On March 7, 2020 I hosted a gallery show highlighting the 55 portraits of female founders, entrepreneurs, creators and do-ers that I had been photographing for the past year and a half in New York City. It was a big undertaking for me, and I can’t believe it happened! Let me start off by saying that I was super nervous for this event. It’s my first gallery show in NYC and the first solo event I’ve hosted here, so I wanted it to go well! It worked out perfectly that the next day was International Women’s Day, and March is International Women’s Month, so we were feeling all the girl power vibes that weekend.
Before the event we had to get some takeout from down the street. Huge shout out to my dad, my friend Shane, and my roommate Lauren for helping set up all day. They rock. I also made a video tour of the show, which you can check out here:
This is the first wall finally completed. It took about four hours to hang this side, and about two hours to hang the other side. Most of the time was spent figuring out the math for the rows and decided how to hang the command strips. Once we had everything laid out and the first few rows done, it was a piece of cake! (And yes if you’re wondering, all 55 frames and a few spares were in my tiny New York apartment for about three weeks leading up to the event. It was crazy.)
We also set up a networking wall called the Give and Take wall, where people could write Post-It notes for things they could offer, a service they could provide, or something they were looking for. Folks could take Post-It notes if there was something they could help with. By the end of the event, the wall was totally covered with Post-It’s, which was so awesome to see!
Here’s a couple photos of me getting excited once we had the posters outside hung up. Shout out to Lauren for curling my hair and helping me hang the posters, and a big thank you to Jenessa, the owner of the space, for being so helpful throughout the process of hanging the work and coming in clutch when we forgot the wine opener (oops!).
Did anyone catch my Taylor Swift quote on the show info poster? I had to sneak that in since she’s one of my role models as a badass woman herself! I was also excited to see that many people were using the #BadassWomenNYC hashtag on social media with photos and videos from the show!
And suddenly it was time for the event to start! The gallery show was open from 7-10pm, and it was surprisingly packed almost the entire time. That really blew me away. I really felt the support of so many badass women who showed up to see the show! It was a huge relief once all the frames were hung, and I could just relax and talk to all the guests that attended!
I have to give a huge THANK YOU to our drink sponsors, T Edward Wines! They donated a case of delicious sparkling wine for the event, so of course we had to do a celebratory pop at the beginning of the event.
One personal highlight of the night for me was when my cousin Adrianne and her fiancee Tyler surprised me. They flew into NYC from Chicago to come to my gallery show! It was such a sweet moment, and I’m so glad I got to share the event with them.
Then around 8pm, it was time to give my speech! I always get a little nervous with public speaking, but I felt good about this one because I could just explain the story of how the project came together without having to rehearse it too much. I also had my friend Anisa Benitez say a few words about the importance of the representation of women in the media right now. I think she totally nailed it. You can watch the full speech below:
I really couldn’t believe the turnout. The show was packed the entire night! One thing that people kept telling me is how inspiring it was to see all the photos and quotes together. I’m so glad that I could shine a light on so many amazing women that are making the world a better place, and inspire folks in the process! Empowering women is so important to me, and I love that I get to use photography to do that! I made so many new connections, and I hope everyone else did too.
The Post-It wall was totally covered by the end = total success!
And let’s not forget the #BadassWomenNYC balloon wall that people loved getting their photo taken with! Gotta do it for the ‘Gram! This will definitely be at future events, because it was such a popular element that everyone wanted to take photos of (myself included).
And of course I have to give a big shout out to these ladies, who have been a huge support to me over the past two years in NYC. I could not have done it without them!
Lauren also made a quick little video recap of the show, which you can check out here:
To everyone that came to the show and checked it out, to everyone that let me photograph them for the series, to my friends and family that have supported me throughout this process, thank you all so much! This show meant so much to me and I’m grateful for your encouragement.
Lastly, I’m continuing the series and expanding it to San Diego and Austin this year! So on that note, feel free to fill out this form highlighting a Badass Women who you think should be included!
Check out this page on my website for all the portraits and quotes from the women and more updates on the project, and make sure to subscribe to my email alerts to be the first to know about future shows!