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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Power Empowerment! Hell's yeah!

What an amazing article! I took the liberty of adding a few extra photos to illustrate the story more. So there's a few extra shots that aren't in the paper.

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 Glouster photographer strives to make local volunteer models feel ‘delicious’

By Nadia Kurtz

Photo Caption:  Eye Candy Girl Charleigh, shot by Terri Jean Photography.
Elisha Rife apprehensively walked into Terri Jean's photography studio one day, after a harmless miscommunication resulted in an invitation sent to Rife's Facebook page. Once it was clear that the invitation to do a shoot based on '60s beauty icon Marilyn Monroe was meant for a different Elisha, Rife was all set to leave the studio never to think about doing a photo shoot again.

Terri Jean, however, had different plans. Still in need of a model, Jean asked Rife to stay and dress as Marilyn for her shoot. Rife's insecurities and aversion to being in front of the camera took over, and she was reluctant to pose for this woman she hardly new. With some coaxing and compliments, though, Rife was talked into being Marilyn for the day.

When Rife saw her photos, she cried.

Rife's her OWN Eye Candy!

"What [Terri Jean] does for women and their own private body images is amazing to me," said Rife. "She has done so much for my self-esteem, and I think the world of her and her photos."

Rife's inspirational story is not the only one that has come from working with Jean. Girls and women of all different ages, sizes and backgrounds come to Jean to feel proud of themselves and simply "feel delicious," as Jean's tagline suggests.

Jean isn't an average photographer. Her mission isn't solely to create art and make money from it; she also wants to prove that beauty ideals are nonsense and women should feel empowered by their self-images.
"It's not as much about me taking their photo; it's about me making them realize how beautiful they are," said Jean.

Early work... practicing on friends and daughters

Work 2008
In 2008, Jean began photographing her daughter and some friends for fun. With positive results, Jean's business escalated into a much more significant project. Living in Glouster in northern Athens County, Jean conducts her photo shoots in a variety of locations.

Jean's first project was a group of women whom she called "Eye Candy Girls."
"I ended up taking a couple pictures of women, and they told me they were the best pictures they've ever had, and then I started taking more pictures," said Jean, referring to the initiation of her project that has become her full-time career.
The Day Eye Candy was born
Photo from The Post.
One of Jean's greatest intrigues is the retro pinup style. She dresses girls in vintage clothing and lingerie to mimic the iconic looks of women during the 1930s through '50s. Jean also has a fixation with "recreating" certain looks of the past. One of her first times experimenting with this idea, Jean fabricated the Marilyn & Me photo shoot, which included Rife.

"I had so many people come in and say that Marilyn was a little chubby and that's what made her look so amazing… In movies and books that have a positive female role model, I want to recreate that role model… I'd also like to recreate some of the iconic looks from the '70s."
Press from the Marilyn & Me Project where 84 women from ages 18-84 were photographed as one of Monroe's iconic photographs - for what would have been the stars 84th birthday.
Lisa Peck - who also attended Jean's very first
Pinup Photo Marathon in 2008.

One of Jean's favorite compliments from her clients is that a session with her is "better than therapy." One of Jean's first photography subjects was Lisa Peck Starling, a friend of her daughter.

"I recently did a shoot with her again… I was skittish, depressed, but she brought my spirits back up. [The photos] brought me out of a slump that I was sitting in quite awhile. I needed to feel that I hadn't lost it," said Starling.
According to Terri Jean, with work also comes play. Even though she is constantly working, she's also having fun with her job. Jean sometimes holds "marathon" photo shoots, which are like slumber parties. The women come over to dress up and get their photos taken. Jean also stresses that her clients become a "community," friendly and supportive of one another.

Holding tightly to this idea of community, Jean gives back to the people who support her work and contributes to fundraisers.

* Natalie Scott Eskey recounts her first session with Jean: "We took retro, pinup style photos… and she photographed and set up a photo booth with props for the Sweet Tea Social, a Southern-inspired fundraiser… that I helped organize."  * Natalie made the front page of the paper!
Caitlin Seida at a recent
Eye Candy event
It is obvious from the amount of positive feedback that Terri Jean Photography has changed lives. In fact, a friend and Eye Candy Girl of Jean's, Caitlin Seida, is rapidly gaining recognition on the Internet for fighting back against a slew of negative comments regarding a potentially embarrassing Facebook photo of Seida that was widely distributed on social media, and attracted numerous hateful comments from individuals.
After having worked with Jean, Seida said her confidence level hit a new high, and Jean's message about body image and bullying empowered her. Seida's essay about the Facebook photo experience was featured on Salon, and since becoming public has attracted much positive attention.
Jean has big plans for her future, as well. In 2014, she said she's planning to launch a new project, "A Change of Life," which will focus on fulfilling her life's goals.
Find out more about Terri Jean Photography at

Great story! I absolutely love it. I added in more photos though, just to illustrate everything that's been said. Nadia did a wonderful job. I feel so honored.

1. Head over to our new facebook page and please LIKE us! I FEEL DELICIOUS. and join in on the body image and self empowerment discussion!

2. Sign up for our e-newsletter

3. And LIKE  TERRI JEAN PHOTOGRAPHY on Facebook to keep up-to-date on marathon shoots, new photos, events, Eye Candy, a call for models, and more!

Thank you for reading!


Terri Jean

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