Every day, women are reminded that we live in a “man’s world”. Masculinity holds automatic power in our society. From the way men are portrayed in advertisements, to the advantages they have in healthcare or the workplace, we know what makes men feel powerful, because it’s everywhere we look. But women are rarely, if ever asked what makes us feel in our power. This is especially true with regards to POC, queer, transgender, and gender non-conforming artists and creatives. Amidst a volatile sociopolitical climate, artists across the gender spectrum are among the most marginalized. The media tends to focus on breakthrough moments but ignores the harsh realities of daily life for a working artist. This photo project seeks to uplift the community by asking, “What makes you feel powerful?” Each subject is the co-creator of their portrait, not just in choosing the location or wardrobe, but in sending their own unique and powerful message out into the world. Most of my subjects chose to connect their portrait with their craft. Through these photographs, my goal is to remind my subjects of the power and strength they hold, especially during a time when the future of our country is so unknown. After all, in the words of James Brown, “This is a man’s world. But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing, not one little thing…without a woman or a girl.”

When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.
— Audre Lorde
Sometimes people try to destroy you, precisely because they recognize your power—not because they don’t see it, but because they see it and they don’t want it to exist.
— Bell Hooks
The Nature of This Flower Is to Bloom

Rebellious. Living.
Against the Elemental Crush.
A Song of Color
For Deserving Eyes.
Blooming Gloriously
For its Self.
— Alice Walker
We have to be more reflective about what power is, what it is for, and how it is measured. To put it another way, if women are not perceived to be fully within the structures of power, surely it is power that we need to redefine rather than women?”
― Mary Beard