Posted Kenzie Kramer on 5/25/2017 |Remarkable! People
When photographer Kate Parker was asked to participate in a gallery show in Atlanta, Georgia, she immediately knew which twenty photos were the strongest: those of her two favorite subjects to shoot; her daughters. Alongside her fine art photography and commercial photography, Parker’s passion project was taking photos of her daughters and saw the images that resonated the most were of when the girls were truly being themselves.
“For my girls that meant dirty a lot of the time and fierce and emotional,” says Parker. “I didn’t ask them to change their outfits or brush their hair.”
When the date of the big show finally arrived, not one image sold.
“I kind of got frustrated and I got down on myself.”
Parker knew that despite the lack of sales, the photos of her daughters had an important message. Instead of giving up, she sent the photos to a few blogs that she followed, hoping someone would be interested in picking them up. The images weren’t only picked up, they went viral and were shared online by multiple major news outlets. People around the world were viewing and sharing her images of her girls being strong, confident and beautiful.
As a result of the viral images, Parker was approached about a new way to share her images with the world and began work on her first book. She began traveling across the country and compiling her best images for “Strong is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves”, which was released earlier this year.
The book features photos of girls of all ages at their strongest – whether that means playing for fun, participating in a sport, or showing their mental toughness through dedication to a skill – along with a quote from each girl and includes a couple of Girls on the Run participants throughout the pages.
“The goal when I made the book was for girls to see themselves in the girls in the book or to be inspired by the girls in the book.”
The images of GOTR girls came from a photoshoot that Parker had done with Girls on the Run before the book was released and Parker found more strong girls to feature by putting out calls in the cities she was traveling to and by going back to emails she had received about strong girls when her photos first went viral. One of Parker’s favorite shoots was in Los Angeles, where she wanted to get shots of both skaters and of surfers. Parker was able to find nine-year-old Minna, who has mastered both.
“I was just so impressed by her. She got out there and tore it up.”
With “Strong is the New Pretty,” Parker hopes to empower girls to celebrate what makes them unique and teach them to be confident about their differences. To see more of Parker’s work, follow her on Instagram at @katetparker or pick up a copy of “Strong is the New Pretty”.