“As Is” a series of images that delve into the world of the female collective conscious. I want to explore the compartmentalization of the female form and its responsibility for the dehumanization of women. By offering my subjects anonymity, they are free to express themselves fully without fear or consequence. In combining multi layered large format pieces on glass I invite the viewer to try and discern that which makes one woman a unique individual versus that which all women collectively share.
22 imagesWhy can’t we shift the conversation away from being beautiful to more meaningful aspects of ourselves and each other? This is the question explored in my photographic series, "As Is". There are people trying to expand the definition of beauty, and that is a very positive thing, but I’d like to explore why women have a responsibility to try to be beautiful at all? For me, that’s the bigger question. Some of these women have survived difficult battles with breast cancer or other traumatizing life events and after all that, instead of feeling victorious, have insecurities about their bodies. I don’t have the answers and struggle with falling for beauty stereotypes myself. This project has been a journey for me; one I didn’t think I had the strength for until I turned 40 and finally decided to pick up a camera. "As Is" has allowed me to be a spy on humanity in a way I could never have imagined. While they have amazing personal stories, the identities of my subjects are completely anonymous. I can say they come from many walks of life are aged 19 to mid-90s and have been an inspiration to me. "As Is" is being published by Daylight Books in the Fall of 2018. I but I don’t think the project will ever really be finished. I want to keep photographing women, relaying their stories and trying to change the conversation. -Amy Gelb