NO PERFECT PICTURES, PLEASE

You can find pretty-pretty, Insta-perfect photos anywhere online. You can’t escape them, in fact. An entire generation has already been born with impeccable selfie skills, and every marketing company in the world preaches that what you say is worthless if the accompanying images aren’t gorgeous.

Favorite non-selfie selfie ever
Photo by Carlos Garcia. See food by Ellen Stader

I’ve got nothing against adorable succulents or the perfect cat-eye, but I mistrust images that are perfect. They stir nothing inside me. I see beauty in the margins and the mess created by people disregarding false limitations, conquering their fear—you know, actually living their lives.

So I’ve set an unpopular goal: to populate AUSTIN.WOMEN.LOVE. entirely with real photos.

I want to create a collection of the realest (and, for my costume crews, the unrealest) photos of this city’s womenfolk being themselves.

Empanada Parlour 2000
Empanada Parlour 2000-ish. Photo by Ellen Stader

And I know you have real photos. I’ve seen them on your phone, glued into your journal, on your Instagram, framed on your altar, tacked up over your desk, all over Facebook, in stacks and boxes under your bed.

The ones I want make a thousand words obsolete. They are old, new, not perfectly composed or filtered—or even entirely in focus—and they don’t always show your best side (gasp!).

What they do show is the love, the pain, the outrageousness, relief, hilarity or joy of being yourself, and being with your sisters.

At that show. Around the fire that one night. Sitting on the curb when your whole crew was 19 and drunk. At sunset on the greenbelt. Before the mermaids-and-unicorns party. On the porch during your crew’s first wake. Working side by side. Waiting with your team before taking the stage. Every beautiful day. Every celebration. Every moment you snapped to remember (preferably without too much posing and checking your chins and angles first).

Blinding, isn't it?
I was trying to be Bobby Womack, but that flash of white cheek sorta upstaged the red jumpsuit. Photo by Christina Mason. 

If you’d like to contribute a photo to include in the AUSTIN.WOMEN.LOVE. collection, contact me, and I’ll tell you how.

We want to make sure that all photos are appropriate and can be used freely, and that the people who took them get credited for taking them. There’s no money involved in this blog (except what I spend to create and maintain it), so this is a commerce-free, community-based endeavor.

I just want AUSTIN.WOMEN.LOVE. to reflect the world of badass females that was and still is Austin.

All of our faces need to be there.

 

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