Coco Chanel & Co.
Austin photographer Jaime Moore fights female stereotypes by posing daughter as influential women
When Austin photographer Jaime Moore set out to commemorate her daughter's 5th birthday, she had no idea of the effect it would have on daughters and mothers (and yes, fathers too) around the world.
As Moore searched for creative inspiration for daughter Emma's birthday photography shoot, she noticed the predominant pattern of young girls dressing up as Disney princesses.
But Moore had other ideas.
She wanted to present real women role models to Emma; women who are truly inspirational and worth a little girl's admiration. So Moore set aside the princesses and the Barbie Dolls and chose five strong women from history who beat the odds and fought for their equal rights. And the results of the shoot went viral.
Moore's blog post on her business' website was shared by millions across social networks as far and wide as Japan and New Zealand, and the photoshoot was covered by the likes of CNN, the Huffington Post, the New York Daily News and the Mirror UK, among others.
"My daughter wasn’t born into royalty, but she was born into a country where she can now vote, become a doctor, a pilot, an astronaut or even President if she wants — and that’s what really matters," Moore says. "I wanted her to know the value of these amazing women who had gone against everything so she can now have everything."
The women Moore chose to photograph Emma as were Susan B. Anthony, Coco Chanel, Amelia Earhart, Helen Keller and Jane Goodall.
"I really wanted to do something different this year for her five-year portraits," Moore told CultureMap. "Five is such a fun age, the age you realize your little one is not so little anymore. She has begun to think for herself with her own opinions and questions about the world around her... it's pretty amazing."
She says there were many reasons behind her choices of these particular women. "Each woman is so very different in how they've lived their lives and how they have changed ours for the better. A big thing for me was that these incredible women overcame such obstacles and persevered to change their lives simply because they wanted to. Amelia wanted to fly a plane, so she did. Not letting society's 'rules' direct their lives for them, they raised the bar and we should continue to."
Moore is a Canadian-American who moved to Austin from Vancouver in August 2012, along with Emma and her 3-year-old little brother. While she's always held a camera in her hands from a young age, she has been a professional photographer for about four years.
"For me there is just something about capturing a single moment in time, that then becomes yours forever that seems so powerful. Real moments from a real life that goes by too quickly, suddenly frozen forever in a single image that you can hold in your hands."
And how did the photography series affect Emma?
"When I proposed the idea of doing something completely new, she was so excited. We had so much fun picking out the costume pieces and through each woman's portrait I would tell her about each incredible woman." Learning of Amelia Earhart seemed to be her favorite, with Jane Goodall a close second.
"Just the idea of her dressing like the first female pilot to fly across the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean thrilled her," Moore recalls. "I love her facial expression in the photograph, I took the shot as I was cheering 'Emma you just flew a plane, by yourself, over the Ocean!' In her eyes I see so much pride and confidence. I love seeing that come through an image and it means so much more seeing it in my daughter's eyes."