I Am Me is Back...
Depending on how long you've followed my photography work, you may have heard of I Am Me or you may not have. Back in 2011, I first had the idea of putting together an eclectic magazine project that focused on people outside of the mainstream culture. It wasn't until the first of 2012 that I actually followed through and together with my pal Jessie, we put out the first issue in March of 2012 I think it was.
It was a quarterly project, and at the time I hired out for a designer, because I didn't know how to do layouts. With the last couple issues, we decided to put it to bed as there were issues with not getting it back on deadline and such.
So why bring it back? That's a good question. It stems from some frustration that I have had the past few months. It seems that no matter where you turn, you are expected to fit a certain stereotype. For example, I have a fair number of tattoos. I do a lot of work in the tattoo scene. From non-tattooed folk, you get the little looks here and there, honestly not near as much as you'd think. However, in the actual tattoo scene, a lot of folks push that we are rebels and party animals, and etc etc. Some may be. I for one didn't get my work done because I was being rebellious. I don't party either. I've always just loved tattoos and the art aspect of it.
But I'm frustrated with everywhere you turn you have to like this music, or if you don't like it, then you have to go to the other extreme and hate it. It's like politics, it's all about extremes and lets face it, if we're honest with ourselves we actually find ourselves in the middle ground of life a lot more than at extremes.
Of course I do photography as my career, but besides just doing commercial/magazine/portfolio work, I really want to use my skills to do something that means something too. I had a dear friend share her story of having cancer and overcoming it, only to find out at the time of the set that she was facing another tumor. I watched as people stood on a bridge, laughing and taking cell phone photos of my shooting my friend because of her outward appearance, not knowing her incredible story. It made me want to tell her story. We ALL have a story, something that has shaped who we are. A lot of times we keep that to ourselves. We may put on a song and dance outwardly only to be breaking down on the inside. Some things that have shaped us may be tragic, some may be funny, it's different with everyone.
And that is why I decided to relaunch I Am Me. I want to tell people's stories. I want to encourage people that are down that you are not alone. Others have faced adversity and overcome it. I want to make people smile. I want to celebrate whoever it is that you are. I want to give you the courage to be yourself and quit pretending to be what society or whatever subculture that you are in says you have to be. Just be you.
We have already started working on the first few issues. Our goal is for a late Fall launch date. This is something that I have never done, it's not something that I have seen done. We will be launching it as a print edition of a collection of stories, and then periodically we will be sharing the stories individually here on this blog. We hope that you will enjoy.
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