The Empowerment Project

What started as a small photo session between friends turned into an amazing journey for women in the photography community. Let me enlighten you before we get empowered…

From the outside, photography is amazing! It’s quirky, you can be yourself! I mean, hello!!! You get paid to make art! What could be more fulfilling than that? Nothing. Not a single thing.
If anyone ever asks me if I like what I do, I never hesitate, I shout “OH MY GOSH YES!” But enough about me—-see my post here for more about why I do what I do.

Of course, as with any field, there are issues. There is “draaamaaaaaa” And it seems like it’s worse within the dominating portion of the photography industry-which so happens to be the female portion.   Instead of building each other up and celebrating each other. Some spend the entire time talking about “She’s awful! She’s a joke! She’s stealing my customers!!!  She’s undercutting the industry! She’s ruining it for everyone!”  This was my first experience with another professional in the industry. I quickly assumed that’s how it was and I ducked my head and hid from the others in the interest of self preservation. I am not the only person this has happened to, and I was lucky to find a group of professionals that changed my mindset and enlightened me. But not everyone is that lucky!

Well there you go. That is a VERY brief (although it may not have seemed brief) explanation of the problem that we have facing this industry. It’s not “shoot and burners,” it’s not “newbies who got a camera for Christmas” it’s not “overpriced photographers.”

It’s US. We’re ruining our own industry. We’re imploding our own way of life.  This started out as an empowerment project for female photographers. But it’s not just about photography-it’s about women. One day we hope to spread it to the entire female population, because isn’t that true for everyday life? It’s not just photography, it’s everywhere. Women are the biggest bullies of their own gender. We would pounce on a man and beat him with sticks if he said ONE of the 1000 things that we say to ourselves or about other women on a daily basis.

The purpose of this project is to show that even though we compete, even though we are in the same field, even though we are WOMEN; we love each other, we empower one another, we build one another UP instead of tearing each other down.


The Empowerment Project

This project is the brain-child of three female photographers: Emily Hale with Captured by E&B, Kalyn Newberry of Photography by Kalyn, and myself. We started small with one session that included ourselves and one other local photographer, Emily Ball, who is still in highschool but has already made an amazing presence in the photography industry with her sports photography! We will continue soon with more, and then keep going! The response was amazing, so much love!! And guess what? It brought us closer together, and it did it’s job.



IMG_5816 copySee, realizing that someone who I thought was absolutely stunning, someone that I was so jealous of; didn’t see what I saw; they see flaws, they see things they want to change they see SOMETHING…but I didn’t see that!  Seeing this changes the way you think about yourself when you see others insecurities and perceived flaws, because you start to realize that what you see when you look in the mirror isn’t what others see. They see you as you really are! And that’s an amazing feeling.




Emily BallSo what does that have to do with the female photography industry? Nothing? WRONG. Everything.

When you start to see your competition as a person instead of just someone who’s “Out to get you” you humanize them. They’re not your enemy. When we learn to work together, to EMPOWER one another, we become a force to be reckoned with, and we can kick this industries ass a lot easy if we’re working together instead of against one another.


The empowerment project

And you know what? Realizing that you are surrounded by intelligent, funny, beautiful women-who all share a common goal and will always have your back?? Well…that’s pretty damn amazing. Are you a female photographer in the Tazewell County area? Are you interested in joining us as we go on a mission to empower one another, to join forces and take over this industry together?



IMG_5791 copy

Well then let us know! We know a lot of people, but we don’t know everyone, and we want as many involved
as possible. We are currently in the process of planning our next shoot and hope to have it happen
in the next 1-2 months. PLEASE get in touch with us.




We’re currently in the process of responding to those
who have already contacted us, so if we don’t immediately respond, please don’t give up on us! We can’t wait
to see what this project becomes. And we can’t wait to meet you!

So amazingly lucky to get to know these amazing people, and I’m proud to call them my friends and colleagues.



3 Comments on “The Empowerment Project

  1. I am very interested in this and starting one. I am in California right now and will be moving to Georgia in two years. But am interested how I can help or what I can do. Thank you


    • Hi Esther!!
      I LOVE that this is reaching literally across the US all the way from our little town in Virginia. We are currently in the process of developing a way to spread this project and make it a worldwide crusade. In the mean time if you are interested in more information on how we planned this or what more was involved it’s actually a very simple project to start and I suggest starting small. You are always welcome to ask any of the three of us (Myself, Emily & Kalyn) any questions you may have! My email is if you would prefer to send any questions you have there!!

      Thanks so much for your comment, can’t wait to see what the results of your project!


  2. Pingback: An Introduction to the project | embracetheindustry

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