Women of Strength and Spirit

We set out to a beach in homestead, beautiful day but soon as we hit the sand we got welcomed by a myriad of sand bugs. Thankfully one of the guards in the area offered us bug spray and we were good to go. 

It was four of us, on a mission to shoot a brief campaign for 2 of the faces of the 2019 collection for Eido Swimwear (Devonne Waters-Davis and Shanda Roberts) and we were going to do it our way, within a safe space where these 2 women with peculiar stories could feel free and vulnerable. There was no team, I played make up artist, creative director, photographer and videographer, because I wanted authenticity from the ladies involved and i wanted them to feel safe. 

We started first with shooting photos and then video and I think I had to hold myself back a few times from crying as I listened to bits of each woman's story. 

The beautiful thing about Shanda Roberts and Devonne waters-DAVIS is how purpose has brought them together and enabled them to align on a collective journey. Shanda Roberts is a domestic violence survivor who has taken her pain and made it her purpose and formed the non-profit organization "Pain to Purpose". Devonne waters-DAVIS on the other hand, is a breast cancer survivor and owner of non-profit organization "Pray in Pink". The courage that both women exhibit is infectious and it is an incredible thing to see women come out of life threatening conditions and thrive. As we wrapped up on video and photo portions of the shoot, we were able to surprise one of Pray in Pink's benefactors Altondra Albury with a dress from Eido Swimwear, she was the fourth person on set. Altondra began her fight with breast cancer in February 2018 and she'd needed some encouragement on her journey so we had planned to do this for her but she wasn't aware. It was beautiful to see the joy that could follow when having the right community of people around. Spontaneously, we decided to sit and talk about each woman's story and we did this for almost one hour. Below is a short clip from the session. The full video will be shared in 2019.

One thing that stood out to me from Devonne when she shared about her fight with breast cancer and how she came out strong through every surgery and battle was a statement she made. She said "through it all you've got to learn how to pray".
I honestly believe that If you're in a dark place and feel like you're drowning or just plain stuck on your journey, at some point you're going to have to confront every fear and every darkness, and the desire to fight will be magnified as you decide to pray and move on from where you are. Also remember, you're never in this alone. If you need someone to talk to, or pray with, email info@tayoishola.com 


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