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Social Outreach Seattle – Body Diversity Exhibit

On April 30, 2013, kapchur.us photography was featured at a presentation about the topic of Body Diversity being put on by Social Outreach Seattle (SOSea).  Richard Wood, over a month and a half time period and with the assistance of other SOSea members, assembled a mix of 25 models to compile 23 different photographic art pieces to display during this event.  The art pieces were intended to stimulate the participant conversations  and allow the participants to view the art while also meeting many of the models.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE: Overall, this project was AMAZING. I want to thank Social Outreach Seattle for allowing me to contribute to such an important topic and bring my vision of diversity into light.  I know that I learned much about body diversity JUST from participating in the shoots and had many long discussions with so many of the models about what the topic means to them, how it’s impacted their lives and how this project allows them to reflect better on that diversity.

The event itself floored me! 118 RSVPs on Facebook, and a PACKED room of amazing participants… not just voyeurs of art, but active participants interested in the topic, interested in making change, interested in broadening what beauty means.

Before closing, I’d like to thank Zach Pullin for guiding this event and handling SO many of the logistics and pulling together so many seemingly small pieces to make a good event GREAT! HOWEVER, Zach surprised me with the “take away action questions”. There were two questions but one REALLY hit me hard, 1) How will you, in so far as the topic of sizism, DISASSEMBLE your privilege?  How will I disassemble my privilege? My first thought would be, WHY would I want to disassemble my privilege? Any privilege I have I need! However after saying these words out loud to the other participants in my breakout group, I realized that by continuing to assert and use my privilege as a gay white unhumanly attractive male I’m also asserting that those who do not have the same attributes as myself are less than me and continue to be oppressed in our society. By asserting my privilege I encourage the same classism that exists between individuals based simply on how they look, be it race, weight, height, facial features, and many other things that make people insecure about their physical being.

I hope you enjoy the photos.

Keep an eye on the Social Outreach Seattle (SOSea) Facebook page for updates on the sale of these prints to benefit SOSea and the wonderful community activities they energize.

UPDATE: See the Seattle Gay News article written by Mac McGregor, one of the models in the exhibit, entitled “Body diversity and the ‘magic letter’ – The importance of being true to yourself

  • Donna Read - I can’t think of a descriptive word powerful enough to do your work justice. Compelling isn’t even strong enough. Every one of your images evoked a strong visceral reaction in me. A couple of them made me want to cry, a few made me smile and every one of them made me want to know the the people behind the photo. You have an incredible gift for finding more than just a good photo. You know how to find the soul. I hope we meet at one of the club events so I can tell you face to face what these images meant to me. Thank you so much for sharing them.

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    • Richard - WOW! Donna that is SO beautiful and kind of you!

      As I stated at the event, when I started this project I was thinking “photographs… of people with diverse physical characteristics”, but those photos were people… people with stories and amazing lives whose souls glowed at the opportunity to share. Sharing their successes and their difficulties with their bodies over their lives was just stunning to hear. It became my obsession to find the angles and light that would even touch the surface of the image I had of their story, just a glimpse.ReplyCancel

      • Donna Read - Because your are so close to your work, I don’t think you realize how far past your goals you went on this project! I’m not an over-the-top flatterer. When I say you transcended the average and entered the realm of genius I’m not saying it lightly. Your work on this project deserves national attention if not global and I hope that’s exactly what comes from this!ReplyCancel

  • David Hare - I was at the event last night and I know several of the models. Your pictures are amazing. Yes emotions were evoked but I wanted to know the back story for the picture as well, why that pose, why that expression, why that picture. I know you probably took hundreds of pics and probably had a tough choice but I loved what you and they were able to accomplish. Congratulations all aroundReplyCancel

    • Richard - Thank you David! I think that’s a wonderful point. Our original intent on having many of the models present was for them to tell people one-on-one their own story, but the room ended up a TAD too small for that sort of mingling. Looking forward I’d like to expand the project some into a coffee table book of some sort which would be accompanied by the story of each model. In order to compile that book, I’ll likely ask the models to submit their story to me and start posting entries here on my site featuring their image and story. Think that would be a good start?ReplyCancel

      • David Hare - That sounds great. I was also interested in why you chose those particular pictures, poses, costumes or lack thereof, As we know a “picture paints a 1000 words” but 100 pictures tell at least 100 stories. I know the forum was not the time nor the place but I would have loved to hear what was the story you were trying to tell.

        I am 58 and have been “out” for 15 months. I had been leading a very sheltered “Mormon” life up until then. I began to explore our community and in the beginning was uncomfortable around others not like me. But have met so many wonderful people in that time period. Just last week I was discussing, with a friend, possible surgeries for his FTM and viewing pics online. Six months ago I probably couldn’t have done that because it was outside of my comfort zone. Thank you for bringing so many stories into the light with your beautiful pictures.ReplyCancel

  • » kapchur.us photography - […] is the first of the Body Diversity series stories I will be posting. These stories accompany the Body Diversity exhibit.  Over the next couple weeks I’ll be sharing many of the stories of each of the models in […]ReplyCancel

  • Mark Finley’s Story – Body Diversity » kapchur.us photography - […] of the Body Diversity Stories from the models who participated in the Social Outreach Seattle Body Diversity Project.  Meet Mark […]ReplyCancel

  • Fraya Love’s Story – Body Diversity » kapchur.us photography - […] of the Body Diversity Stories from the models who participated in the Social Outreach Seattle Body Diversity Project.  Meet Fraya […]ReplyCancel

  • Aretha’s Story – Body Diversity » kapchur.us photography - […] of the Body Diversity Stories from the models who participated in the Social Outreach Seattle Body Diversity Project.  Meet Aretha […]ReplyCancel

  • Jeffrey’s Story – Body Diversity » kapchur.us photography - […] of the Body Diversity Stories from the models who participated in the Social Outreach Seattle Body Diversity Project.  Meet Jeffrey […]ReplyCancel

  • Victor(ia)’s Story – Body Diversity » kapchur.us photography - […] of the Body Diversity Stories from the models who participated in the Social Outreach Seattle Body Diversity Project.  Meet Victor Loo (a/k/a Victoria […]ReplyCancel

  • David’s Story – Body Diversity » kapchur.us photography - […] of the Body Diversity Stories from the models who participated in the Social Outreach Seattle Body Diversity Project.  Meet David […]ReplyCancel

  • Justice’s Story – Body Diversity » kapchur.us photography - […] of the Body Diversity Stories from the models who participated in the Social Outreach Seattle Body Diversity Project.  Meet Justice […]ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Maples - Well this was fantastic, and such a lovely surprise. I was just absentmindedly clicking on a Facebook link, not really paying attention, and suddenly BOOM, paying full attention. Effective portraiture is such an elusive skill; these photos are wonderful, as are the models.ReplyCancel

  • Not Safe For Work: Body Diversity Project by Richard Wood | New Queer on the Block Magazine - […] To see the entire collection online, visit kapchur.us photography’s website […]ReplyCancel

  • Not Safe For Work: Body Diversity Project by Richard Wood | New Queer on the Block - […] To see the entire collection online, visit kapchur.us photography’s website […]ReplyCancel

  • Not Safe For Work: Body Diversity Project by Richard Wood | New Queer on the Block - […] To see the entire collection online, visit kapchur.us photography’s website […]ReplyCancel

  • Richard - The next installment of the Body Diversity project is coming soon! Check it out! https://www.facebook.com/events/1406455532939220/ReplyCancel

  • The Original Body Diversity exhibit for SOSea: Why that Pose? » kapchur.us photography - […]  Sometimes the answer was obvious and sometimes it was buried.  For example, Mary hated the “tags” all around her neck (photo to the right). She’d always been ashamed of them and thought they were disgusting.  So, in our conversations we discovered that PERHAPS, if she chose to “feature” that feature, then she could regain the power it had taken from her for all those years.  It gives me goosebumps thinking about it.  She’s SO proud of that photo and of her own bravery to put herself out there. […]ReplyCancel

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