In honour of International Women’s Day, I salute women everywhere in recognition of their achievements, without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.
I applaud women who fight against gender injustice. I was astounded to read that women effectively worked “for free” for 51 days in 2017 because of the gender pay gap. As for sexual assault and harassment, I cheer on the Silence Breakers and added my own #Metoo to the global reckoning on sexual misconduct that has rippled through the ages across all industries.
I’m excited to be launching my new website on this day. This was quite deliberate, given that the majority of my subjects are women.
As a multi-cultural woman in my 50s and single mother for 14 years, women and their issues are close to my heart. Through my photography, I love to capture the beauty and complexity of their spirit. I particularly enjoy working with those in the 50+ age category, drawing out their wisdom, life experiences and inner strength, shrugging off the belief that women over 50 are “invisible”.
On the subject of BEAUTY, it’s been interesting to observe that the first thing most of my subjects say is that the “camera doesn’t like me”. I too have had horrendous photos taken of me despite being relatively photogenic, more often than not because I was tense and guarded. There must always be an element of trust between photographer and subject or the latter will not relax and reflect the best part of themselves back at the lens. Most of the ladies you see photographed on my website greeted me with that phrase and you’ll be glad to read that I proved each and every one of them wrong. In my world, no one is un-photogenic. Only photographers who won’t take the time to connect with their subjects and earn their trust.
Speaking of total TRUST, I’d like to introduce you to my latest project, “When I Grow Up” (in the Projects section of my site). This is a collaborative effort between me and the women that I photograph dressed in the characters of their childhood or engaged in an activity that they loved as children. My aim is to tap into that forgotten world of unbridled joy and endless possibilities, capturing the beauty and sheer emotion of one’s inner child. This project acts as a catalyst for reflection on how much we hold ourselves back as adults from our natural state of “play”. It truly is a liberating and healing experience!
Another thing that you’ll notice from my photographs is that I prefer to capture people in their own environment rather than a studio. Often referred to as ENVIRONMENTAL PORTRAITURE, I believe that so much of who we are is shaped by where and how we live and it is that aspect of our lives and personalities that completes a portrait for me. It is because of this that I felt compelled to capture the different characters from my own neck of the woods, the little beachside community of Clovelly.
In closing, do drop me a line sometime. I hope that you’ll stick around for my journey. I can’t wait to capture yours.
"To experience the world through the heart not only awakens what's best in ourselves but inspires others to do the same. It is then that we realise how beautiful life can be."- Victoria Ugarte© Copyright 2020 Victoria Ugarte