joy, ache

It’s been a while since I stepped into the blogosphere and shared my heart with you all, the truth is the last few weeks as well as the last few months have been an emotional rollercoaster like I never imagined.

When I decided to do the Just As I Am project I did so out of a profound sense that a project like this was necessary and that nobody was doing it. I knew going in that the idea of nudity would be somewhat controversial but I also knew that nothing worth doing is ever easy, I just never really knew how hard it was going to get.

We set a date for this project to start almost exactly a year ago, my vision was simple, we will put out the idea that anyone who wants to come to my studio for a 10 min photo session can sign up and we will take a week off of work at the studio and put together this project. We would have an online gallery for the images and maybe a gallery would be interested in taking us on to put a show together. We made up some posters, sent out some press releases and went to work postering as many places as possible to get the word out about what we were doing, but would anybody come?? What if we took the week off and only had 1 person come? Would anybody in Winnipeg really say I believe in this as much as we did? So many questions. The next questions were just as valid, what would our families think of us for doing something they probably wouldn’t understand, and almost more importantly what would those who know our families think and how would they communicate that with the ones we love so much? Would I be ruining my career and reputation by being labelled as “that guy” that did the naked thing? How would this project affect my relationship with friends and family members, or more directly, would I lose friends over this? How would those in my church community react to this?

It’s a year later and I have a few answers. Firstly I have been able to walk with those of you who have been a part of this project as models. I have heard the pain you have felt as friends or family members looked at you with “the look” and made comments that made you hurt or cry; know that I too have felt your pain. I have also had the honour of hearing the other stories, the stories of how being a part of Just As I Am has brought healing to many of our participants, and how viewing it has brought healing to many of you who have taken the time to view this work; and my heart is filled with joy. As I stated at the beginning this has been a crazy ride for us, we have always been forced into asking ourselves over and over again how much we believe in this project. This has been a year of reading faces for me: I have seen the looks of disappointment in the faces of those I love and respect, I have seen the look of disgust in the faces of those who realize I’m “that guy”, I’ve seen the look of bewilderment in the faces of those who simply don’t get it. I have also seen the look of peace in the faces and eyes of those who finally feel “normal”, the look of victory in the faces of those who have faced their demons, and the look of healing in the faces of those who are on a new journey of self-acceptance.

Instead of this taking a week of our lives it has morphed into taking over about 5 working months away from my business. We have also had to make the decisions of how much we believe in this gallery and resulting book and in the end it has meant completely draining all of our bank accounts and signing over interest in our house and studio to the bank to produce this book. I have learnt again that God is my provider and that I’m incapable of taking care of my emotional and physical needs and in the end I feel a peace about being “all in” to a project that I’m proud to talk about.

As I got ready to go and hang the prints in the gallery I got an email that someone I’ve never heard of has sent a message to the Ellen D show telling her of the impact this project has had on her life and asking her to feature this project on her show, I’m deeply touched on a day like this to hear news like that. Thank you all for your support, I wish you all the very best in love, life, laughter and tears if need be, and I look forward to seeing you at the gallery this weekend.


Just As I Am – Exhibition and Book Launch

Presented by Rodney and Sonya Braun of Eve Studios

Opening Reception: Friday, February 26, 7:30 to 11:00

at the cre8ery

125 Adelaide Street, 2nd floor

This exhibit and the book it inspired is a celebration; a celebration of our diversity and the different ways we look at ourselves and each other. It also celebrates the beauty to be discovered in accepting ourselves "Just As I Am".

Almost a year in the making, "Just As I Am" is a portrayal of over 80 individuals, who desired, for their own unique reasons, to honor their body, unclothed and unencumbered. For many it was an exhilarating act of acceptance and courage; a statement of being comfortable with who I am, just as I am.

Each participant in this amazing compilation is primarily self-posed. There are no contrivances, only the individuals themselves with Rodney’s skill and desire to capture the beauty and the spirit of each one. He, and all the participants in this powerful project, have been truly successful.

Share in the freedom, the courage and the unique beauty of
"Just As I Am"
Book Launch and Exhibition, Friday February 26, 7:30 to 11:00
at the cre8ery, 125 Adelaide Street.

Tickets $10.

Cash bar.


Celebrate all month!

We're extending our Valentine's Promo to the whole month of February. So, if trying to make it in for one day is making you stressed, you can breathe a sigh of relief...

I just saw the cute little pocket albums that we're offering free with our regular 5x7 albums. Love 'em!

And you can get your choice of one image or three to put on your wall. Great for over your bed or on one wall in your bedroom.
Tell your guy we promise it will be painless and fun...


Valentine's Day--make it special!

Did you like the images I posted last time? On February 12th, we're offering free sessions to our clients and anyone else who would like to come out and do something like this. Set aside 90 minutes on Friday (some evening appointments available) as part of your Valentine's week-end activities. There will be a half-hour of relaxed & fun shooting, a half-hour of hanging out with munchies while Rodney uploads your images, and a half-hour to see them and choose your package. Packages start at $295.

Call 221-8413 to set up your appointment time or use our web-form on