Letters

Letters 09-07-2015

DEJA VUE Traverse City faces the same question as faced by Ann Arbor Township several years ago. A builder wanted to construct a 250-student Montessori school on 7.78 acres. The land was zoned for suburban residential use. The proposed school building was permissible as a “conditional use.”

The Court Overreached Believe it or not, everyone who disagrees with the court’s ruling on gay marriage isn’t a hateful bigot. Some of us believe the Supreme Court simply usurped the rule of law by legislating from the bench...

Some Diversity, Huh? Either I’ve been misled or misinformed about the greater Traverse City area. I thought that everyone there was so ‘all inclusive’ and open to other peoples’ opinions and, though one may disagree with said person, that person was entitled to their opinion(s)...

Defending Good People I was deeply saddened to read Colleen Smith’s letter [in Aug. 24 issue] regarding her boycott of the State Theater. I know both Derek and Brandon personally and cannot begin to understand how someone could express such contempt for them...

Not Fascinating I really don’t understand how you can name Jada Johnson a fascinating person by being a hunter. There are thousands of hunters all over the world, shooting by gun and also by arrow; why is she so special? All the other people listed were amazing...

Back to Mayberry A phrase that is often used to describe the amiable qualities that make Traverse City a great place to live is “small-town charm,” conjuring images of life in 1940s small-town America. Where everyone in Mayberry greets each other by name, job descriptions are simple enough for Sarah Palin to understand, and milk is delivered to your door...

Don’t Be Threatened The August 31 issue had 10 letters(!) blasting a recent writer for her stance on gay marriage and the State Theatre. That is overkill. Ms. Smith has a right to her opinion, a right to comment in an open forum such as Northern Express...

Treat The Sickness Thank you to Grant Parsons for the editorial exposing the uglier residual of the criminalizing of drug use. Clean now, I struggled with addiction for a good portion of my adult life. I’ve never sold drugs or committed a violent crime, but I’ve been arrested, jailed, and eventually imprisoned. This did nothing but perpetuate shame, alienation, loss and continued use...

About A Girl -- Not Consider your audience, Thomas Kachadurian (“About A Girl” column). Preachy opinion pieces don’t change people’s minds. Example: “My view on abortion changed…It might be time for the rest of the country to catch up.” Opinion pieces work best when engaging the reader, not directing the reader...

Disappointed I am disappointed with the tone of many of the August 31 responses to Colleen Smith’s Letter to the Editor from the previous week. I do not hold Ms. Smith’s opinion; however, if we live in a diverse community, by definition, people will hold different views, value different things, look and act different from one another...

Free Will To Love I want to start off by saying I love Northern Express. It is well written, unbiased and always a pleasure to read. I am sorry I missed last month’s article referred to in the Aug. 24 letter titled, “No More State Theater.”

Home · Articles · News · Features · The 231 Project Photographer...
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The 231 Project Photographer captures women of the 231 area code

Rick Coates - September 5th, 2011
The 231 Project: Photographer captures women of the 231 area code
By Rick Coates
Sarah Armstrong hurries home after work and grabs her camera bag and heads
out the door for her next shoot. A media consultant by day and
photographer by night, Armstrong is on a mission to photograph 231 women
from Northern Michigan for a new book and social media project.
Armstrong is not looking for societal supermodels for her project, just
women who who want to express their beauty regardless of size, shape or
age.
“I believe pictures have a way of capturing one’s beauty that a mirror or
societal expectations can’t,” said Armstrong. “That is my goal with this
project -- to let women be beautiful for who they are not what they are
told they need to be.”
At 24, Armstrong has been fascinated with photography for years. A friend
of hers launched a similar project in Battle Creek that was a huge
success. There is no cost to participate and Armstrong hopes the project
will introduce people to her newly launched photography business.
“I agree to provide a photo shoot and all the photos to everyone who
participates at no cost to them. For me it is an opportunity to network
and introduce myself as photographer to the Northern Michigan community.”

SHE’S BOOKED
The concept seems to be working as word has been spreading quickly with
Armstrong booked almost every night and most weekends.
“Right now most of the women that have heard about this project are in my
immediate circle and from Traverse City or the surrounding area. But I
want to reach out to the rest of the 231 area code.”
She also wants to expand her age demographic as well with the final
product reflecting the wide-ranging body styles of the region.
“The 30 women I have photographed so far are between the ages of 21-35 and
I want to expand that to include all ages; this project is about
reflecting all the women of the 231 area code,” said Armstrong. “The same
goes for size. I just photographed a bigger-boned woman and it was one of
my best shoots. She opened up during the shoot she let her inhibitions go
and it was a lot of fun.”
For Armstrong, seeing women let their inhibitions go is an important part
of the project.
“It is so rewarding when I show them the pictures and sometimes they tear
up and say ‘I am beautiful.’ See, they have have let magazines and movies
define their beauty,” said Armstrong. “I ask them what they are
self-conscious about and I steer clear of those features. I love to see
their reactions when I show them the photos as I take them, and they are
like, ‘wow that is me-- how did you do that?’ I chuckle and say it’s not a
magic wand, this is how you look.”

A GO-GETTER
Armstrong grew up in Battle Creek and had visited Traverse City. She saved
some money and moved here figuring she could work as a server until she
got on her feet.
“I have always been a go-getter, so I got a media sales job and that has
been going well. But becoming a photographer has always been on the back
burner for me until my mother passed away last year of leukemia. She was
55, I just knew it was time for me to pick up a camera and learn how to
use it. Since that time I have just fallen in love with photography, my
camera is always at my hip.”
As for including only women, Armstrong says they are just easier to
photograph than guys.
“Funny thing, people in general don’t want to look at photos of guys,”
said Armstrong. “But both men and women like looking at pictures of
women.”
Armstrong uses a Sony SLT -- a single lens translucent which enables her
to have a live view of each shot before taking it. Her goal is to have the
book out next year with supporting photos of each subject on her Facebook
page. Anyone interested in participating in the 231 Project may contact
her at 231-360-8702 or messaging her on Facebook.
 
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