This was not a traditional portrait event. There was no discussion or set list of people, it was merely me setting up my lights and jumping in with Soul & Ink who were hosting a poster making class for the Women's March. This was held at Republic Restoratives, the first female-owned distillery in DC. Those who stepped in front of the camera told me why they were marching that weekend.
"I march because I choose to dedicate my life to public service. I march because I am a feminist. I march because my niece is watching. I march for women’s reproductive rights. I march because Black Lives Matter. I march because I too believe in science. I march for women who do not report sexual assault. I march for equal pay for equal work. I march because I am hopeful and I will never stop believing in this country."
"I am marching for the survivors, the champions and badass warriors that we, as women, are. I am marching for the women who took a stand, the women that battled fearlessly to get us to where we are today. I am marching to show every man that's laid a hand on me that I am not a victim,I am marching for my baby sister and the suffering that she feels every day because of the physical, emotional and sexual abuse that she should have never known. I am marching for the Indian women working 60 hours a week only to send every penny to her family living in the slums of India. I am marching for all women, the beaten, battered and broken. I am marching for YOU. I am marching because that's what we do, we march forward, no matter what life throws at us, we fight for our rights, we walk with conviction. They've planted us like seeds, they did not know that we would grow. We all came from a woman, we will rise because we can."
"I am a future family medicine physician. I'm marching because healthcare is a basic human right, and women deserve to make decisions about their bodies without government interference."
"When you were taking my photo you evoked the profound sadness I felt after the election. I marched for my daughter. I marched because I will never forget the rhetoric of this presidential election. I will not forget, forgive, or overlook the power of language. I marched to show my daughter it is our right and privilege to stand up for what you believe in. I believe in a society that looks out for the best interests of others and not just for themselves. I believe that diversity makes us stronger. I marched for the woman who marched before me. I marched for equality for ALL."
"I worked on the Obama campaign in 2012 and will never forget the day after the election. President Obama visited campaign headquarters to tell staff, through tears, that we were his inspiration - that he knew we were going to go on to do even greater things than he could accomplish. Shocked at the time I heard it, I now know what he meant. It's time for us to take charge of our own destiny. We have youth and culture and numbers on our side. The future will be what we make it.
I march because I am tired of living in a world created by and for men. I'm ready to create an alternative. What would an inclusive world created by women look like? Let's imagine it and let's create it. I'm not waiting for concessions from men in power. We are half the population. We are America! We just need to realize it - and make sure others realize it too."
"I'm keenly observant. I make a living as a strategist, so I literally get paid to be insightful & have ideas. That means I also spend most of my waking hours glued to a screen. I toyed with the idea of watching the Women's March from a distance--like I do with so many things in my life. But this time, I realized I wanted to take real action. I decided that physically being part of the experience would be more impactful--to enrich my own life (selfishly) by sharing my presence in solidarity with others, (altruistically.) There's strength in community & in showing up. Honestly, I felt pressured to 'walk the talk.' I basically called myself out on my own complacency. I didn't just want to re-post pictures I found from other people on the Internet. I wanted to be part of the process."
Aly : "I marched because of the pride I carried for our country after a decade of working with international NGOs. No other country embraces such a diversity of cultures, religions, beliefs, languages, ethnicities, and cultures. And with the election of President Obama, I could see, hear, and feel how the world saw possibility, kindness, intelligence, and an honoring of democracy in a new way. As a country we were far from perfect, but the progress we've lost overnight and the rising fear Americans now feel is echoed and amplified in the world. Joining the millions of marchers in cities, countries, and continents across the globe was a way to acknowledge the fight and the work we have to do to reclaim human dignity. It was a powerful day to march with my sister and the millions of other women."
Andrea: "I march in solidarity for the common rights of all people. For love. For the Earth and all its creatures. For kindness. For caring. For compassion. For the goodness of humanity. To participate and witness what is possible when people come together and listen."