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RAW Beauty Talks: Empowering Portraits of Women Without Make Up or Photoshop


Sophie Miriam Emily Alden - MelissaGidneyPhoto

If you browse around online, even if you stay away from the magazine covers with their models liquified into long-legged oblivion, you will be hard-pressed to find professional portraits of women that are as honest and raw as the ones featured on RAW Beauty Talks.

That’s because this organization, dedicated to empowering women through portrait photography and an honest conversation about beauty, doesn’t just do away with photo manipulation in its portraits… it does away with anything meant to enhance or cover up the way the models actually look.

Founded by 28-year-old Vancouver Pilates studio co-owner Erin Treloar, RAW Beauty Talks champions real photos of real women in a way that your typical anti-Photoshop campaign just can’t touch. We applaud what Aerie is doing with their recent no-Photoshop campaign, but what RAW Beauty Talks goes leaps and bounds beyond that.

Danielle Normann - JamieMannPhoto

Women photographed by RAW Beauty Talks are not only left alone in post: they have no make up on, are wearing either a black or white T-shirt with no brand labels and are told to remove anything else meant to cover up imperfections (everything from fake eyelashes to tinted moisturizer). Plus, the photographers are encouraged to work with only natural light and a bounce if necessary.

And when they’re done with the photo shoot, they go a step beyond that, too. They talk to the women about their concept of beauty, their relationship with food, the importance of self-love and how this community can help raise the next generation of girls to be confident and fearless.

The final images and interview are then posted to RAW Beauty Talks where Treloar is quickly building an empowering community and an archive of real portraits of real women that shows beauty in all its imperfect glory.

Here’s a small selection from that archive:

Chelah + Lyndsay Horsdal - MelissaGidneyPhoto

Jamie Anderson - CourtneyAaronPhoto

Jenn Maclean-Angus - MelissaGidneyPhoto

Jennifer Maloney - ChrisThornPhoto

Erin Treloar - MurrayAshPhoto

LesleyKim - ChrisThornPhoto

Nisha Khare - MelissaGidneyPhoto

Noelle Lam - MelissaGidneyPhoto

Rachel&Keighty - ChrisThornPhoto

Adrienne Ford - NataliaAnjaPhoto

When Treloar first came up with the idea for RAW Beauty Talks, she was afraid: afraid that photographers wouldn’t want to donate their time, afraid that no women would come forward and afraid of how it would all be received. As it turns out, she had nothing at all to fear.

Ten photographers and one cinematographer generously donate their time, and well over a hundred women have stepped up to the plate to have their real portrait taken.

In the end, for Treloar, this isn’t an anti-Photoshop or even an anti-make up movement. It’s about “starting a conversation about our relationship with beauty.” Eventually, the hope is that RAW Beauty Talks will play a role in redefining beauty so that, some day, we might live in “a world filled with a lot more self-love and subsequently a lot more love for one another. Because that is truly beautiful.”

To see a lot more pictures, read interviews and find out more about RAW Beauty Talks, head over to the organization’s website by clicking here. But before you go, let us know what you think in the comments down below. We’d love your take and we’re sure Erin would enjoy reading what you have to say as well.

(via Trend Hunter)

Image credits: Photographs (in order of appearance) by Melissa Gidney, Jamie Mann, Melissa Gidney, Courtney Aaron, Melissa Gidney, Chris Thorn, Murray Ash, Chris Thorn, Melissa Gidney, Melissa Gidney, Chris Thorn and Natalia Anja. All photos courtesy of Erin Treloar and RAW Beauty Talks.