500px Commercial Grants: I am: Woman Campaign

The 500px “I am: woman” Commercial Collection was inspired by and shot for “Project ShowUs”, an initiative put together by Dove, Girl Gaze, and Getty Images. The Project was first launched in 2019 and won a Cannes Lion, Silver Lion, Glass: The Lion for Change award, for their groundbreaking work devoted to shattering beauty stereotypes.

Representation of women in advertising hasn’t changed in over a decade. As visual thought leaders, advertisers, marketers, and creatives, we need to be more progressive when it comes to the portrayal of women in advertising:

“70% of women still don’t feel represented in media and advertising.” – Dove Impact of Beauty Stereotypes Quant Study 2019

By shifting this narrative, women reclaim ownership over how they are seen and valued within global culture. It provides space for young girls to recognize value within themselves and for women to understand that there is no ‘cookie-cutter’, ‘one-size-fits-all’, recipe to define what a woman is.

For this collection, 500px worked with nine international photographers who photographed over 80 authentic women who are breaking stereotypes and adding personal context to explain how they identify, who they are, and things they are proud of. The photographers worked intimately with each woman to help keyword her content, providing real keywords that accurately represent who they are as individual people in 2020.

In this Collection you will find leaders, achievers, women in power, business owners, survivors, mothers, grandmothers, daughters, and people who contribute to a community of women who empower one another to stay strong. They contribute to a louder voice within advertising, insisting media and advertisers reflect the authentic experience of women around the world.

Our photographers:

Pam Lau

Toronto, Canada
6 women

“I often think about how power is distributed in photography, with subjects often having little say in what they wear, how they act, and how they’re presented. It was refreshing to be able to capture someone simply as they were, on their terms. I chose to highlight the type of creative role models that I would’ve wanted to see growing up, especially ones that would describe themselves as proud, comfortable, and strong. Each shoot was with a minimal set up and small crew; they felt tender, intimate. When I was capturing one subject with her mother, she even told me that I wasn’t just taking pictures; I was “gifting moments”.”

Meet:
Claire: Dancer, Woman of Colour, Flexibility, Student, Creative, Sisterhood
Vicky & Hong: Together, Mother, Daughter, Bonding
Justine: Working at Home, Illustrator, Artist

Dahyembi Neal

Milwaukee, USA
16 women

“My experience working on the #ShowUs project was definitely eye-opening. I worked with over 15 different women coming from all walks of life and I learned so much. I chose to work with such a large group because I wanted to challenge myself as an artist. Also, as an individual I wanted to learn more about these individual women and be able to tell their stories through their photos. It was so empowering working with everyone and hearing their stories and being able to represent them in their most authentic self.”

Meet:
Taylor: Daughter, Teeth Gap, Bright, Writer, Hair Texture
Afrah: Education, Hijab, Middle Eastern, Strong, Intelligent, Woman
Cynthia: Latina, Down to Earth, Peaceful, Proud, Elegance
Teresa: Entrepreneur, Resilient, Black Woman, Style

Aks Huckleberry

Podol’sk, Himki, Moscow, Russia
Balashikha, Berlin, Germany
18 women

“When I was contacted by 500px to do this project, every fibre of my soul screamed, “Yes!” I was thrilled to start scouting people for it. I tend to use “real” women for my artwork anyway, so it was exciting to work with women of all ages and personalities. They inspire me and others with their love or at least readiness to love aspects of our bodies that society has been repressing in the beauty standards for so long – stretch marks, skin discolouration, scars, wrinkles, tattoos, etc. Mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, yoga goddesses, athletes, artists, makers, and inventors. Tender and passionate, caring and firm, strong and soft, shy and confident, serious and bursting with joy. Each and every woman encompasses so much more than her body. What an honor it has been to shoot 18 different women for this project, in the most intimate of settings – in their homes, with their loved ones, sharing things that bring them so much joy. Gently guiding them through the process and allowing them the freedom to be their real selves, all I can hope for is that the intimacy we shared those days translates well on the portraits I took in February.”

Meet:
Iryna: Russian, Yoga, Fitness, Wellness, Peace
Anna: Badminton Player, Burn, Russian, Dance, Beauty, Happy
Lyudmila, Inna, Tatyana & Varvara: Self Sufficient Women, 3 Generations, Family, Home, Sister, Mother, Daughter, Grandmother
Daria: Strong, Body Builder, Confident, Powerful, Sporty Body

Ina Huppers

Kolkata, India
4 women

“It was a great first experience to participate in a guided project such as this. I was able to portray natural, beautiful women, in a candid manner, something I already love to do. It was a new experience to shoot outside of my home country of Germany, but it helped push me out of my comfort zone and create something wonderful.”

Meet:
Munmun: Teenage, Confident, Joyful, Smile, Eyes
Indriani: Teacher, In Control of My Future, Mother in Law, Brave, Individual

Winnie Bruce

Maryland, USA
4 women

“It was so wonderful to work on this project and showcase women who are not normally represented, myself included. One of my subjects described it as, “the best she’s felt during a time in her life where she needed a confidence boost.” The photos of her in her natural element made her feel beautiful. I, myself was one of the subjects, and as someone that has the rare genetic condition: epidermolysis bullosa, it was empowering to be encouraged by a project to embrace scars as they are powerful and beautiful.”

Meet:
Sharleen: Mother, Weight Lifter, Asian, Filipino, Strong
Winnie: Photographer, Business Owner, Mother, Epidermolysis Bullosa
Molly: Single Mother, Acupuncturist, Working Mom, Red Hair
Liz: New Mom, Breast Feeding, Calligraphy, Small Business Owner

Samantha Pierre

Toronto, Canada
7 women

“I enjoyed working on Project #ShowUs because it gave me the opportunity to shoot different types of women who are not typically portrayed in the media. It was important for me to take part in this to not only represent myself but other women as well. Showcasing diversity plays an important role in my life. Through photographing other women, I have come to realize that we’re all in this together and are trying our best to create more diversity.”

Meet:
Danielle: Baker, Ethnic, Young Woman, Weight, Beautiful, Celebration
Birdie & Hasanna: Natural, Companionship, Togetherness, Friendship
Jorian: Black Motherhood, Confident, Proud, Skin Colour, Pride
Basma: Biracial Femininity, Curls, Female, Confident

Hagar Wirba

Kelowna, Canada
10 women

“I highly enjoyed being a part of this project. A lot of the women I worked with were women I was acquainted with and admired for different reasons, but hadn’t spent much time with. The project required me to authentically portray these women and showcase how they wanted to be represented, it was a great opportunity to really learn about them and who they are and what really makes them so unique. It was a beautiful experience and I came out of it with even more admiration and respect for these extraordinary women, who in their everyday lives are as true to themselves as they can be. Each model I photographed is very different, but a few things they all share is passion, their own sense of individuality, being inspirations to their communities, and beauty.”

Meet:
Ashna & Zenaeja: Support, Friendship, Encouragement, Teenagers
Rhythm: Arts & Crafts, Creative, Work, Success Diversity
Oluwatosin: Cool Attitude, Street, Hip Hop, Dancer, Performer

Rachel Mayer

Toronto, Canada
10 women

“This project was really important to me as it focused on and showcased women in every way. It was really empowering to these women, especially while I was pregnant. I think working on this project helped me gain an understanding of women’s individuality and perspective in so many ways. Working so closely with each model, I got to have a peek inside some of their most sacred spaces and it was really special to photograph that. I’ll remember and cherish this project as a one of a kind opportunity.”

Meet:
Rachel: Soon to be Mom, Growing Tummy, Worker, Bad Ass, Shy, Strong, Confident
Gabby: Self Love, Self Care, Mental Health, Tattoos, Confidence
Yona: Grandmother, Cook, Excitement, Great Grandmother, Family
Rachael: Business Woman, Integrity, Individuality, Interior Designer

Nicole Angeles

Queens, USA
10 women

“Project ShowUs is a great initiative for 500px and other companies to participate in. It gave me the pleasure of photographing a diverse set of women in their own environments. It made them comfortable and gave me a peek into every woman’s life and their sense of strength. I was able to show that they are beautiful, natural, and raw.”

Meet:
Jade: New Yorker, Wall Street, Happy
Carla: Mother, NYC, Flowers, Family
Louise: Flowarts, Stretch, Empowered
Nicole: Artist, Brazilian, Photographer, Brooklyn

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