was so inspired by this event that she decided to mail her red dress to one of her readers so she could feel fabulous. Thus began The Traveling Red Dress.
What I love most about this story, though, is that the people who read her blog, picked up this idea and ran with it. Within weeks, total strangers were offering to send other total strangers a beautiful red dress. It was all orchestrated over social media sites like twitter and facebook – people connecting with people.
This is where I became inspired.
I honestly believe that each person is beautiful, and there is something incredibly powerful in getting a picture that shows just how beautiful you are. I offered to do a free shoot to anyone who wanted to pose in her red dress.
One thing led to another and I ended up shooting a wonderful group of women and men one rainy afternoon in the convention center. These are some of my favorite images from that set.
I may not be changing the world or bringing tears to the eyes of saints, but for one afternoon, this group of strangers did something completely ridiculous and absolutely fabulous at the same time. I think that is a step in the right direction.