Kate T Parker
Features Sunday, April 19, 2015 - 05:30
A teenage girl sitting on a football, her elbows on her thighs and a lollipop in her mouth. Her T-shirt reads “Rule the field”. It is an attitude that Kate T Parker photographs, of her daughters and their friends, which can be “loud, athletic, fearless, messy, joyous, frustrated”. In an email to The News Minute, Parker says that she started out on this project, with “a desire to record my daughters and the memories of their childhood, as well as practice with my camera and different lighting situations, environments, times of day, etc”. But she says that a year into her endeavour, “it organically grew into something different”, and has become what she now calls “Strong is the New Pretty” project. Parker says she started to “see patterns and recognize that images where the girls were authentically captured were the strongest images”. Once she realized that the images that showed the girls as they genuinely were, were her favorites, she started to shoot with that in mind. What emerged was a series of stunning photographs, that capture childhood exuberance, exhilaration, its fascination with the minute details of life, and an absorption with whatever it is that children do. Parker describes is as “a series of photographs showing my two young girls, as well as their friends, just as they are - loud, athletic, fearless, messy, joyous, frustrated. I wanted to celebrate these girls as they are, not how females are expected to be. I wanted to celebrate them, just as they are, and show them that is enough. Being pretty or perfect is not important. Being who they are is.” A remarkable feature of the images that Parker has taken, is that, in none of them, are the children “posing”, so to speak. If they are laughing, it appears to be spontaneous laughter frozen by a camera. Parker says: “There's a lot of pressure for girls (and women) to look a certain way, act in certain manner, and I wanted to let my daughters know that who they naturally are is enough.” Many of the images simply show a bunch of kids doing what kids do, and the space of an article isn’t enough to describe the range of their preoccupations. Some of the images have been reproduced with permission from the photographer. Others, maybe found at Kate T Parker Photography (Picture Courtesy: Kate T Parker)