Books are now available at Powell’s!

She Inspires 365 — the book — is now available for purchase at Powell’s in Portland, Oregon and online through!   If you have a few spare minutes and would be willing to post a *positive* review on the Powell’s website, I’d be forever grateful.  Thank you so much for helping me get She Inspires 365 out to a larger audience!  One small step at a time …


Sandra Elverud and her son, Timothy: Day 1 of She Inspires 365.

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The definition of *inspire*




1. to fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

2. breathe in (air); inhale.

This photograph was taken for Sisters Empowering Sisters, an inspiring organization in Washington, D.C. that has created a supportive and empowering community for women in recovery from substance abuse, mental health issues and trauma.

I’ve been thinking so much about the idea of *inspire* lately.  I like the definition above and I think this photo captures some of that, especially because she is working on her poetry.

What (or who) inspires you?

If this project inspires you at all, please share it with someone in your life.  If someone in your life inspires you, please consider giving She Inspires 365, the book, to them :).

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she inspires continues …

Native Portrait Project 1

I’ve always wanted to continue the She Inspires project beyond 365.  I realized recently that in a way I do: my work as a freelance photographer and documentary producer has given me the opportunity to travel around the world, mostly photographing women and documenting the work of social justice organizations that advocate on behalf of women.  I’ve worked with World Pulse, YWCA, Sisters Empowering Sisters, and Video/Action, with whom I’ve recently completed a series of documentaries entitled, “A Circle of Healing for Native Children Endangered by Drugs.”  This is a photo from that series taken in Bethel, Alaska:


I also generate as much of my own work as possible through the help of grants.  Just before my son was born I received a project grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) to create a collection of images that features emerging leaders in the Native American community of Portland.  However, many of the people I photographed just happen to be Native Americans who are becoming leaders in the greater Portland community.  The photograph (top) is of Roberta Ortiz and her son riding a bus in Portland.  Roberta is an advocate for breastfeeding mothers.

The photo, along with my own experiences breastfeeding my son, helped inspire my next project, which I promised myself I wouldn’t start until I finished the She Inspires 365 book.  It’s tentatively titled: “The 50 Best Places to Breastfeed in Portland”.  It will feature images similar to this one: everyday women breastfeeding their children in public places.  The goal is normalize breastfeeding and create positive images to add to the controversial discussions surrounding breastfeeding.  I’m so excited for this project and to create these images!

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The POWer of Women!


In honor of the 8th annual Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival (POWFest) I wanted to share a page from the book that features Tara Johnson-Medinger, the power behind POWFest.  She Inspires 365 allowed me to honor the women in my life like Tara, who do such inspiring work in the hopes of making the world a better place.  Please consider supporting POWFest this weekend, March 12-15, 2015 at the Hollywood Theatre.

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Throwback to five years ago today …

135_LindseyBT… it was day 135 of the She Inspires 365 project and I posted a photo of Portland documentary filmmaker, Lindsey Grayzel, and her lovely compost full of healthy worms.  I can’t believe it’s been 5 years!

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The book is coming!

She Inspires 365: the book!  Is currently in production and will be released in April 2015!  If you supported the Kickstarter campaign you can expect to see your copy of the book before Mother’s Day.  Thank you so much for your patience and continued support!

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Kickstarter Fundraising Campaign Launched

On Monday, April 16th, a Kickstarter campaign was launched to raise $10,000 for She Inspires 365 THE BOOK! {Click here to go to the Kickstarter project page}

If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter it’s an amazing platform created to help people like me raise money for projects that matter. It’s based on the theory that if a lot of people each contribute a little money, then huge goals can be reached. She Inspires 365 embodies that idea — it would not have been possible without all of the women who participated and opened their hearts and homes and who had the courage to share their personal stories with me. And it will not be possible to create a beautiful and affordable book without your help and support. And it’s not just money — I need help getting the word out to your networks of family and friends that this project is something worth supporting.

As many of you know last year I received a grant from The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) to help fund the photo exhibit of She Inspires 365 which opens at p:ear gallery in Portland, OR on May 3rd, with a special Mother’s Day celebration (all details are below). And this is just the next step in what has been a long and life changing journey. When you click on the link to Kickstarter you will have a chance to watch the 2 minute video I created explaining what’s going on with the project. There’s also information about the rewards you will receive for supporting the project (for example, for $50 you can donate to the project and essentially pre-order a copy of the finished book).

I’d really, really love and appreciate your support right now. If I don’t raise the full amount by May 21st I don’t get any of the money — all credit cards will only be charged when the entire goal is met on May 21st. If the entire goal is not met, nothing gets charged. I also need your help getting the word out — please feel free to share this with friends, family members, co-workers, community members, local press, etc. Anyone who you think might be interested in supporting this project.

So if you have it in your heart (and wallet) to contribute, that’s amazing. If not, please don’t feel bad and don’t feel obligated. I know it’s a lot to ask, especially these days, and your continued support and encouragement, whatever it looks like, will never be taken for granted.

Thank you!!

She Inspires 365 Art Exhibit
p:ear Gallery
338 NW 6th Avenue
Portland, OR

Opening Reception, First Thursday, May 3rd
6pm – 9pm

Mother’s Day Champagne Reception, Sunday, May 13th
12pm – 4pm
Free and open to the public, including children

Exhibit open through Friday, May 31st, 2012

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The Last Day of the Yearlong Project


Day 365:

WOW!  It was such a rush just to type that number – 365 photographs posted with not one day missed throughout the entire last year.  And today, for no reason other than I met her and she was so fun and engaging, I chose Sylvia, the accordion and spoon player at the German restaurant where we decided to celebrate this accomplishment.  But that’s what this project is about – highlighting women who I encounter every day and honoring them through photography and recognition.

Sylvia has been playing the accordion since she was 10 years of age and she recently turned 60.  She said that she is “honored to be a girl” and it sounded like she started her own accounting business just so she could show the boys that she could do it (yes, she plays the accordion AND does accounting).  She sang a song in my honor, thanks to my girlfriends who requested that we celebrate in style, and started off the evening with toasts, followed by more toasts and singing!

Thank you, Sylvia, for being the 365th woman photographed.  Thank you to all my friends and family who supported and encouraged me throughout this process.  Thank you to everyone who followed along and shared the women in your lives with me.  Thank you to all the women who allowed me to photograph them and who shared their stories of inspiration, accomplishment and joy.

I’m not sure that I’ll be able to stop photographing women so please don’t look at this as the end, but as the beginning of a lifelong journey to becoming the best portrait photographer of women that I can be.

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Day 364:

“What inspires me:

The love I have for my closest friends and family.  The kindness and warmth that comes with that love, and the profound desire to care and be cared for by those you love and whom love you.  Also my sister, who is physically and mentally handicapped from birth, despite all her challenges, enjoys, appreciates and loves life more than anyone I have ever met.

Effortless happiness and love for life and those in it.”

– Jess, who I met today on my way home from work in Georgetown.

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