SHANNON REED PORTRAIT

{Womankind}

ArtShannon Reed

I love working with Kari.  For a lot of reasons (she's cool, easy going, and has an incredible sense of self-awareness); what I love most is her chameleon-esque powers.  She's a tiny, wisp of a woman at 5' 2" and 100 pounds, but I don't think that's entirely evident based on her body of work.

When we arrived at Great Sand Dunes National Park early yesterday morning I opined aloud to Kari, "Now, all we have to do is find a way to make you look relevant against such an impressive backdrop."  Kari is a beautiful woman, but even the most beautiful woman can pale in comparison to the awesomeness that is Mother Nature... 

{a quick shot with my cell phone}

I would love to say that I had a grand plan going into this shoot, but this was my first trip and I wasn't sure about weather conditions, position of the sun, how many other tourists we'd have to contend with, or the landscape itself - so it was all pretty much a crapshoot.  Oh, we also drove 500 miles to get here and back  - so it's not like this is just in our back yard.  Ha - no pressure :)

After trekking in a bit and getting away from other Dunes visitors, we just sort of dove in and got to work so we could beat the blazing heat (101 yesterday).

Later that afternoon, when I got back home, I began the editing process and discovered that without any real intent, a pretty powerful story was unfolding:  Exhaustion, struggle, power, strength, beauty, grace, survival, and "is-ness".  It reminds me of what it's like to be a woman in this world.  Hey - I am a woman - it's my general perspective on things - I can't help it.  Besides, women rock.

So, with that, Womankind was born.  Thanks, too and most of all, to Kari; your strength and centeredness amaze and humble me.

Update:  I've decided to remove the images from the series until I've finished editing the book.