Patricia Fortlage is a female empowerment photographic long-form storyteller and fine art photographer. From her core belief that if you invest in women and girls, entire communities will be raised, Patricia has focused much of her...
Focus:Photographer, Photojournalist, Travel, Fine Art, Documentary, Photography, Portraiture, Freelance, Humanitarian
Covering:Africa,Europe,Latin America,USA & Canada
Skills:Adobe Photoshop, Photo Editing, Photojournalism, Film Photography
"Politics may be thought of as an older, white male field, but this young, Asian woman isn't letting that stop her. I'm very blessed to have such strong women role models in Arizona." Sierra Yamanaka, President of the Young Democrats of Arizona
Shot on location courtesy of Pima County Young Democrats in Tucson, AZ.
Epic is when you meet someone who was bullied and harassed for years for being gay… for being unique… for not identifying with what others considered social norms. So much so that cutting became her hobby. And then one day she realized she had had enough, and she boldly began being herself. To commemorate her growth, and to remind herself of her strength, she tattooed the words No More on her forearm. And now this warrior is inspiring others.
Returning to school was a challenge but Roslyn became involved in the Pima Engineering Club in 2014. "The Club has opened up several opportunities that I have taken advantage of to include the NASA ASCEND and the NASA RockOn! Undergraduate research programs. I never imagined I would launch something into suborbital space (she launched a project into outer space on a sounding rocket at NASA's Flight Facility in Virginia) this early in my career. Playing a part on student engineering teams and becoming engulfed in the Tucson science and engineering community has given me a sense of belonging and a drive to create something profound for this world in the area of robotics and space exploration. I am currently working on a new prototype for the High Elevation Antarctic Terahertz (HEAT) Telescope project through the University of Arizona Steward Observatory Solar Lab. The telescope will ideally give us a better picture of our universe by processing frequencies beyond the visible light spectrum."
Shot on location courtesy of the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, AZ.
Roslyn Norman is here and she isn't messing around. A former Marine Corp Vet, Roslyn is studying mechanical engineering at the University of Arizona with a focus on robotics... with a determination to be part of the Mars project.
Shot on location courtesy of the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, AZ.
I spent a lot of time watching girls learning to skate and they all had one thing in common... how they dressed. They all wore boy clothes that were baggy and dark (literally, clothing sold in the boy's department), usually with a baseball cap (under their helmets) to boot. But when classes were done, they would go back to whatever their typical style was. One little girl went back to an actual pink tutu. When asked about this, the typical response was, "I want to be good... like the boys." This inspired me to find professional female skaters who don't fit the standard male mold. This is Kristin Ebeling and Jasmin Kwan of Skate Like a Girl proving fierce comes in all shapes and styles. You definitely don't have to be a boy to skate like a pro. You can be. But you don't have to be.
“'I’m not sure I exist,' was something I said to my mother at age seven. What I meant was that I didn’t see my own gender diversity reflected back in the images of womanhood that surrounded me. I couldn’t see myself anywhere in the greater picture of the world." ...Alex
Sometimes things are black and white. Sometimes not. Often things are camouflaged. Chloe and her art appear pretty straightforward on the surface, but look closely. There is amazing beauty in the detail.
Gothic Lolita tends to be a darker, more elegant, style of Lolita… one that emphasizes fine tailoring. Brooke exemplifies not only the fashion of GothLoli, but also the inclusivity of it. She is a tattoo artist and piercer that promotes acceptance and confidence while creating a soothing and caring environment for body modification. Go see her at Jade Buddha Tattoo in San Diego!
Overcoming childhood trauma is not easy, but Caitlin is a beautiful example of courage, determination, and success. Today she has found family in her students and colleagues as a Montessori teacher... and her wonderful husband. Her mantra:
"Light a candle for peace Light a candle for love Light a candle that shines all the way around the world…"
(From the song, Light a Candle for Peace by Shelley Murley)
Shot on location courtesy of DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun in Tucson, AZ.
“My identity is very important to me. I am a huge body positive champion, as I am plus size. And I’m trying to help people understand the idea that FAT is not a bad word! I promote the idea that in media fat people are more than just the comic relief. We are the love interest, the super heroes, and brains of the world too. All bodies should be celebrated and I hope to inspire people to be happy about their bodies in a world that tells us our bodies should be a certain way.” Lawyer, Megan Odgers
Shot on location courtesy of Monterey College of Law in Monterey, CA.
After attending a huge national maritime expo where less than 5% of all attendees were women, and practically every single one of them attended the one small breakaway session meant for women (by the one maker of women's gear) I was inspired to highlight their work. This is Nelly Hand of Drifters Fish (driftersfish.com), her own company which runs boats out of Alaska. This petite, beautiful woman tossed about gear and managed equipment like a boss. And no, it doesn't matter what gender she is, or how big or how burly. This woman can fish!
This is Ursa. She's a tomboy. She is designing very feminine wedding dresses, proving you don't have to be girly to design frilly things. You can be, but you don't have to be. The Wonder, Girl Project is one effort towards a new narrative. A new narrative that shows teens that others are doing it (whatever that special 'it' is for them). Whether it be the petite pretty girl working on a whaler, or a grunge rocker dancing ballet, or a tomboy designing feminine wedding dresses. Instead of having to think outside of the box, removing the box altogether. The message to them is "Wonder, girl!" For as English Poet William Blake once wrote, "What is now proved was once only imagined."
Shot on location courtesy of La Belle Elaine Bridal Salon in Seattle, WA.
With a graduate degree in International Development, Megan will begin a two year stint with the Peace Corps in Armenia in the early spring. Have a thing for program design and analysis? Development Aid might just be the right career path for you, too!
Shot on location courtesy of Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in Monterey, CA.
Hard work. Making opportunities for oneself. This is an American tradition. Emy Higdon knows this well. When the American economy took a dive in 2008, she couldn't find work anywhere. Times were hard.. very hard. So she came up with an idea for her own business. She took her interest in teaching kids about marine biology (and getting more girls interested in STEM) and turned it into an especially inviting way to learn. Alas, Mermaid Odette was born. Emy (Mermaid Odette) participates in educational events and panels and also entertains kids at parties, weaving in the importance of marine biology and caring for the environment. She makes her own tails from polymer clays, fiberglass, and neoprene... and business is booming! Be sure to look her up in the Tucson/Phoenix area (she travels too)!
Mermaid Odette busy at work in her shop building her next tail. Coupling her skill with Hollywood style prosthetics along with her creativity, she makes her visions come to life. Read more of her story on the Wonder, Girl Project Facebook page!
Girls get bombarded with messages about what is seemingly acceptable given their body types or shapes, or hair texture, gender, intelligence, aptitude for sports, music, etc. It is time for a new narrative. It is time that all girls feel empowered to wonder. And not only to wonder, but to make it happen. The Wonder, Girl Project is one effort towards that inspiration. It is a project highlighting young women who are not allowing themselves to be limited by stereotypes or by how others might classify them or otherwise think of them. These are young women who are setting a new standard, young women who are doing it (whatever that special 'it' is for them). The new narrative is BE WHO YOU ARE. Wonder, girl!