Side Hustle/ Photography

The Ladies

  • Amanda Summons

The Ladies collection is driven by the desire to give each of my ladies a chance to empower herself by stepping in front of my lens and by recording her written thoughts in the interviews about kindness, confidence and giant hamsters. The Ladies series can never truly be complete for there will be always be an endless list of ladies that I’d be honoured to capture in a frame. I held a solo show in March 2019 in honour of International Women’s Day, featuring 123 portraits and interviews. I designed, marketed and sold the exhibition book to crowd-fund the resources for the show. This series explores what it is to be female in this day and age and I want to encourage discussion around what defines an artistic portrait. I shoot in black and white because this allows the background to fade away and I have a chance to capture a glimpse into their soul. The ladies I photographed all expressed relief at their portraits being in black and white so I want to explore why women find black and white comforting. The book is the core work of the collection but I feel strongly about having photos on the walls so that my ladies can have a chance to bring their loved ones to the exhibition to show off their portraits. For me, the project is as much about the photos on the walls as what the ladies get out of it – a chance to love themselves photographically and through their own words. The best feedback from the ladies has been how partaking has crystallised ‘what is truly valuable and constructive’ in their life and that while they previously had felt too timid to pose in front of a camera, now they wanted to do it more! The quote that inspires this project is below and this series features women of all ages including three generations of my family and several mother-daughter pairs. Read about more about the project here. Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them. I want to empower my ladies to see themselves how I see them – Strong. Wise. Creative. Kind. Inspiring. Passionate. Brave. Vulnerable. Generous. Quirky. Brilliant. Adventurous. Confident. Soft. Daring. Compassionate. Funny. Extraordinary. Bold.