"I'm a social design ethnographer by trade. I go into organizations – mainly non-profit and learning organizations – and study how they're using digital tech and any kind of emerging technology. Then figure out a strategy to build their social experience. It might be a new platform, a learning management system, or they might be experimenting with blockchain and digital badges.
The whole ethos around my company is people are the heart of social networks. So if you can connect people in your company with your organization and their leadership, their passion around whatever the project is will elevate and grow. So the work is not just building tech or rolling out new systems. It's also training the people within the organization on how to grow it."
"I met Molly when I was running a workshop through a group called Creative Women's Co a couple of years ago. I trusted her from the get-go, and I really gelled with her energy.
I wanted to work with her, so I followed her on Instagram and I kept seeing how many women she represented. She's got an eye to bring out women's power and presence, or whatever they're hoping to communicate. And that's a gift. That's a real gift. I think she gets the journey of being female in this world.
She has this power that elevates others. I saw it in her work how she captured some of those women. Sometimes when you're elevating others, you get mixed in, but Molly has this way of bringing people out, elevating them, then stepping back. She doesn't have to be front and center to it. Kind of like a human curator."
"I do creative photoshoots every four years because as a woman in tech and a professor in a University, I was seen in a certain way. So I went on a journey to use photography to explore my identity."
"However, in the last four years, I've changed. My work has changed. COVID-19 hit and impacted everyone. And so I looked at what I was doing, and I asked, "Am I working with the kind of clients I want to work with?"
I've helped venture capital investors make a shedload of money out of ed-tech. Now, it's time we build for the social good. Let's change education. Let's change how we do things. So that's kind of where I was at; I was transforming."
“I wanted my photos to be me being me. As opposed to what the world expects us to be as women and business owners. We women sometimes live in a deficit culture where there's this constant fighting for equity or proving your credentials.
But I'm very good at what I do, so I've developed confidence over the years, and I welcome the challenge. I wanted the photos to show me as very relaxed and open. I don't need to be all suited and booted to be confident. That's not who I am.
So Molly and I chatted about that, and I also wanted to show my art. I've been creating art for a long time, and I've never really put it out in the world. It's on my walls; I gift it to friends. And I said, "You know what, I'm going to put a website together; we're gonna put my art out in the world." So Molly was like, "Cool, let's do it!" and I told her I wanted it to be messy because human beings are messy. And that's okay.
When people meet me, and I work with them, they love the creativity; they love the friendliness and openness. Yet, in professional photographs, you can often look very formal. And if you look at the pictures Molly created of me, oh my god, I'm laughing. We're having a good time, and that is more who I am and my personality.
I wanted to show the diversity of identity in my photos because I believe we have multiple identities.
I knew Molly had the creative eye, but she was also very strategic.
We had a conversation that went on a journey, and I love that about her, from how she did the Pinterest board that I got to add stuff to, to the guidance on preparing for a shoot. That was so important to me; I've never actually ever got that in all the photoshoots I've ever had.
Molly is incredibly creative and empathic. She is very open to her client's creative ideas, so it felt like a very safe space. She was very, very welcoming and approachable."
"The day of the shoot, we started with what could potentially be my headshots in the suit jacket and ripped jeans, just being very casual and laughing. Then we went to a dress and a jumpsuit that showed the playful, sporty side of me. Molly chose the order; I just bought the clothes. She gave me sound guidance on what to bring so they look great in black and white, too, because my website branding has a lot of black and white.
From black and white, you see the color that appears when I start to paint. That's the artist I haven't put out into the world yet. I've always struggled with wondering, "What if a client sees that? Are they still going to want to have me do their work? Do they see me as a technical person? Are they going to see me as this kooky artist?"
What Molly helped me do was see it as a continuum.
We ended the photoshoot where I'm happiest, painting with my hands, not paintbrushes. I lose time when I paint; I just put on music, and off I go. Molly captured that. I didn't really realize she was there. I was painting away, and she was taking photos, my hands in the paint and on the canvas.
The last shot was the photographing of the painting. It's like a statement on how human beings are messy. And that's okay. The best way to optimize any organization is to understand humanity and lean into it."
The photoshoot experience
"Molly captured the journey of a human being. Sometimes I'm an ed-tech professional, sometimes I'm an artist, and sometimes I'm a sporty girl in a dress with running shoes on. I love what Molly did because she went on that journey with me.
They're not flat images; they're not unidimensional. They're multi-dimension. And that's what I love about Molly's work. Because we are complex human beings, and she can really tell that story visually.