My wife and our close friends and I conducted our own NOH8 photo shoot last weekend. We took a stand for equality by displaying our message in various platforms. It was so much fun, and definitely a unique experience.
For those of you unfamiliar, the NOH8 Campaign is a photographic silent protest created by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and partner Jeff Parshley in direct response to the passage of Proposition 8. Photos feature subjects with duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world, with “NOH8” painted on one cheek in protest. For our shoot, my photographer friend offered up her pad, along with her backdrop and lighting. We all wore white shirts, and practiced our poses.
The great thing about this campaign is that each person being photographed gets to bring his/her personality into the shot. You can use props, hand gestures, or even other people. My wife and I really wanted to capture our love for our son in the shoot. We wanted to represent our family- and other families like ours.
From the NOH8 site:
Five years since its inception, the NOH8 Campaign has grown to nearly 33,000 faces and continues to grow at an exponential rate. The campaign began with portraits of everyday Californians from all walks of life and soon rose to include politicians, military personnel, newlyweds, law enforcement, artists, celebrities, and many more.
While inspired by the passage of Prop 8, the scope of the NOH8 Campaign has grown to stand against discrimination and bullying of all kinds. The message of ‘No Hate’ can be interpreted and applied broadly, and speaks to each person in their own way.
The NOH8 Campaign has received overwhelming support from around the world, and has appeared in various local and national news programs and publications. The images are widely used on various social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the message of equality.
What it meant to me:
This is a direct representation of the current legislation occurring in my home state- Michigan, regarding lifting the ban on same sex marriage, and allowing lesbians and gays to be married. I am very passionate about this case, as it affects my wife, my son, and I. Just keep fighting. Just keep fighting for our rights!
While our photo shoot was something a bunch of us decided to do on our own, the campaign does travel the world, hosting professional open photo shoots. This is something I would like to participate in one day. What is even more fantastic is that you can take your own NOH8 photos and upload them to the website.
This is what it is all about, people. Unity. Equality. Taking a stand. And why not do it creatively?